Marlene Dietrich once said “It’s the friends you can call up at 4 AM that matter.” Well, we didn’t call Gary and Sue at 4 AM, but that’s about the time they got home, Sunday morning, after helping us clean, what seemed like, never-ending piles of “stuff” out of our office. At one point, we thought some invisible gremlin was sneaking in and replenishing the office while we weren’t looking. Oh well, at least most of it was filed alphabetically according to size.
As you know, “Life After Dark” has been the norm (?) for us for over a quarter of a century. However, shocking though it may seem, not everyone marches to the nocturnal drum beat that has been our extended length soundtrack. Fortunately for us, Gary and Sue march to the serendipitous drum beat of their own soundtrack. Even better for us, they have included us in their mix ever since Johnnie first met Sue back in 1984 while doing traffic for WCLR-FM (now WTMX-FM).
Sue was hosting the evening show and Gary was the station’s chief engineer. Sue has since gone on to be a very successful voice over actress and Gary went on to manage real estate at the, then, Sears Tower where we gave him the nickname “King Of The Roof.”
Though you wouldn’t know it by his busy schedule, Gary is now retired and you’re still hearing Sue’s voice on more commercials than you realize.
When we first met Gary and Sue there was an instant chemistry and communication that, fortunately for us, has grown into a long-term close friendship that continues today.
A decade ago, on a weekend trip to Door County, when Steve was hardly able to move due to, then undiagnosed, Autoimmune Hepatitis, luckily, Gary and Sue were with us and calmly, but quickly, drove us home to get a diagnosis and treatment from our own doctor. When Johnnie was stricken with an allergic reaction while we were in Nashville, it was Gary and Sue who drove all over Music City’s unfamiliar streets to find a pharmacy with the necessary remedy.
It hasn’t been all drama. There are numerous stories of “plastic burning” adventures to celebrate Johnnie’s and Sue’s shared birthday week or late-night Sherlock Holmes marathons or Midnight Superdawg runs … because it was the right thing to do.
As many of you know, along with TV and some other projects, we’re working on a book or three. One of those books will be about some of the truly special people we’ve been privileged to meet during the course of our “Life After Dark.” A lot of those people, like Les Paul, have names most of you already know. Some of them, like Gary and Sue, you may not previously have known about.
But, now you do.
Because they’re friends that matter.