Lifelong Westchester resident Marsha Wietecha is hoping to parlay her gift of gab into a popular radio show that will have her interviewing guests to find how “conversations plus connections equal community.”
“I have always known that I was ‘born to talk.’ What’s thrilling about this new adventure is sharing that joy of living and conversing with others,” said Wietecha. “I learned long ago as the membership director at the Westchester Y that community is defined in many different ways. Yes, I was born and raised in Westchester–this is my community–but small communities exist all around us. There are small communities in our everyday lives– my girlfriends, bunko friends, sports friends– they all represent what community means to me. My goal in this radio show is to find out what community means to my guests.”
Wietecha has spent a lifetime striking up conversations with strangers and looking to make connections with people. Her chatty and inquisitive nature has always made making new friends and acquaintances easy, whether she was volunteering at Westchester High School, sitting next to someone at a sports game or participating in a book club.
While she loves to talk, Wietecha never dreamed she’d have her own radio show and have the chance to interview people from all walks of life. The unexpected passing of her husband, Butch, in 2009, however spurred her to step outside of her comfort zone.
“My life changed on a dime, but I decided I was going to live a full life,” said Wietecha. “I realized almost immediately that [Butch] had lived a life without regret. His motto was always, ‘It is, what it is.’ I found myself adapting to that same reality. I knew that my ‘new normal’ needed to honor him by living a life without regret.”
Living up to her new slogan, Wietecha who always had a full social calendar, crammed her days with even more activities. She took the advice of a good friend and “never said no to an invitation.” Deciding to switch it up and began being “the inviter not the invitee,” Wietecha, a die-hard basketball fan with season tickets, invited the women she had sat with for years at the Los Angeles Sparks’ basketball games to her home for dinner. There she met radio producer Deborah Blaine and the two hit it off.
“Marsha is an amazing, dynamic individual that can truly talk and connect with anyone,” said Blaine. “She is a natural for hosting her own radio show where she can explore the stories and people of her local community and on a larger scale the communities of Southern California.”
Seeing potential for Wietecha to have her own radio show one day, Blaine invited her on a cooking show she produces on LA Talk Live, an Internet radio station that broadcasts out of Westchester. Impressed by her performance, Blaine encouraged her to start a blog and began crafting her storytelling style. Wietecha immediately started blogging about her life experiences and used her frequent trips across America and to exotic locales like Vietnam as subject fodder.
“Blaine saw something in me that frankly, I didn’t really imagine for myself,” said Wietecha. “I have a nickname for her: it’s ‘G.’ It stands for glue and she has been the glue from the beginning of the blog until the present.”
After a year blogging, practicing her public speaking at Playa del Rey’s Speakers by the Sea Toastmaster Club and formulating ideas for her show, Wietecha’s radio show “Born to Talk” will premiere on Monday, April 13 at 1 p.m. The show can be watched and listened to live (or archived) on latalklive.com or iTunes Radio.
“Everyone has a story. It starts with a conversation,” said Wietecha. “It’s my intent to have a conversation with people I know, but also with people I’ve never met. For me, nothing is more exciting than meeting a new person and then figuring out how we are connected, because we are. It’s universal.”
On the eve of launching her new career as a radio personality, Wietecha is excited to seize the moment and have the opportunity to share her passion for people and conversation through the airwaves.
“Life is a journey and in living my new normal, I’m living a rich and full life,” said Wietecha. “As I learned almost six years ago to the day, one can never know what might be around the corner. I feel Butch’s spirit. I know he would be proud and I’m grateful for the love and support of all the fantastic people in my life.”