Story and Photos Pat Krause
Bruce Fessier celebrated his 40 years in the newspaper business as the entertainment guru at the Desert Sun. Bruce’s knowledge of the music industry, celebrities, both local and national, and more is unparalleled today. Bruce spent 40 years interviewing some of the most renowned people in all fields. He has become the local icon in the field of reporting about what is happening and what has happened in the Desert.
Bruce started out wanting to be a writer for films. He said several of his articles were captured by other newspapers and magazines. Fessier was told he had a unique talent for this so decided to make it his career. He came to the Desert, thinking it would be a short term job but lasted for 40 years. The Desert Sun Newspaper held a special tribute luncheon on May 28th with an open house as a send-off for his retirement. The event was held in a large room at the Desert Sun Office, which I was told used to be the Advertising room with lots of desks.
The newspaper set up chairs for over 100 guests who wanted to show their appreciation for all his stories, some about them or for them, new and old colleagues and just friends he made during his career. Donuts, cookies, and coffee were served during a reception where everyone could congratulate him on his retirement. Julie Makinen, Desert Sun Executive Director, introduced Bruce and author Tod Goldberg who would interview Bruce.
Goldberg is a famous author and is a long time friend of Bruce. He wanted to be the one to interview him as he knew him so well, their families knew each other since childhood. He asked Bruce some fascinating questions that brought laughter from the crowd and maybe even a tear from Bruce when he related personal experience. The walls were decorated with his articles and some old papers that panned his stories.
He thanked his wife for being there all those years and is proud of her accomplishments as well. I asked his wife, Jane, what his move will be after he retires and she said he will be very busy with a website, writing a book and more. Monies from the event will go to the Bruce Fessier Journalism Internship Fund at the College of the Desert. Bruce has given back to the Valley by starting several arts and music programs. His shoes will be hard or maybe impossible to fill. His last story in the paper with be June 3rd.