Friday, March 27, 2009

Wendy Wayne: a tribute to a beautiful life


Make sure you pick up this Saturday's Californian and check out BakersfieldLife magazine. On the cover is our own Wendy Wayne, the community activist, proud mother of two boys, wife to Gene Tackett and a woman who puts us all to shame with her selflessness and good deeds. Full disclosure: I have a hand in producing the magazine, and when the cover picture of Wendy was pitched, I at first recoiled, believing that showing post chemotherapy Wendy may offend some. Yet when I showed the photo to my wife Dianne, she disagreed. "I see strength," she told me. "I see a woman who is comfortable and confident and strong. I see what is best in Wendy." Others in the office, particularly women, agreed. Almost everyone had a loved one touched by cancer, and it reminded them of their battles and the strength of character it takes to fight this disease. So there she is, Wendy is all her beauty and strength. Freelance writer Lisa Kimble did a wonderful job interviewing Wendy. We hope you enjoy it. (click on the picture to enlarge it)

11 comments:

Barbara Reid said...

I watched a teen son as well as many other children with sometimes extremely apparent signs and symptoms carry on with their lives while getting treatment for cancer. I will forever be inspired by their courage.

I have a collection of drawings and photographs of "my bald heads" which are kids I've known who are among the most beautiful people in the world to me. I'm committed, as a visual artist, to someday creating a body of work that comes from that collection. Their beauty, like Wendy's, comes straight from the soul.

Thank you, Wendy, and all who made this cover possible.

Amy D Smith said...

This is lovely... thank you to you/The Californian/Bakersfield Life for highlighting such a wonderful, selfless woman - we should all feel blessed and grateful. I can't wait to read the actual article in tomorrow's paper...

Benji Tackett said...

Go Mom!

Jon said...

I still see a beautiful life, one that has been made beautiful by an uninterrupted focus on serving others. Like my wife (comment above), I've seen a lot of bald heads in hospitals and cancer treatment rooms and I have come to believe that losing one's hair often reveals a person's underlying character. Sometimes, it's not a pretty picture, but that picture has nothing to do with the missing hair. Sometimes, however, it's an amazing sight to behold and it inspires us to transcend the passing image in a mirror.

Wendy, thanks for the uninterrupted inspiration. Lisa, thanks for the story. Keep your pen at hand; there's undoubtedly more to be told.

Rachel Legan said...

Wendy Wayne ...One of a kind.
Love everything she is and continues to be.
Thank you Richard and Lisa for putting this together.There isn't anyone I would rather see on the cover of "Bakersfield Life".

Shannon Hill said...

We were thrilled to have Wendy and Gene at the CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame! She looks as gorgeous on this cover as she did at the event.

Anonymous said...

We love this magazine at our house and it stays on the coffee table for weeks. I'm glad that Wendy was featured; I don't know any woman in Bakersfield I admire more. I've known her and Gene casually for 25 years and they're truly fine people. Wendy exemplifies leading by example in so many ways.

I have heard that the editor of the magazine has been laid off -- I don't know him personally -- and that the future of the magazine is unclear. This edition with Wendy on the cover was a great reason you'd want it to stay.

Richard Beene said...

Thanks for those comments. The editor was not laid off but reassigned. I can assure you the magazine will stay focused and only get better.

Anonymous said...

if your editor wasn't layed off, then why is he out applying for jobs all over town...saying he was layed off. Is this another one of the "reporting you can trust" things?

Richard Beene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Beene said...

I'm not going to quibble with you because honestly, it's none of your business. But the primary editor of the mag was reassigned.