Opinion

Hodge: Final thoughts on comic genius

My column regarding the sad departure of Robin Williams garnered a fair amount of feedback from readers.

Tears, laughter, appreciation and anger—meaning, I suppose, it served its purpose.

A wise old editor mentored me that a columnist should be like a massage therapist—tickle, stimulate and occasionally hit a nerve or two.

Certainly Williams did that as an actor as the rash of his recent movies on TV has reminded us all of what an amazing and diversified talent he was.

As lengthy as my column was, however, it seems I never managed to make all the points I had intended—I concluded my oracle that morning knowing something was not quite completed about it.

My gracious friend Peter hit it on the head the other day when he said: “I figured you were going to say it in actual words since you wrote all around it, but I think so many of us can now see the Robin Williams in all of us.” Spot on, Peter.

With his tragic and shocking death, many of us truly did discover or re-discover the Robin Williams in all of us.

The part of us that lives in depression, sadness and fear, yet also understands the ‘funny little clown’ within us who finds a rainbow in the tempest.

In a strange way, his departure has made it a little easier for all of us to admit to not being perfect or always ‘I’m fine.’

I discovered this posting on Facebook a few days back, and thought it relevant to the Williams  saga: “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” That about sums it all up.

•••

If you are looking for a way to help turn lemons into lemonade, I was reminded earlier this week of an event worthy of your support.

The 7th annual Chad Chretien Memorial Golf Tournament is set for the Mission Creek Golf Course on Sept. 6, an enjoyable time for all involved.

Chad was a popular, talented, young 18-year old who died in a motorcycle accident in July 2008. He had just graduated from Mount Boucherie high school. Funds raised at the event go towards the Chad Chretien Bursary fund for students of Mount Boucherie.

Over the past six years, the tourney has raised $13,000.

If you wish to take part then contact Linda Chretien at 250-862-1187 or email dutchlinda@hotmail.com.

•••

Here is some good news for many. I discovered last Saturday that you can ‘go back’ and it does not have to hurt (much).

Last weekend, I was joined by more than 100 other former KSS students for a 40th grad reunion and it was a fabulous time.

Many thanks to Neil and Lori Bifford (nee Dyck) who helped organize the event and decorate the Rod and Gun Club Hall.

Neil and Lori were high school sweethearts and clearly still ridiculously in love.

I trundled off to the event with life-time buddy Danny Thiessen and both of us were surprised with how many former students made the trek to the fun event.

Out of town guests included the likes of Ken Carter from the coast, Rob Gable from Edmonton and Sandra Kirkoski (Cundy) all the way from Hawaii among many others. Two former teachers Ian Middler and Brian Todd also helped rekindle memories.

What a fun night—thanks to all involved.

•••

If you are sorting your future entertainment calendar out, make sure and mark down Nov. 7. That is the evening set for the 10th annual Night of the Arts. It’s hard to believe that Curtis Tulman and I held the first one that long ago. With speculation that this may be the last concert, we hope to have four or five of the top acts over the years involved.

Already pencilled in to play are Deb Stone, Keith ‘Papa’ Thom and a reunion of The Cruzeros.

Two years ago, The Cruzero boys planned to play but singer/mandolin player Barry Mathers table sawed his finger two days before the event.

Stay tuned for the names of at least two more acts.

•••

Among the crowd at the Night of the Arts I anticipate will be a number of political sorts including current council and school board members and wannabes.

Based on the number of folks already taking out nomination forms, we may just pack the Kelowna Community Theatre on the evening before the civic election.

Within the first two days of availability for nomination papers, seven folks have already grabbed mayoralty papers.

Only current councillor Colin Basran has any council experience among the potential candidates so far.

While there is no stopping anyone from running for mayor I have always been surprised how many people seriously believe they can handle such a difficult task with such little working knowledge of what the job entails.

 

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