Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Made Her An Offer She Couldn't Refuse!

Life in Sarasota, Fl was awesome!!! I arrived in December and escaped the cold of the northeast for the beaches of the Sunshine State. I was actually getting a little tan from all the beach time. The 3 weeks we spent apart were tough. I would go to the radio station every night to call Denise. It was a pain to drive over there, but it beat having to deal with a MONSTER long distance phone bill.

I was able to fly back to Philly on Christmas Eve. Denise met me at the airport. We ran back to her place for Chinese food, drinks and lots o' huggin. It was freakin' freezing that night!!!! Cold crunchy snow covered the ground and we were layered up in turtlenecks and sweaters. We agreed that she would come visit me in February. That was the good news....the bad news was that we would be apart for nearly 6 more weeks.

Denise finally made it to Florida as another snowstorm was getting ready to attack the east coast. Sarasota was sunny and 80 degrees the day she arrived. In fact, the weather that week was specifically ordered by the Chamber of Commerce. I would host the morning show, then run back to my apartment to spend the day with my GF at Seista Key beach, followed by a late afternoon visit to the apartment complex hot tub. I learned how to make marguarita's....and that was all we drank. Denise was getting sad about returning to the snow and slush, so I made her AN OFFER SHE COULDN'T REFUSE.

I told Denise that if she quit her (really good) job in Philly and moved to Sarasota, I would pay all of her expenses for 6 months. If you knew how cheap I was back in '89...then you would be impressed by my offer. Seriously.. I was REALLY cheap. Once at a club, Denise asked me to get her a gin and tonic. An hour later she asked me to get her another round. "I already bought you a drink", I declared. She still laughs when remembering that story. Denise also takes credit for freeing me of my cheap-itis.

BTW....she jumped at the offer! Denise went back to Philly and resigned from her job, packed her stuff into a 1986 Nissan Sentra and drove non-stop to F.L.A.

Up next...the famous "bikini volleyball story" that almost ended our relationship!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hello Florida...Goodbye Denise..???

I left my Philly radio job May 5th, 1988. I made it through the show like nothing horrible would happen. I even kept smiling when Charlie the program director called me into his office. It was a performance worthy of an Academy Award! Denise told me the ax was about to fall, and I acted like a bonus check was on the way. "Thanks, love ya, blah blah blah," said the program director. I took my severance and went home.

My birthday arrived the following week. OY...who feels like celebrating when your cash flow drops to ZERO? Denise accepted the "cheer up, it's your birthday" mission with gusto. She picked me up in a limo and arranged for a very fancy dinner in downtown Philadelphia. We laughed, drank, ate, drank some more. She was successful and brought a smile to my face.

Dinner was over and the check arrived at the table. She offered to pay, slid her credit card into the check holder, and excused herself to the restroom. The waiter approached the table to alert me to the fact that the credit card wouldn't clear. It was Denise's card.....she was in the, I just used my card to pay for my out-of-work-birthday-dinner. Holy cow was she embarrassed!!!!!! I still bring up that story when we're teasing each other. It's a freakin winner!

I finally received a job offer in Sarasota, Florida in December of '88, and I took it! was the only offer in 6 months. I was actually a finalist for a morning show gig in Rockford, Illinois. Thank goodness some other schmuck got that gig. I was headed to the gulf coast of Florida. The good news would be met with some sobering questions: What would happen to Denise? Would she come to Florida?

Denise and I agreed that the job was a great opportunity. Our relationship could wait while I got settled in to the new station. I packed up and left Philly, my family and the love of my life. Denise stood on the steps and waved goodbye while I left for the 18 hour drive to Sarasota.

I had a new job, and a great new apartment. The radio station was actually on Sarasota bay. Every morning I would look out the window and see dolphins and manatees. When I finished the show, I would head out to Siesta Key beach. I had 2 new friends named Karen and Maria. They were both waitresses at the local Hooters. We did a lot of promotional events together and became buddies. Just in case you're wondering, they were both beautiful women who would lay on the beach in tiny thong bikinis. Traffic-stopping thong bikinis! I enjoyed spending time with them.....but didn't feel any desire to take it a step further. My heart belonged to Denise back in Philly. It was quite a change in attitude. Months earlier, I would hit on women IN FRONT OF Denise. Now I was laying on the beach a thousand miles away with two stunning hotties, and thinking of the woman who would only shake my hand after our first date. Mr. Semper Fidelis finally arrived!!!!!

Now it was only a matter of time before I could get Denise to Florida to meet my new friends. I just had to make her an offer she couldn't refuse.