Having returned to the WABC/WPLJ Engineering Department as a full time staff engineer in October, after being “loaned” to WOR for 8 months, it was time to get on with my life. I now had a permanent job for the first time since I’d been “bought out” of the WHN IBEW contract in the spring of 1976, and there were things to do!
So, one of the first things I did I did was to go out and buy a brand new 1979 Mercury Capri RS to replace my aging 1973 Mercury Montego. The Capri was a great looking car, but as that was about the bottom of the quality curve for the “Big Three” in Detroit, it was unfortunately a piece of shit! It was delivered with 46 things wrong with it right out of the box, including being a different model Capri depending on if you were approaching the car from the driver or passenger side! That was the dumb thing I did!
I’d also been dating Susan Johnson since we met at a July 3rd party in 1977, in the middle of a 5 month NABET strike against ABC. We later found out the “plot” of the party was for us to get together, and trust me, that was a very good thing! The second date we went on was to the Dynasty Chinese restaurant in Roslyn for dinner, and my fortune cookie said, “you will marry your present lover, and be happy”. As we started to get to the end of 1978, I decided it was time to follow fate and my fortune cookie and see if I could make this wonderful girl my “better half”.
Susie has always loved Christmas, and something seemed just so right about asking her to be my wife on Christmas Day! That Christmas I made arrangements with George Berger to cover the beginning part of my 4 to midnight on the 8th floor, so I didn’t need to get into ABC till about 8. My folks had planned an early dinner and Susie had been invited over to spend it with the D’Elia Family. At some point in the late afternoon, I said I needed something upstairs, and could she come up and give me a hand. When we got to the top of the stairs I hugged her and asked her if she would be my wife. She said yes, and I think I ran downstairs to my folks and said 3 or 4 times, “she said yes, she said yes!”.
We called her Mom and Dad who were at her sister’s in-laws on the other side of Bayside, and they came over to my folks’ house, and the whole family toasted the bride and groom to be! Later that night, I kissed my now fiancé good night and headed off to ABC. Luckily, I only had to work 4 or 5 hours, and because very few of my radio friends were there and since I wanted to tell them all at the same time, I kept my mouth shut…literally!
The next day I managed to keep my secret until just after George Michael’s show started on WABC at 6PM. I was on the board and called everyone who was on the floor into Studio 8A and told them all that they had a wedding to get ready for, probably the following fall. As has happened so often in my radio life, during the next record talk up, George announced that I had asked Susie to marry me on Christmas Day and that she had said yes! That was a very good thing!
Happy 37th Anniversary Baby of the day I asked and you said YES! ILYJTWYR!
Listen in as George Michael announces that “she said yes” on WABC Radio