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Retired Award-Winning Journalist Elaine Bessier is Still on Deadline at Tallgrass Creek

August 5, 2011

Retired Award-Winning Journalist Elaine Bessier is Still on Deadline at Tallgrass Creek
OVERLAND PARK, KS (August 5, 2011) - It seems as if everyone these days has a story to tell. Tallgrass Creek retirement community resident Elaine Bessier - perhaps more than anyone - knows of what she speaks.
Bessier worked as an award-winning  journalist for many years prior to her retirement.  She has been involved with hundreds of eyewitness accounts of news events and human interest stories during her career.  And she is still on deadline.
She is  putting her writing and editing skills to good use today as a member of Tallgrass Creek's resident newsletter committee.
She writes news stories and other features about events and people at Tallgrass Creek.
Bessier is also a member of Tallgrass Creek's public affairs committee, which keeps residents informed about local political issues and arranges for candidates for elected office to speak at the community.
Bessier worked as the education and health editor for Sun Newspapers of Johnson County for three decades. In addition to covering the area's schools and hospitals, Bessier was given opportunities to assist the paper's entertainment editor with celebrity interviews.
Over the years, Bessier has sat face-to-face with dozens of Hollywood "A-listers," including Meryl Streep, Mel Gibson, Susan Sarandon, Charlton Heston, Christopher Walken, Kevin Spacey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Martin, and Goldie Hawn.
Her first celebrity interview was with Whoopi Goldberg, who Bessier says was "fun, but not surprisingly, a bit profane." She says her most memorable interview was with Paul Newman. The late actor was candid and genuine, Bessier recalls. "He was so frank and open about his relationship with his wife," she says of Newman. "He would answer anything you asked him."
Bessier, who is originally from Illinois, started her exciting career after graduating from Northwestern University. She actually began her studies in Northwestern's School of Speech. It wasn't until she took a writing class during her senior year that Bessier discovered what would be her true calling and her life's work.
"I really enjoyed it, and I thought, 'This is me,'" she recalls.
Bessier moved to the Kansas City area and promptly began her writing career. She put in a few years at advertising agencies, worked as a freelance writer after she had a baby, and then landed a job with Sun Newspapers. After 30 years in the newspaper business, Bessier finally retired about three years ago. She says her colleagues were sad to see her go, and she looks back fondly on her years as a writer and editor.
"[Journalism] is not the most profitable industry in the world," Bessier says. "But I wouldn't have done anything else with my life."