Marjory Green Meyer

We almost didn't even meet, the two of us standing on opposite sides of the public television station's on-air auction studio, each thinking the other was too involved in what we were doing to suffer an interruption gladly.

She was just beginning what was to become a long and significant career in molding the shape of public television in Richmond. I was a TV reporter for Channel 6, just out of the service and loving every bit of airtime I could grab, even if it meant volunteering on a Saturday to help raise money for public television. So each of us kept to our assigned task that day 30-some years ago. When we finished, we went our respective ways without ever saying so much as "Hello."

A year passed by before I actually met Marge Meyer and our friendship grew as fast as kudzu: One minute there was nothing and the next it was everywhere and you really couldn't remember a time when it wasn't.

One of the first things we talked about was that first non-meeting when we eyed each other warily in the midst of the auction babble. "Forbidding" was the word she used to describe how I had looked to her. "Stand-offish" was the way I told her she had looked.

How foolish we both had been. By making the kind of snap judgments we're all given to making sometimes, Marge and I had wasted a whole year when we could have had the pleasure of each other's laughter.

Marge was at the low end of the public-TV totem pole in the early 1970s, but she didn't stay there long. She started as a volunteer, then joined the staff as a secretary and quickly became the station's volunteer coordinator. Within a few years she joined the station's programming department, and by the late 1990s, this formidably intelligent and everlastingly kind woman was vice president of programming for Central Virginia Public Television.

She loved public television, fought for her idea of what it ought to be, and treated it with the respect it was due — with her voice and with every other talent she could summon.

Marjory Green Meyer died late last month at 65 following a brief illness. She left behind a magnificent body of contributions to broadcasting in Richmond, and a legacy of laughter and caring that we who were her friends will forever

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