Back in the mid- to late-90s, there were a couple of guys in the Charleston Daily Mail newsroom who gave us great work, great personality and a great community reputation.
Actually, there was more than a couple. But the guys I’m thinking about in this case were Chris Stadelman and Jody Jividen.
Chris, who was business editor, then city editor, and then managing editor, was whipsmart — as his rapid ascension to the top might attest. He was confident. I don’t think “brash” is too strong a word. “Stubborn” was used this week, and no one seemed to disagree. But also personable — really widely liked.
His last name took on a one-word life of its own — like Prince, Cher or Sting: Stadelman.
Jody walked slow, and he talked slow. He was lanky. He’d lean over your desk and sigh. He’d cackle, not unlike a donkey’s bray, and then wipe his forehead at the absurdity of what had been said.
In print — and in person — he was a master storyteller.
He had a special name, too: Uncle Jody.
Both returned to newsprint this week thanks to a story by another special, veteran reporter, Charlotte Ferrell Smith.
Chris, who is battling cancer, is the honorary chairman of the annual Run for Your Life event to raise awareness of colorectal cancer as well as provide education and funding for screenings. The event is organized by the Charleston Area Medical Center Foundation.
Run for Your Life was established in honor of Jody, who died August 9, 2002, of complications of colorectal cancer. Jody was 44.
I treasure my time working with Chris and Jody in a newsroom on a regular basis. If you have smart, fun people to work with every day that’s a true gift. These guys continue to be a presence in our newsroom through a fun atmosphere, a tradition of hard work and great journalistic products.
Plus, they actually still are a presence in our newsroom. There’s a black and white staff photo of Chris from when he was a very young reporter, just lying around on a desk. And Jody continues to have a place on our “unofficial business” bulletin board.
As Jody would say, “Peace unto ya.”