As a new bride in 1984, I left my job in Washington, D.C., and moved to Houston, Texas, where my husband, Andy, taught Naval Sciences at Rice University. My young life up to that point had been filled with cause-oriented work ? I lived and breathed national politics and, from junior high school, had longed to make a difference in the lives of people across the nation.
In Houston, I found myself far away from the work I so loved ? and although there were plenty of local opportunities to get involved, my heart ached for the cutting-edge information and discussion with others who shared my quest to work on the national scene. My precious husband often worked long hours and, in his absence, I felt as if I was in a lonely, arid desert.
And then one day, I heard the voice of Marlin Maddoux. Somehow I "stumbled" across his show, "Point of View," on a local Christian radio station and, in so doing, found my oasis.
Marlin's broadcast was unusual for the time ? he talked about biblical principles and national politics and what individuals all around the country could do to impact Washington. He was a master at interviewing policymakers, other conservative and Christian leaders, and like-minded authors and lecturers. Marlin's words were like a river flowing with milk and honey ? the nourishment my mind and soul craved was plentiful during those two hours each day.
Marlin was a visionary. In 1982, he was one of the first broadcasters to harness the latest technology of satellite transmission when he successfully sent his local show around the nation. And he did something else no other broadcaster had been able to do with such success ? take calls from people all over the country who cared about the status of the nation.
Marlin's phone lines were jammed throughout his program ? callers waited weeks, and even months, just to be able to tell Marlin the joy they felt at tapping into this mighty river that now flowed from coast to coast. At age 23, I was one of those eager callers who finally got through the phone lines and onto Marlin's show.
Years later, when I returned to Washington and my work in the conservative policy arena, Marlin hired me as a stringer to provide news stories to his 24-hour news broadcast venture called the USA Radio Network. As our friendship grew, at some point I shyly told Marlin about the exhilaration I had felt at being able to participate as just another caller on his show ? I thought he might think I was silly to have been so excited. But when I saw the tear in his eye, I realized that, to Marlin, callers weren't numbers ? they were individuals whose hearts and souls he loved and valued.