Sandi Latimer (left side) awarding another writer a certificate.
She arrived early. I wasn't surprised. She had been somewhat imposing from initial contact. I had never seen or spoke with her before this morning. All communications had been via email. She was a tiny little woman in a tiny little car who drove herself and came solo. Fearless, I thought. She had reached out weeks prior and asked if she could come on the radio program to be interviewed. No one had ever done that before unless they were trying to sell something. She sent a bio before I requested it along with other informative emails. And now - here she was early and ready to go. None of this offended me - mostly because it is exactly how I would have proceeded but it was still enough to cause me to think of her as aggressive. When we met my head was spinning with all my "to do" responsibilities and the rapidly approaching completion of a difficult work week. I was secretly wishing I had some idea of what to expect from her. I was secretly wishing that I had read her bio more thoroughly prior to the program. I got the distinct impression that she knew all that (and maybe more) about me the instant she got her eyes on me. She literally sized me up from head to toe and then back again. I began wondering if she was a tiny older me. Smiling...
Once in the studio, she settled into her chair very quickly, put her glasses and the headphones on, folded her hands and looked up at me smiling. "I'm ready," she reported. Her smile was endearing but I still wasn't sure what she wanted to share or how this was all going to play out. An hour in live radio can seem like five minutes or a week depending on the personalities in the studio.
My hour with Sandi Latimer flew by with a quickness. She has a remarkable ability to recall all the details and a captivating way to tell the story. She is the perfect combination of unassuming and confident. Think I am being too kind? Listen to the interview.
Sandi prides herself on the fact that she has worked consistently for the past 57 years as a writer - a craft she obviously adores - without a single day of unemployment. She started as the area correspondent for her local newspaper, the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum, as a youngster. Later she earned a degree in journalism from Kent State University. Her career has included stints in radio, broadcast journalism, print journalism, communications and marketing. More recently she authored a collection of dog stories called Poodle Mistress: the autobiographical story of life with nine toy poodles. The book is available here at amazon.com. In a few weeks her second book called Newsroom Buddies, which chronicles her 45-year friendship with her former boss at United Press International, will be published. Sandi tries to write every day and judging by the twinkle in her eye - she will be writing for many years to come. She is currently affiliated with the Ohio Writer's Guide and Writers' Ink.