FIRST DATES


Having just started working at the local TV station, I was still infatuated with the news personalities I would occasionally run into in the hallways and holiday parties. One gentleman in particular was an on-air talent who apparently noticed me as well. Working in the sales department, I had the perk of handling a few fun accounts, like the newly built Kellogg Arena. At that time, the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids didn’t exist yet, and most music acts appeared at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo and the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, and many advertising buys that came into the station came with the perk of a ticket trade. Knowing this, this news personality understood that the current advertising schedule promoting an upcoming concert with singer Tom Jones probably came with free tickets, allowing for a cheap date.

But it still surprised me when this popular weather forecaster made his way up to the sales office to ask me if I would like to attend the Tom Jones concert with him. “We can go out to dinner before the show, and my brother will also be accompanying us with his date.” Admittingly starstruck, I accepted his invitation and looked forward to the double date, even though attending a Tom Jones concert was something I envisioned my mother doing. But, hey, it’s Tom Jones. If nothing else, I figured he would be entertaining.

The night of the concert, I walked from my apartment to my date’s car. Peering into the backseat I notice the lone man. “His date couldn’t make it. I figured you wouldn’t mind if he still came along,” my date explained. I did mind. Feeling like we now had a chaperone, I went along on this escapade, which included dinner with the two brothers who enjoyed each other’s company immensely, leaving me with the distinct feeling that I was the third wheel on this peculiar adventure. As the three of us continued to the Kellogg Arena, my date and his brother continued enjoying the evening, soaking in the adulation from those sitting around us as they realized they were in the presence of a local TV star. Autographs were signed, animated conversation ensued, and I sat back to a night of Tom Jones with an arena full of women my mother’s age (Keep in mind that I was 20-something at the time).        

The evening finally ended with the two of them driving me home, leaving me with the question of whether I was supposed to kiss both of them goodnight. As the car rolled into the driveway, I thanked both for a nice evening and bolted from that car before it came to a complete stop. If only I could have forecasted how my date with the weatherman would have gone, I would have turned the channel. Tom Jones? Not going to lie, he was the best part of the evening.  


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