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Remembering The Kindness Of Don Hall

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Beth Golay
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The Kissin' Crew from KZSN, from left, Chuck Geiger, aka "Uncle Buck," Don Hall, and Brad Streeter, along with Elizabeth and Cecilia Golay, center, and their babysitter, Molly Kretzer, at the lemonade stand in 2004.

Several days during the summer of 2004, my daughters, with supervision from their babysitter, had a lemonade stand in our yard. Jeff Tuttle, a photographer for The Wichita Eagle, happened to be driving through our neighborhood and captured an image of the girls holding homemade signs touting their wares. It was published in the paper on July 15.

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Credit Jeff Tuttle
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One person who saw the photo in the paper that day was Don Hall. I received a phone call from him that evening. He thought it would be fun for his radio station to have a live remote from the girls’ lemonade stand in our yard. I gave our approval, and he called back the next day so he could propose it to the girls while he was on the air. At age 8, Elizabeth was the elder of the two, so she served as spokesperson. Cecilia, at age 6, wanted no part of being on the radio.

The crew showed up the next day at the designated time. Instead of selling lemonade at their previously set price — 25 or 50 cents, I can’t recall now — Hall suggested that customers should spend $5 for a cup, and also bring a teddy bear to donate for a local charity.

When I learned of Hall’s death last Wednesday morning, I asked my daughters if they remembered him from that day.

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Credit Beth Golay
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Hall with Cecilia Golay in 2004

"I remember being excited that his shirt was the same brand as my belt, Lacoste. They both had alligators on them," Cece, now 22, told me. "And I remember that he was giving out CDs that day and I got Shania Twain. I had no idea who Shania Twain was, I just knew it was the only one with two discs in it."

Liz, now 24, remembered being on air three times with Hall: once for the original request, again during the live remote, and also the next day, when he checked in to see how they fared.

And I remember how kind he was to my girls, and to everyone, really, who stopped by for that $5 cup of lemonade. He coached Liz during her on-air segments like the pro he was, leading her in a direction he knew would get a laugh. My impression is that he liked to make people smile.

It worked. A live-remote broadcast from a lemonade stand. The idea still makes me smile.

Beth Golay is KMUW's director of marketing and digital content and the host of the Marginalia podcast. Follow her on Twitter @BethGolay.

Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.