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Michael delivering Loletha her chicken sandwich

Meeting Loletha

By Michael Butler

Loletha Webster is someone I've known for most of my life, dating back to my early days in the radio business. My early days in the radio business go back about 30 years.

I started working at my grandparents radio station, WTLS, when I was a teenager. I've been back in Tallassee since 1999 and now own the business that started in the Butler family back in 1954. Time sure flies.

Over the years, I've been fortunate to meet so many people, many which I wouldn't have met had it not been for the radio connection. That, to me, is the joy of the profession.

Loletha is a longtime listener. She says that we met once, when she dropped by the station to pick up a prize. I don't remember it, but Loletha recalls every detail.

She is legally blind and the radio has been her constant counterpart.

It had been a while since I'd heard from Loletha. Some listeners even asked me about her well-being. She called me a few weeks ago to let me know that she had been in the intensive care unit at Community Hospital in Tallassee with a respiratory condition.

I got her room number and asked if she needed anything. Loletha responded, "a chicken sandwich."

Knowing someone for 30 years and not seeing them is like having a pen pal. This was my chance to meet my pen pal and give her a bit of gratitude for the cost of a chicken sandwich.

It's funny that people tell me when they meet me that I don't look like I sound on the radio. When I walked into room 305 at Community Hospital, Loletha didn't sound the way she "sounded."

I'm used to hearing her voice over the phone with her calls to the radioi station, so I thought I might have the wrong person when I asked if Loletha Webster was around.

When she said, "No. They got rid of her," I knew it was her. She's always had a great sense of humor.

I'm glad that we finally got to meet (again), even if it took 30 years for it to happen.

Just before Christmas, Loletha got her wish to return home after a month's stay at the hospital. Here's to Loletha's continued improvement and a healthy 2017.

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