I received a few emails – and a comment from Lisa – asking for details on the Public Radio connection. Here it is:
When I received my MFA in 1992 I moved to Brooklyn and got my first job on Broadway as a costume assistant on the show, My Favorite Year
Life was pretty great, but I was bummed that I didn’t have a boyfriend. After the show opened in November I finally had my Saturdays free again and tuned into my favorite radio show, What Do You Know? on WNYC.
I called in and was chosen to be the on-air contestant and was teamed up with a guy named Tom from the studio audience. As hard as it might be to believe [wink, wink], I talked for about 45 minutes solid – basically did a stand-up act – seriously. When I listen to the tape of the show I’m alternatively giddy and ashamed.
Tom & I won the ‘big kielbasa’ of prizes – a small chocolate cow, a book on tape, a cat toy and a 5′ inflatable figure of The Scream.
A few weeks later on Dec 15 I received a letter in my mailbox with a Wisconsin postmark but a Queens return address. How odd. Yes, 9 years before the anthrax scare I was noticing this. The letter was from a listener who heard me on the show, thought I was funny, wanted to meet me. He called the radio show and asked the producer if she would send a letter on to me if he sent it to her (that he wouldn’t have my return address or last name) She did. Thank you Ruth Ann Bessman!
The letter was from Gerry. It was funny, it wasn’t scary at all – I showed it to my single friends and they all said, “Hey – if you don’t call him can I?” I showed my married friends and they said, “Stay AWAY from that nut!” I compromised and sent him a Christmas Card.
He called me, we chatted and decided to have a coffee date at the Peacock Cafe in the Village. All he knew about me was that I was 5’11” with red hair [the truth is that I’m closer to 6′] . All I knew about him was that he was 5’8″ with a beard.I showed up very early at the cafe and ordered soup so I could ‘settle in’
I swear that EVERY SINGLE 5’8, BEARDED MAN in NYC walked into the Peacock Cafe that night. None of them looked very appealing – some of them were downright scary.
I looked up to the front of the cafe and there he was, sitting at a table and looking like he was next in line for the guillotine. I walked up and introduced myself – told him I had a better table in the back of the restaurant and he could join me if he wanted.
After a false start on a 2nd date (He told me about a party a friend was having – then never called to actually ASK ME – he sat home waiting for ME to call HIM!!!) we finally had a real 2nd date on his birthday, Feb 5th, then a third on Feb 13. Two dates later he moved in. A few weeks after that we were engaged and we were married that August. As we were waiting to walk down the aisle he told me, “Today is 9 months to the day that I heard you on the radio…”
So that’s the story!