Letter to the Editor: Life saga of Cindi Rinehart

Editor's note: This is the second installment in the life saga of Cindi Rinehart, who for 24 years was the Queen of the Soap on KOMO TV. This segment is about her visit to New York as a guest of Forbes Magazine publisher Malcolm Forbes.

Later in the summer, I took some time off to go down to Los Angeles to do a pilot for Disney. But that’s another story. While I was there, I checked in with my office as I did each day. When the intern answered my call she positively screeched over the phone. “Oh I was hoping it was you! You have a gold embossed letter from someone in New York. “Open it! Open it!” I told her. Then I heard another big squeal. “OMG, Cindi, It’s a formal invitation to go to a party on Malcolm Forbes’ yacht in September and I gotta tell you it’s the most beautiful invitation I’ve ever seen!”

“You have to be kidding! Are you sure it’s for me?” “Yup,” she bubbled, “It’s for you and a guest. Are you going?” “Hell yes!!” was all I could manage.

I turned to the Disney pilot producer and told him my news. He was impressed and told me they’d love to fly me to New York on a Disney jet. As often happens in Hollywood, that part never came about.

When I got back to KOMO in Seattle, my producer was able to free my schedule for the big party in New York harbor on Sept 14th.

Wow!! The fun had just begun, or had it? Big question was, who do I take as my guest? Should it be my new-found love, Jimmie? My best friend and first producer, Pat? Family? Who should it be? I was overwhelmed with this decision. I thought Wow! Here I was just having finished a national pilot, I had a terrific job talking about soap operas on KOMO TV and now this!

Then it hit me! It had to be John Petrie. He had been the magical program director for QUBE TV in Columbus, Ohio years before when I applied for my first job in television. I was 20 lbs overweight, had an afro hairdo and my resume reel was laughable. Still, there was something about me that sparked John’s interest. As it happened, he went way, way out on a limb on my behalf and created a whole, new show just for me called “Soap Scoop.” It turned out to be a hit and launched my whole TV career. I’ll never forget what John told me after he hired me. “What the heck,” he mused, I like taking long shots….and you certainly are a long shot!”

That decision settled, I phoned John who was living in Virginia and asked what he was doing September 14th and would he like to meet me in New York. “Thanks, but I can’t Soapie,” That was his nickname for me. “I have too much on my plate to take a break. Why what’s up?” “Nothing much,” I answered. “I guess I’ll just have to go to Malcolm Forbes’ party on his yacht in New York Harbor by myself.”

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