Martha Stewart is Released From Prison
Scott Olson  /  Getty Images
Jacquie Roberts (right) of Detroit, Michigan and Kathy Herrmann of Seattle, WA wait for Martha Stewart to arrive at Greenbrier Valley Airport in Lewisburg, W. Va.
updated 3/4/2005 10:27:31 AM ET 2005-03-04T15:27:31

People really love Martha!

Kathy Herrmann underwent chemotherapy treatment in her hometown of Tacoma, Wash., on Wednesday, but it didn’t stop her from flying across the country to see Martha Stewart as she left a federal prison in West Virginia early Friday.

“I’m tired but it meant enough for me to come out here anyway,” Herrmann said. “It’s all about support.”

Herrmann and several friends stood at the Greenbrier Valley airport in 16-degree weather holding a Martha Stewart-brand floral print sheet with signatures from Seattle area fans.

The cross-country trip was not their first to support the homemaking queen. Last year, Herrmann and others attended Stewart’s trial in federal court in Manhattan. That ended with Stewart begin convicted on charges of lying about a 2001 stock sale.

'A blessing to the prison'
As part of her sentence, Stewart was ordered to serve five months at the federal women’s camp in Alderson. The prison term ended at 12:30 a.m. Friday when she was released. Stewart boarded a private jet for the flight to New York, where she must spend five months of home confinement at her 153-acre estate.

“She’s been a blessing to the prison and a blessing to the girls there,” said Hattie Hopkins.

Video: Martha Stewart released The former prison minister is used to high-profile inmates at the minimum-security prison, but “it wasn’t as exciting as” Stewart’s stay and departure.

Not everyone in the crowd was a fan. Some came to experience the moment.

“I came down just because it’s history. I’m definitely not a fan,” said Lisa Huff of Bluefield, Va. Huff was talking to a friend earlier in the evening when she decided to make the 64-mile trip to Alderson.

“When she went in, I thought she was mean. But when she decided to go to jail, now she looks more contrite,” Huff said. “I think jail has been great for her.”

One of the tasks ahead of Stewart is to try and spin the goodwill she gained in prison into profits for her Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. Despite high stock prices, the company has posted a loss last year.

But William Parr, 66, of Amherst, Va., said Stewart will rebound because she has the “Midas touch.”

“I love this lady. I’ve followed her for the last 20 years,” said Parr, who drove about 100 miles to see Stewart. “She has definitely got her act together on the home front.”

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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