Though Goldie Rogers was billed from Hollywood, California, Dave Sherwin was Cobourg, Ontario, through and through.
His passing after a stroke on Friday, July 20th, just a few weeks before his 62nd birthday on August 5, leaves a hole in the community.
To give you an idea of what he meant to the town, let us go back to September 2009, when a Japanese super fan, Shuhei Aoki, and I stopped in Cobourg on a whim, and decided to see if we could find him. Asking around the gas station and local mall got us lots of leads, directing us to the Salvation Army. At one store, they offered to call the Sally Ann on our behalf (rather than, say, the roaming charges on a Japanese cell phone in Canada). It was eventually relayed through various parties that we’d meet him down by his home, a small basement apartment right in charming downtown Cobourg. Turns out our clue from “No Class” Bobby Bass — that Goldie lived over a Chinese restaurant — was only partly right, as he lived behind and below Hoo Lee Gardens.
Even today, calling the newspaper in Cobourg, they knew immediately who he was. The local radio station ran a story on his death.
Sherwin was a character, an institution around town.
He had a taxi cab for the longest time — GoldiesTaxi — which is certainly a good way to get to know everyone in town.
But beyond that, he represented a little bit of fame for Cobourg, a small town of 18,519, along the 401, a couple of hours east of Toronto.
I recounted Goldie’s career in pretty good detail in a story that ran in April 2010 — The colourful career of Goldie Rogers — and enjoyed hanging out with him. He proudly talks about giving up his decent-paying gig with Jack Tunney and Maple Leaf Wrestling to work for an outlaw show in his hometown.
What I remember most about that visit, besides the lively conversation in a Tim Horton’s, was going back to his apartment, a dark, dank place that just reeked of his dogs (being allergic, I’m extra sensitive) and cigarette smoke. He didn’t have a lot of stuff, really, but seemed content with his life.
After all, he had survived quintuple bypass surgery in 2003.
Following that close call, he became religious and volunteered his time with the Salvation Army. It was there, at the temple, where he suffered his stroke, dying at the Northumberland Hills Hospital.
“He made peace with God before he died,” said his wrestling trainer Phil Watson upon learning of Rogers’ passing.
Sherwin has been cremated, and there will be a memorial service in his honour on Friday, August 10th at 2 p.m. Salvation Army, Cobourg Community Church. in Cobourg, Ontario. The obituary lists his wife as Faith Forget, and father to Ryan (Tara), Angelica (Mike), Frank, Paul and Jason, and grandfather to Johnny and Ryleigh.
- July 29, 2012: Guest column: Goldie Rogers – One in a million, Jack!
- July 24, 2012: Listen up, Jack! Friends tell Goldie Rogers stories
- April 8, 2010: The colourful career of Goldie Rogers
- June 13, 2006: Hometown honours Goldie Rogers
In honour of Goldie Rogers, Greg Oliver will be strutting around the house and calling everyone “Jack” today. Greg can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.