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

Heather Smart poses with her certificate as the first women in a decade to earn this credential in the Kootenays. (Photo submitted)
Local shift boss blazing the way for women

Heather Smart is the first women in the Kootenays in ten years to receive this certification

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, updates British Columbians about COVID-19 at a press conference earlier this week. (B.C. Government image)
B.C.’s 1st case of COVID-19 confirmed a year ago today

Here’s a look at some of the key dates in the province’s fight against the novel coronavirus

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

A pair of Okanagan Regional Library reference librarians have created a podcast called Hard Cover that takes a zany but informative look at books, libraries and librarians. (File photo)
Okanagan reference librarians produce quirky podcast

Davin Helkenberg and Peter Critchley are behind Hard Cover

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

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

Sooke’s Amy McLaughlin holds Theodore, a bunny who will be going to a new owner in Nanaimo within the coming days if all goes will at an upcoming bunny play-date. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Vancouver Island woman looking to hop into bigger space for bunny rescue operation

Amy McLaughlin has rescued more than 400 bunnies, pushing for the capacity to help more

Grad student Marisa Harrington and her supervisor Lynneth Stuart-Hill say preliminary results from a study into the affects of stress on hospital nurses show an impact on sleep and heart variability. (Courtesy of Marisa Harrington)
University of Victoria study shows stress impact on B.C. nurses

Stress may be impacting sleep, heart health of hospital nurses in Victoria region

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Summerland’s second hospital was built in 1914. The land, known as Hospital Hill, was donated by the Summerland Development. At the time, the cost of the hospital was $5,996. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum.)
Summerland hospital served community during previous pandemic

Hospital, constructed n 1914, was in use during the 1918 Spanish flu

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

Most Read