Telling the story of a prolific storyteller

CiindyMuch has already been said about Cynthia Beaudette.

The Muscatine Journal reporter died Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, at Genesis Medical Center West Central Park in Davenport, Iowa, following a battle with breast cancer. She was 54.

Her obituary has been published by the Journal, where she had worked as a reporter for many years. How many years?

I’ve marked the words “many years” in the way I might have in a story Cindy turned in for editing — something I helped do to many of her stories in the years we worked together. I marked the phrase because I don’t remember how many years she worked there. and this tidbit of information wasn’t included in very fine columns about Cindy — written by Journal News Editor Rusty Schrader and Roger Bates, the paper’s retired longtime sports editor.

Please read both columns. Rusty and Roger both did a great job of capturing what it was like to work with Cindy. She was someone whom I couldn’t help but like even if she sometimes could be exasperating. To Cindy, no story was too small and she wrote more stories than just about any other reporter with whom I ever worked.

She did this while raising four children largely on her own and with limited resources. She always worked hard — first as a waitress who worked her way through college while also raising her children. And then later at the Journal.

Cindy’s life must have often seemed difficult, but she seldom — if ever — complained. In fact, she was one of the most upbeat and nicest colleagues I ever had in all of the newsrooms where I worked.

There were times when I was a good boss to Cindy. I know this because she told me. Likewise, I know there were times when I wasn’t the best boss to Cindy. Wherever she is, I hope she will forgive me for that.

But I always liked her and I’ll miss seeing her around town — something that still happened often after I became deputy director at Muscatine Center for Social Action.

Longtime Journal staff members and readers have grown accustomed to reporters coming and going. It’s not someplace where every staff member settles in and stays for a long time. But Cindy will be missed. And I’d guess she is one Journal storyteller about whom people in Muscatine will be telling stories for many years to come.