by Chris Taydus
Riderwood TV Manager
It’s never easy to say goodbye to a longtime volunteer who dedicated as much time to the TV Studio as Jim Feldman and it’s even harder when two of the most recognizable aspects of the TV Studio were started by him. Jim was responsible for starting the Riderwood Reporter newspaper and the Riderwood Reporter TV News Show. While I only had the opportunity to meet Jim a handful of time between my start at Riderwood in December 2016 and his passing earlier this month, his dedication to keeping the Riderwood residents informed of the latest happenings from around the campus was evident.
Jim was the founding editor-in-chief of the Riderwood Reporter newspaper and later produced a monthly opinion column title “The Observer” in which he offered his thoughts on a variety of local and not-so-local topics.
Jack Wachtman, Jim’s longtime friend and colleague, said that he respected Jim, “as a man of integrity who was a great contributor to the community. He was an excellent editor as well as a writer. He chose his words carefully with consideration for their exact meaning. His observer column seems deceptively simple but was artfully written.”
He also volunteered his time as anchor and founder of the Riderwood Reporter TV News alongside hosting various other Riderwood TV programs. One such popular program was an apartment tour show called “Village Visits: An Intimate Tour of Our Homes” in which he, and his late wife Claire, would visit the homes of Riderwood residents to paint a picture of who they are. He was even often seen hosting our monthly Dining Call-In Show where, without fail, he would insist that his favorite restaurant get chocolate chip cookies more often.
Jason Boyle, an IT business analyst for Erickson Living Corporate and the former manager of Riderwood TV said, “He was always ready with a joke and a smile, but always took his responsibilities seriously. He was always looking for new ways to improve the programs he was working on, never satisfied or willing to settle. At the same time, he was incredibly flexible and more than willing to accept constructive criticism; it takes a truly unique and special personality to be able to balance these two traits, and he did it with ease.”
Outside of Riderwood TV, Jim was instrumental in Riderwood’s Resident Advisory Council, where he ran four times, and served three terms, his last as Chairman (not “chair” as he never wanted to be associated with furniture). Jim’s dedication to the R.A.C. was evident from his enthusiasm when he came down to the Riderwood TV studio at the close of each RAC election to record a spot announcing the winners of that year’s campaign.
In his later years, Jim stepped back from volunteering as often as he had, but was still very much involved in the community and it was obvious that he cared deeply for its future. Avedis Aghguiguian, Riderwood TV Production Coordinator said, “I know that if I were to ask Jim about how he was doing at this moment, he’d tell me, without fail, ‘About the same as yesterday.’ I never knew how to accept that, but I know it was always coming from a good place.”