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Gumboot Nation: Heart of the Creek on the mind

Also, Belly Dancing Collective coming to town
roberts creek-COLUMN

Greetings Creekers! 

I lay in bed for way too long this morning unable to muster the will to get up and I will blame that on the melatonin I took last night. So, I lay there trying to think about how to start this week’s column, my brain like a jack rabbit bouncing around from idea to idea. The weather? My window was wide open but it’s so balmy the bedroom was still not cool enough for me, so I started thinking about all that snow melting and the drought in our near future. That led to water collection and how we are not doing enough of it, so I put checking out the SCRD water tank rebate requirements on my to-do list. Then I started thinking that many people don’t have the means and or space to do this and wouldn’t it be good to have some kind of neighbourhood water reservoirs but that got complicated. It should have been thought of decades ago, but who knew? My brain moved on to reliving last night’s power outage when – instead of watching Netflix – we played a game by flashlight and ate snacks from Japan. Let’s do that more often! My brain continued to hop around so I tried one of those mindfulness exercises that never work for me. Eventually I told myself “One, two, three, up!” and arose, got a coffee and was still procrastinating, I picked up my novel. So now here I am trying to drag myself from 18th century Italy to present day Roberts Creek.  

The first thing on my mind is the “Heart of the Creek,” and how it has come to define us, with its eclectic assortment of stores, cafe and services. It sold recently and I am hoping that the new owners recognize its value. It came to mind because there is a celebration of life coming up for Don Van Kleek and his wife, Jean. They moved to the Creek in 1981. Don was a much-loved teacher at Roberts Creek School, then Cedar Grove, and largely responsible for the vision and building of the Heart of the Creek. Don loved everything about Roberts Creek. He donated to the mandala, handed out grapes at the Higgelty Piggelty Parade and sat outside the Heart of the Creek on Halloween giving candy to trick or treaters. He volunteered with Streamkeepers and participated in beach clean ups. Even after he moved to Gibsons and his health was failing he would show up at the Gumboot every day to chat and tell stories. Don was out there talking with everyone and Jean was the quiet person behind him, preferring her garden and jigsaw puzzles. There will be an informal gathering to remember both of them on Feb. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Gumboot Cafe. 

One of the first tenants in the Heart of the Creek was Rob Littley. Rob started the Roberts Creek Health Food Store. It was in a smaller space then, selling mainly produce and other health food items. Even if I was not shopping I rarely walked by without greeting Rob or stopping in for a conversation. He was a kind, soft spoken guy who loved to tell stories, would listen to yours and offer support if you needed it. Sadly, Rob died recently. There was a celebration for him last week and I am so sorry I got my Fridays confused and missed it. I did have the opportunity for a long conversation with him in December that I will remember.  

Well, let’s see what’s happening in the Creek this week. 

Tonight at the Legion, the Middle East is coming to Roberts Creek. Yes, it’s belly dancing time with the Belly Dancing Collective! It sounds like an eclectic collective with Natil Eacobar from El Salvador along with Katrini Bellydance and DJ Juliana Popovich. I can hear that fabulous Middle Eastern rhythm now. By the time you read this it will be too late for advance tickets, so show up early. Doors open at 8 p.m. 

Tomorrow night at the Legion, it’s a Triple Header Rock Extravaganza with Phantom Limb, Sinmobile and Amberola. 8 p.m. 

So guess who’s coming to the Hall for not one, but two shows? It’s Delhi to Dublin! This very busy band tours the world but always makes time to play the Hall and features our very own Creeker, Serena Eades. They will be playing their fusion of Bhangra, Celtic, Dub and Reggae at an all-ages concert on Friday, Feb. 16 and a 19+ dance on the 17th. This is a Xwesam-RCCA sponsored event. Tickets are available at  

If you are a Roberts Creek artist looking for a place to display some of your work, how about at the library? The Roberts Creek Library is looking for art to display on a monthly rotating basis. If this interests you drop by and pick up an application form. 

Write to me! I need ideas … [email protected]