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 restroom...so, 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! Look....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.