Radio host rescues caller

December 05, 1997


Staff Writer

When Juanita Queen didn't call her favorite radio call-in show on Monday, host Lou Scally knew something was wrong.

Mrs. Queen, as she is known to listeners of WJEJ's "Phone Party," had missed getting through to the show fewer than two dozen times since she began calling in 34 years ago.

When Scally called friends to check on her, they found the frail, 94-year-old woman had fallen and had been unable to get up.

Queen had spent the night on the kitchen floor of her Pennsylvania Avenue home.

She was taken to Washington County Hospital and then to Colton Villa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Dual Highway.

She has not broken any bones, but arthritis has weakened her. She said she doesn't know if she'll be able to live by herself as she has since her husband died in 1968.


At the nursing home, Queen tunes her portable radio to "Phone Party" weekdays at 11:05 a.m. to hear people from the Tri-State area exchange tips and recipes and other home ideas.

Colton Villa rescheduled her physical therapy so she wouldn't miss the program.

"It's a comfort to me to listen to it," she said.

But since she doesn't have a telephone there, she hasn't been able to call in regularly with the suggestions that have helped numerous people in the area.

She did manage to make a call to the show on Tuesday, though.

Annette Plittman, a marketing consultant at the nursing home, let Queen borrow her cellular phone to call the show and tell everyone she is fine.

Scally said he has missed hearing Queen's voice.

"She's a very loving and caring person. She's really quite a jewel," he said.

Queen was raised on a farm near Mt. Lena by her grandparents, Rebecca and George Taylor, both former slaves.

She and her first husband were married for 30 years.

After he died, she married her childhood sweetheart. He died of cancer five years later, in 1968.

"I had two good husbands. Yes, indeed," she said.

Scally said he became worried the day Queen didn't call during the show, especially since she usually lets him know when she won't be calling.

Queen said she doesn't remember much about the fall. She dozed off in a chair on Sunday afternoon and woke up, shivering, on the floor, she said.

Being cold aggravated her arthritis, she said.

"It's just misery," she said.

She said she is thankful that the "Phone Party" she has helped so often was able to help her, this time.

"That's what we're here for - to help each other," she said.

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