I’ve never met my friend in San Francisco. Hanna was a regular caller to my three-hour show on the Bay Area’s KSFO. In the radio business we discourage regular callers and most shows have a rule about how frequently they will accept calls from any one listener. With Hanna, the rule went out the window. She was so passionate, her voice quivered with emotion. She always had an original take on the topic. Much of my fan mail mentioned Hanna admiringly. One of my ongoing conceits on the show was my general assumption that every male listener to my radio show was handsome and virile and every female, young and nubile. Nonetheless, I suspected that Hanna had seen a few years. Her voice and accent suggested she immigrated in response to World War 2.
One day during an on-air conversation, I discovered she was without a computer and determined to humorously influence her to acquire a laptop or tablet. She resisted with great resolve, irritating me by insisting she was too old to learn new technology. During the ensuing few months I begged, cajoled and beseeched. I began to feel my credibility was on the line so I threatened to start a fund among listeners to buy her one. She finally agreed to visit a store. End of the story: She bought a tablet. She fell in love with it and it changed her life. She often called the show explicitly to thank me for encouraging her to leap forward into the email age. I just got another welcome email from her last week.