Year 34 and Counting

98 Rocks was not the only “sign-on” in 1984.  A little over six hundred miles away, on an icy January 14th in Henderson, Kentucky (weather not unlike today in Shreveport as a matter of fact), Shelley and I signed-up at the altar of matrimony.  I was on my second radio job, certain I was going to be the next biggest morning jock in the land, and my high-school sweetheart had made the biggest sacrifice to join me for the ride.  She said goodbye to college, a big family and a lifetime of friends in her hometown of DeLand, Florida.  She left life on a lot of land in one of the prettiest spots Central Florida has to offer.  She had horses even.  Wow.  Our first apartment was above an abandoned Sinclair gas station.  No a/c, and weak heat, but it was furnished.  Nice orange vinyl Howard Johnson’s-type furniture.  Kitchen window looked out over an alley.  Mice in the kitchen.   But it was the beginning of the best of times.  Shelley was a champion.  She’d work any job she could during the day, and enroll in community college classes at night.  Tireless.  Willing to jump in with me when my job demanded it.  She is with me on remotes, at concerts and events, signing listeners up for prizes, answering questions and canvassing neighborhoods to hand out stickers.  Getting me home after way too many bar-nights that went way beyond their scheduled time.  God, there were a lot of those.   Shelley became a logistics master, long before the internet, trip-advisers and google maps.  As my vagabond radio career progressed, (or so I  hoped) and we moved from town-to-town, she was ever the very definition of “grace under pressure.”  Still amazes me the order she could bring to the chaos of moving everything halfway across the country.  The calmness with which she transitioned from life in Florida, home her entire life, to ventures to un-know places for both of us.  Like Henderson, Evansville and Omaha. Shreveport in ’85 first, then back in ’96. Jefferson City, Mo and Fayetteville, NC.  Back to Florida for a stint at Ocala.  Marion, SC., birthplace of both our kids.  Augusta, Ga., where my co-host and local tv weather guru got me to take up golf.  Shelley made sure the right stuff was in the right boxes so our essentials were at hand when we finally unpacked at a new house.  Address changes, utilities being disconnected and reconnected, cars registered and accounts opened.  Find the right doctors. Shelley did the grunt-work, and never grumbled.  Even when we moved while she was pregnant.  Twice.  Maybe my job lasts barely a year.   Still un-packed boxes from the last move.  She smiles and we start over.  There haven’t been any major moves in our life in 22 years, but Shelley still makes every year we are together an adventure, with the most positive outlook on life of anyone I have ever encountered!  She defines a free spirit, infuses you with her curiosity and her laugh is a gift to the Universe.  She’s laughing in that selfie above from Saturday night, and I hear her now, resonating in my head.  But mostly my heart.  The best of times continue….

-Bobby

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