I met Denise in 1987. She was working for a non-profit organization that helped handicapped children in Philadelphia. The Variety Club decided to hold a dance party fundraiser at the Philadelphia Civic Center. It attracted thousands of kids.....not because they wanted to dance on that Saturday in October...but because the special guests were rockers Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora of the band Bon Jovi. Their smash album Slippery When Wet was just released. The Variety Club timed it perfectly! A fundrasing tsunami. The promotions and marketing director for the charity had her hands full with VIP's, sponsors, screaming kids, limos and board members. Oh...and there was this dorky radio DJ standing there ready to say," Hello".
The radio station sent me to host the event....not because I was popular or talented (no to both), but because I was a) available on that particular Saturday b) went to events for free c) knew there would be plenty of complementary food AND d) any radio station event could lead to meeting women. Oddly enough, I met Denise's mom first. She was roped into helping my future wife keep track of all the moving parts in an event that big. Her mom was a real sweetheart. I asked her," Who was in charge?". Dee pointed to a sexy blonde in a silver outfit holding a clipboard in her right hand, and sporting a "I'm super busy" look on her face. Actually, I think I just said "Hi, I'm Sam from the radio station". Denise pointed me towards the backstage area with the free food. She must have been a psychic!
And that was it. Our first meeting was a simple hello backstage at a Bon Jovi event in Philly. I should tell you that Jon and Richie lit up the crowd with their appearance on stage. The Variety Club charity raised money and awareness to their cause.....and I got the nastiest case of food poisoning from the backstage spread of corned beef and pastrami. That's right.....the night I met my future wife was spent curled up on the floor of my bathroom hurling!