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

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Oliver Town Hall (Town of Oliver Facebook).
Call for local artists to design centennial logo for Oliver

The Town of Oliver will be celebrating 100 years in 2021

Vaseux Lake in winter. (Facebook)
Dogs rescued after falling through ice on Vaseux Lake

Good Samaritans saved the trapped dogs

“My grandma always just said…making people smile is the most important thing,” says Nicholas Kruger. (Chehala Leonard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Entrepreneur Nicholas Kruger nominated as Okanagan community changemaker

With humour and knowledge, Nicholas Kruger says it’s important to give back

Geoff Orr began building his dream home in the hills above Penticton over 14 years ago. The architect used recycled lumber from the old Super-Vale grocery store. (Floating Orb Productions / YouTube)
WATCH: Penticton man shows off dream home made from recycled lumber

A lot of the lumber used was taken from the demolished Super-Valu grocery store

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID-19: Two more deaths at Vernon’s Noric House

Total deaths climb to 17 at local long-term care outbreaks

Most Read