Things were going GREAT in Sarasota, Florida. I was getting into the routine of hosting my own morning show, making new friends, spending time at the beach and no longer dealing with cold Philly winters. February '89 was gonna get a lot better once my "honey" arrived.
Denise resigned from her job at the radio station, and couldn't wait to get to Florida. Seriously...she really couldn't wait! The drive from Philadelphia to Sarasota takes a normal driver about 18 hours. Most people break the trip into 2 parts....usually spending the night in South Carolina at a well-lit motel off Interstate 95. Not Denise! She decided to drive straight through...with out stopping for rest. And this non-stop drive-a-thon was performed by a single woman WITHOUT a cell phone. I went to sleep one night and expected to see her the following day. There was a knock on my apartment door around 4AM. A familiar voice was on the other side. There she stood....exhausted from the driving the jam-packed Nissan Pulsar 1,110 miles. We hugged. She showered and went to sleep...and didn't wake up for 15 hours.
Denise and I settled into the tiny apartment I chose by myself 2 months earlier. The rent was only $440 per month for the fairly new 700 sq ft unit. The furniture was purchased from a recently divorced co-worker who needed money. In fact, the sofa was only $50!! Why such a deal? Well, the four legs were missing from the bottom of the sofa. I didn't care. It kept our butts off the floor. To this day I wonder who had the four sofa legs? In just a few days Denise was able to put her decorating skills to work...and the apartment starting looking like a $500 a month unit.
Things were going well....until the infamous "Bikini Volleyball Story".
I was asked to host an event on Siesta Key beach that featured Hooters waitresses playing volleyball against any willing opponents. Keep in mind it was for charity, and the women wore string bikinis. I brought Denise to the tournament and went about performing the usual host duties. The problem was...I slid back to my old ways. I was staring at all the bikini-clad players....and not watching Denise. In fact, 3 different guys tried to pick up my girlfriend, and I didn't even notice. I was so infatuated with the "game", I wouldn't have noticed if my shorts were on fire! The piece de'resistance? Denise put down her book, got up from her lounge chair and asked me to please get her a piece of pizza. I pointed to the hospitality tent and said," It's over there. Get it yourself".
Steam shot from her ears like a cartoon character. She just quit her job and relocated to a new state for a guy who would rather watch bikini babes than get her something to eat. The old Sam was back in town. Today, I would fly a plane full of gasoline through hell to make her comfortable...but on the beach in '89...that wasn't the case. The argument that ensued was the biggest ever. She wanted to end our relationship and move back to Philly. Luckily, she stayed with me in Sarasota. I guess Denise just couldn't handle the thought of leaving the beaches, Manatees and that adorable $50 leg-less sofa!
Coming next....."Do you think we'll ever get married?"