April 16, 2011

How I Met Your Mother

Before we get into things, I am not going to get into what a great show this is (it is, please get rid of Zoe though) I am merely stealing the title from the show and a friend of mines blog with the same name.  I would think this title would get your attention a little more than what I would have liked to call it, "Timbo the Clown and his Collie Bailey."  Seriously, if you saw that other title you probably wouldn't have given it a second look but I will get into that other title later.   With Easter fast approaching I am reminded of a day 15 years ago, a day that would change my life forever.

Our Wedding Day October 22, 2000
Everyone has a story about how they met their better half, some are more interesting than others; bars, grocery store, work, gym, wherever.  Well I did meet my wife at work but it almost didn't happen.  It turns out in the early spring of 1996 there was a job opening at a small TV station in Elmira, New York for a reporter/ photographer.  I had made a phone call to the very intimidating News Director at the time John Herrick and set up an interview, surprisingly for the next day.  I didn't know at the time what a dump this place would be, but to this day it's still the best three months that I worked in television.  When I walked in for the interview, I passed a young woman in the hall, not really paying any attention to her as I was a little bit nervous about the interview.  Little did I know, that a decision made by her opened the door for me to start my career as a news photographer.  She had interviewed right before me and decided not to accept his offer of employment and decided to just go back to school go on vacation and figure things out.  I was offered the job, pretty much the moment I sat down.  Fast forward two weeks and that young lady is now working at the station.  It turns out the place is like a revolving door for people in our business.  You get in, make a resume tape, and get the hell out of there as soon as you can.  When another opening came about, she was offered the job again, and this time she took it.  Thank God she did because it was the day before Easter 1996, April 6th to be exact, that our two paths crossed again.  That was the day that I officially met my future wife, and the mother to my two kids.

Summer on Seneca Lake 2010
We were assigned the typical nonsense story that day.  Not much happens on the weekend in a rural upstate New York town, so the big story of the day was the Horseheads Easter Carnival.  I know what you are thinking, there IS actually a place called Horseheads.  It's a lovely place, a place I hold dear to my heart, if for no other reason than its the place that I was introduced to my wife.  Obviously at the time we did not know that day would mean much more than seeing the star of the Carnival, Timbo the Clown.  To this day Timbo the Clown still pops into our heads, and it's usually with some deep television reporter voice that we say, "Timbo the Clown and his Collie Bailey kicked off this preEaster celebration."  I will show you why in a minute.  We spent the day together, pretty much goofing around asking people what they were making for Easter dinner.  Our other big assignment was to find out if people were eating Turkey or Ham.  I know this place sounds ridiculous but for those that have worked in small town TV you know what I am talking about.  We still ask each other around the holidays if we would like ham or spiral ham.  So much of our lives revolve around that one weekend in early April.

I guess that Timbo the Clown was the original Neil Clark Warren, without even knowing it.  He's the eharmony guy for those not in the know.  It's hard to believe that day was 15 years ago and how much has changed since.  We dated, got married, had kids, bought a house and I still have my partner in crime.  If you told me that day this is how life would have turned out, I would have signed on the dotted line for even half of it.

There are four days in my life I will never forget:  My wedding day, the day Tyler was born, the day Carter was born, and the day before Easter 1996.  Without that day none of the others would have happened.   I will always look back to that day 15 years ago as the day Timbo the Clown and his collie Bailey came into my life and more importantly as the day I found someone to share that memory with.  What about Timbo the Clown you ask?   Funny thing!  It's not too often you find video of the day you met.
It's hard to believe that reporter did not make it all the way to the network level, but I think she is doing fine anyway.  We still get through Horseheads a few times a year on the way to my parents house.  I always wonder what happened to Timbo and his dog, he is surely dead by now, the dog I mean.  Do you have a story like this?  I would love  to know how you met your other half.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?



  1. What a beautiful post. The nicest love letter you've ever written me.

  2. What a cute story! I still have my radio tape I made over 20 years ago but my story isn't as good as yours:) I never ended up in radio either lol My hubby and I will be married 13 years in May and together for 15. We met in the aisles at Walgreens. He was an assistant and I was a clerk. We started dating when I quit. Our first date was to Boston Market and a movie because that was all that was open. But the date must have been good because we have been together every day since and have two beautiful girls.