Tara Bowie was killed November 6, 2020 in an accident near Cawston. Tara Bowie Facebook

Tara Bowie was killed November 6, 2020 in an accident near Cawston. Tara Bowie Facebook

Remembering noted BC journalist as she really was – wild, wonderful and a little wicked

A story of a blanket, and one heck of a woman

When used properly, a blanket feels like love.

Tara Bowie died in a single vehicle accident on Highway 3 near Cawston, at the age of 40, on Nov. 6, 2020.

And she had my blanket.

Tara moved to British Columbia from Ontario in October 2014, to work as an editor for Black Press in Keremeos.

She was a scrappy, award-winning journalist, and occasionally a trial for those to whom she reported.

Trust me about that.

In the east, Tara last worked for the daily Woodstock Sentinel Review.

There, she was responsible for much of the noise and laughter that is a necessary part of any newsroom, along with some of its best stories.

There were days she wore flip-flops to the office, and mornings she couldn’t find the keyboard on her workstation for all the notepaper and empty snack bags.

Tara actively abhorred what she called ‘corporate bull crap.’

She unapologetically spoke her mind, caring little if anything for what others thought.

She was easy to love, even while she was making you want to bang your own skull off the nearest door frame.

Every so often she didn’t come to work at all, having lost her keys or slept through her alarm or just forgot. But she’d plow through 24 hours straight on breaking news – the weekend the apartment building exploded leaps to mind – and she never cut up rough about staying late to help a colleague.

Tara possessed a unique gift for connecting with people, making it possible for her to tell their stories with integrity.

She’d also a stubborn respect for truth and right.

I remember best the November afternoon she was assigned to cover an SPCA raid at a local farm, where dozens of emaciated dogs were seized.

She dragged herself in hours later, soaking wet from rain and sleet. There were icicles in her hair.

I hurried to my office and grabbed a blanket, one kept there for necessities– yoga and naps.

It was a ridiculous thing, fuzzy blue with a big picture of a six-point buck. It cost less than $20 at a cheesy flea market stall.

I tucked it around her, heated some soup, and we sat together while she cried over pictures of abused animals. No one could argue the size or tenderness of Tara’s heart.

The next morning I popped down to the editorial department and asked for my blanket back.

‘No.’

‘What do you mean no?’

‘You gave me this blanket. It’s mine.’

‘For crying out loud Tara I didn’t give you the blanket, I loaned you the blanket.’

It hung over her chair and I snatched it up.

If it’s not too painful, picture two grown women in a professional setting having a literal tug of war over a fuzzy blue blanket.

For dignity’s sake I let her win. But it became a running joke between us. Every once in a while I’d say, ‘Hey I want my blanket.’ She’d coolly reply that I didn’t have a blanket. She had a blanket. She said I would never get it back.

Last week, while going through her things with her mom Nancy, it was there. She’d moved house at least six times since that day in the newsroom, including one massive leap across the country when she could only bring what she could fit in her car.

Nancy said it would be best if I took the blanket.

I buried my face in the warm, blue fuzzies. To give flight to fancy, I could almost hear that very big Tara voice crying ‘No. No. No. She can’t have it!’

And it felt like love.

READ MORE: Former Black Press journalist, killed in crash, was living her dream

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Overhead lights have been installed at the Oliver skatepark so kids can enjoy the park longer during winter hours. (Argon photo)
Community lights up Oliver skatepark, calling it a ‘game changer’ for youth

Both the dog park and Small Wheels Skatepark have lighting now

Pathways
LETTER: Pathways chair says ‘wet houses’ can be part of solution but only with proper supports

Sherry Ure says we need to all come together and help our neighbours

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Chelsea Ishizuka was borned and raised in Penticton but has now moved to Japan. When she found out there was a popular restaurant there named after Penticton, she had to go check it out. Here she is with the owner (right). (Facebook)
Popular restaurant in Japan named after city of Penticton

A Pentictonite now living in Tokyo discovered the eatery and the history behind its name

There is no true picture of how many youth in Penticton are experiencing housing instability or true homelessness. The Foundry and the city of Penticton are trying to find that out.
How many youth are experiencing homelessness in Penticton?

Foundry Penticton and the City have partnered on a youth survey open until March 13

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
One of two Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreaks declared over

One outbreak declared over after two deaths, seven cases; another outbreak remains ongoing in the hospital

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna care home after 12 cases noted

Two staff members and 10 residents at Cottonwoods Care Centre have tested positive for COVID-19

Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary has teamed up with Globox on a fundraising raffle for its graduating class of 2021. (Photo supplied)
Okanagan secondary school grads glowing over fundraiser

Kalamalka Secondary teams with company on fundraising raffle, replacing annual apple pie fundraiser

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Most Read