Many legendary voices have graced the airwaves of WBSM over the years: Stan Lipp, Hal Peterson, Norm Raposa, Terry Powell, "Cuzzin" Dave Williford, Henry Carreiro, and Captain Jack Peterson to name just a few. Add to that list Margaret Nicolau.

Marguerite B. (Valton) Nicolau did not host a talk program on "The Voice of the People" but she easily could have. Margaret, as she identified herself, was an avid listener and a regular caller to the region's talk radio programs for decades. A tried-and-true liberal, Margaret was a defender of all things Kennedy and adored President Barack Obama. She was a crusader for her beloved Democrat Party and took no prisoners in her defense of it.

Margaret's daily calls were anticipated by the talk hosts and listeners alike. If she didn't check in, others would call to inquire about her well-being. Her participation made my shows better because she provided a balance to this conservative's point of view and she knew her stuff.

For much of her life, Margaret suffered from agoraphobia, panic attacks that left her confined to her home for years at a time. That's how she discovered talk radio and the cable news networks. At another time, Margaret could easily have excelled in the industry that became her link to the outside world.

Margaret not only knew a lot about politics but she understood talk radio and how it works. She knew the buttons to push and she pushed them. Margaret could take your argument apart before you realized it was happening and she seldom lost her cool in the process. She took it seriously but she never took it personally. She was a pro.

Margaret Nicolau left us on Sunday. She was 91.

As Margaret would say, "I'll close with this:" Margaret was talk radio icon whose familiar voice is now silent but will never be forgotten by this broadcaster.

Rest in peace, Margaret.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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