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Phil Jenkins

How I got here

Stories on how people found your way to the Gatineau Hills written by Chelsea writer Phil Jenkins.

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the October 03, 2018 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Wakefield's mystic ways drew musician

By Phil Jenkins

Some 20 years ago, Carol Goodman and her young daughter and son were canoeing on the Gatineau, near our beloved covered bridge. They were scanning the shoreline and the neighbourhood for possible places to make a home.

winter
Carol Goodman at at her home outside Wakefield, a few years back before her struggle with cancer. File photo.

A previous visit to Wakefield to spend time with her son's godmother who ran a café on Riverside Drive had, as it has with many, worked the village into Carol's homing instinct. Living at the time in the bush near Lac St-Jean, with an Indigenous husband, she found the Gatineau Hills to have a 'mystic' quality, which appealed to her artistic nature. The home of the village poet was pointed out, and the idea of a village with a designated poet only increased the Hills' appeal. Here were clean water, good schools, and a chance to come to rest after much moving around and turmoil.

The move was made, and a small jewellery business sustained Carol's family. Then, during a visit to Molo's coffee house, a woman she was chatting with said this to her: "I'm supposed to sell you my house." A mystic statement indeed. And, two days later, with a little parental backing, it came to pass. The house on Valley Drive, within a cookie's throw of Molo's, became home. The consistent attraction of the Gatineau Hills for settlers with artistic or musical inclinations had claimed her.

Not long after, with a traumatic, ulcer-inducing divorce behind her and her husband having departed for places elsewhere, Carol learned how to play the guitar and wrote her first song in that house, 'Kiss My Lips', and began moving on up in Wakefield's musical merrygo-round. She was instrumental, along with her boyfriend Brant and the sorely missed Mr. Soul of Wakefield, Louis Rompré, in embedding the now legendary and still rockin' Wednesday night open stage at the Kaffé 1870. And a couple of years back came the release of her first album, an homage to Joni Mitchell played and recorded entirely in the Hills.

One day, a friend of a friend by the name of Tiki arrived in her life to help move a washer and dryer, and not too long afterwards, Carol was moved by the same gentleman, physically and emotionally, out to the 100 Mile Farm on the road to Rupert. It takes its name from the 100 mile food movement. In its time, it has supplied the Hills with crops, camps, and concerts. The big C, in the darkly ironic shape of throat cancer, has recently inhabited Carol, but unlike her, it is not here to stay. The Low Down and the mystic healing powers of this community wish her a full recovery, which is close at hand, and a return to the open stage she helped found.


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