Photo by Nate Ryan / Minnesota Public Radio

Photo by Nate Ryan / Minnesota Public Radio

“I’m Mary Lucia taking over this afternoon. Where you been?”

So ended the seven-month hiatus of one of the Twin Cities' most entrenched and colorful rock radio DJs, Mary Lucia. What else but a little sense of humor kicked off the 89.3 the Current mainstay’s return to the air Monday at 2 p.m.? Her wry question softened the dire undercurrent of her past year and a half being the victim of a stalker, which prompted her to take a leave of absence from the station in April.

“I’ve been through some things and learned a lot of things,” Lucia continued as she signed on Tuesday. “I’ve changed a lot of lightbulbs, read a lot of books.”

As she said when her return was announced last week, the case against her stalker is still pending, so she will not discuss the situation on air or in the media. Instead, she stuck to the positives. Here’s an edited recount of what she said to start off her shift, which will continue 2-6 p.m. Monday through Thursdays:

“Let’s talk about real friends and what real friends are. I tend to isolate myself a little bit. I’m not a big friend collector. I’m lucky I have a small group of really good friends. Do you let these people see the real darkness some times? They might run away. I’ve been so lucky to have people from my life who’ve done just the opposite. They did not run away. They ran to me.”

She dedicated her first song to those friends, and “to all of you out there who are struggling.” What else but Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down?”

Here's a version of the song we're particularly fond of by a local talent who has also been through her unfair share of struggles, PaviElle French.