Mrs. Phineus lived on
her social security check and she had deep feelings about the care offered to senior citizens by the government
“I worked most of
my life, and always paid my taxes. I do receive medical help, but the care does not cover the surgery I need to repair my
vision. Well at least I save money by not owning a TV,” she said with a chuckle.
The hosts of various talk
shows grew to love Mrs. Phineus. She had been calling their talk shows almost every night for the past three years. John Weber
in particular was very fond of Mrs. Phineus. Several times he asked her to stay on the line as he went off the air. He asked
her if there was anything she needed. She was a proud woman and her answer was always the same.
“Thank you, but
an old lady needs very little.”
She was evasive about
her age. He surmised from her recollection of certain events that she was about 90.
In late November John
realized he had not heard from Mrs. Phineus for several weeks. He assumed the lovely old woman had gone on to a better place.
When his talk show aired
on Christmas Eve he mentioned that he missed the calls from the lovely, elderly lady who added so much to the talk show. Listeners
began calling and repeating his sentiments.
One caller asked if there
was anything he could do in memory of the bright and feisty woman. John mentioned that Mrs. Phineus had very little vision
and had been unable to have the necessary surgery to restore it.
The phones began ringing
like mad in his studio. Many people suggested starting a Mrs. Phineus foundation to help elderly people with vision problems.
Three retired eye doctors offered their services on a volunteer basis. They had admired and sympathized with Mrs. Phineus.
One doctor said that she reminded him of his grandmother. It was Christmas Eve and people were caught up in the spirit of