WELCOME

 To  all you sight-impaired browsers who, like me, have had trouble reading  standard website text. I'm a legally blind guy who has increasingly  needed all the help he could get in order to write and read as his  age-related macular degeneration (AMD) worsens. I hope this heads off  any surprise when you encounter the large bold print that awaits you. 
 

Steve  Bassett was born, raised and educated in New Jersey before joining the  dwindling number of itinerant newsmen roaming the countryside in search  of, well just about everything. Sadly their breed has vanished into the  digital ether. Newspapers were still around then and Bassett’s targets  were not selected simply by sticking pins in a map. There had to be a  sense of the bizarre. 


First there was The Long Branch Daily  Record on the New Jersey shore. The city had recently thrown out a  corrupt commission form of government but nepotism was still king. New  Jersey mobsters loved the place. It was one of their favorite watering  holes. A mafia boss was gunned down in a nightclub not far from the  paper. Great fun for a cub reporter. Curiosity got the better of him  with his next choice the Pekin Daily Times located in central Illinois.  Now a respected newspaper, it had once been the official voice of the Ku  Klux Klan during the 1920’s. Pekin had saved its bacon during the  Depression by tacitly approving two time-honored money makers,  prostitution and gambling, earning an eight-page spread in Life.


After  the Pekin Times was the Salt Lake Tribune. The Pulitzer Prize winner  was then, and still is, considered one of the best daily newspapers west  of the Rockies. Bassett handled the federal beat and his coverage of  the invective laden contract talks between the United Mine Workers and  the three copper mining giants led to his recruitment by the Associated  Press.


These stints as a featured newspaper reporter were  followed by Associated Press assignments in Phoenix and finally as  Special Urban Affairs writer in San Francisco. Bassett’s five-part  series on the Wah Ching gained national attention by exposing the  Chinese youth gang as the violent instrument of Chinatown’s criminal  bosses.


Then came CBS television news in Los Angeles, three Emmy  Awards for his investigative documentaries and the prestigious first  Medallion Award presented by the California Bar Association for  “Distinguished Reporting on the Administration of Justice.” Along the  way he found time to author “The Battered Rich” (Ashley Books) exposing  seldom discussed but widespread marital abuse among the affluent.


Bassett's latest book, “Golden Ghetto: How the Americans and French Fell In and Out of Love During the Cold War,”is  a gift from the people of Berry where Bassett and his wife, Darlene,  purchased an ancient farm property in the tiny French village of Ste.  Colombe. After hearing countless local stories about a huge U.S. Air  Force base that had been abandoned for forty years, Bassett sensed that  there was a timeless story to be told. 


He uncovered a sixteen year  French and American love affair. Bassett gained the trust of the  Berrichon, provincial and traditionally skeptical of outsiders. The  result was a collective memoir that rekindled memories that had lain  dormant for decades. These tales defined trust, hope, renewal,  prosperity and finally the discovery that this was all a delusion.  


Bassett currently resides in Placitas, New Mexico with his wife Darlene Chandler Bassett, founder of A Room of Her Own Foundation, which bestows a $50,000 Gift of Freedom to a deserving female writer.