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Life & Lyrics- “Backstreets”

Published on January 28, 2014, by in LeeLee Blogs.

we swore forever friends

Bruce Springsteen


We swore forever friends...yes indeed we did!  I’ve known my dear friend Susan for 19 years and cherish our friendship.

This post is dedicated to her…. my darling Susan! xoxo

Susan enjoying a Heineken in Amsterdam 1996

Susan enjoying a Heineken
in Amsterdam 1996

we swore forever friends

I first met Susan back in 1995 while working at an NBC Cable Network.  She’s an extremely talented News Director.  In fact, she’s in Russia right now as I type this post on my keyboard..Why Russia you ask? Well, NBC asked her to direct some of the coverage of the upcoming Olympic games. And oh yeah, she won one of those highly coveted golden statues- an Emmy- for directing Breaking News.  I think I’ve made my point…Susan is a top notch television director but more importantly, she’s a top notch friend!

I met Susan shortly after she lost her husband and true love, Jim. (He was a sports anchor…they met while working together in Reno, Nevada).  Truth be told…I gravitated towards her in the newsroom because she was a sign of enormous strength.  I truly admired her.  I just couldn’t believe that a woman in her 30s… who just lost her spouse… and didn’t have any family living nearby for emotional support…actually had the courage to return to work.  And, she directed and went about her newscasts without a flinch.  She stayed positive and was incredibly brave.  I had enormous compassion, admiration, and sympathy for her.  I’m not sure if I could’ve pulled myself together and reported to work by 6am to direct the morning news if I had just experienced that heartache.  Needless to say, Susan is an amazing woman!

Now that the sad and tragic stuff is out of the way…

we swore forever friends

I loved sitting next to Susan in a control room while she directed the morning news.  She made working the morning shift enjoyable.  I believe that sitting next to her made me a better producer. She always taught and always offered help.  But there were other perks too…FOOD! She’s the biggest “foodie” I know…she often spoils me and takes me to the best restaurants in NYC to have a divine food experience! She’s also a fantastic baker so with that talent came the spoils of fresh muffins, cookies, and cake for the entire television crew.  On Fridays, she even bought the entire crew bagels!  Our friendship grew very strong thanks to work and yummy treats BUT it’s really thanks to our mutual love of traveling that we bonded and swore forever friends.

Here’s how we became traveling companions and forever friends…It was the fall of 1996 and I found out about a great package deal to Amsterdam for one week.   “Directing” my voice to Susan in the newsroom, I literally stood up and said, “Who wants to go to Amsterdam for a week?”  Without hesitation Susan answered me with, “When are we leaving?”

Amsterdam November 1996

November 1996

Working with someone and sitting next to them in a control room is one thing…traveling and sharing a hotel room is another.  Thankfully, the Susan and Lee Lee traveling duo was… and still is… a travel match made in Heaven!!!!

Following Amsterdam (which also included a quick overnight trip to Paris) many more trips followed.  Moscow, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, and Lake Tahoe.  I know, I know…only one domestic trip! Sorry, but we LOVE Europe!  On all of those beautiful vacations, we enjoyed great food, architecture, history, shopping, and we built a terrific and strong friendship.  FYI- Lake Tahoe happened after I had my 3 kids.  Funny how saving money and raising children can change your travel plans, budget, and itinerary!!!!

Susan is a gem! We may not chat everyday. In fact, sometimes a few months go by without seeing each other but no matter what… she’s reliable and always there for me.  She served as the official witness at my wedding ceremony and helped me register for all the proper cooking tools.  When I called her to tell her that I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, she didn’t hesitate to jump in her car and drive three hours to visit me! She showed up at my house the very next day to offer her love and support!

Moscow August 1998

August 1998

Susan also has the patience of a Saint.  She walked all over the Upper West and Upper East Side of Manhattan with me for at least 6 hours in search of the perfect pair of jeans.  I’m not kidding…patience of a Saint! While touring through Prague, Vienna, and Budapest I was a bit on edge.  Guess it had to do with the fact that I was 5 months pregnant.  Well, somehow I lost my prenatal vitamins and had a tantrum every morning.  Susan listened to my paranoid fits and tried to calm me down.  Of course, she was right…my first son is doing just fine even though he missed out on a few vitamins! LOL

we swore forever friends….

I’m looking forward to more travels and great experiences with Susan in the near future.  My friendship with Susan is the best story to come out of a newsroom!!!!

Love you my darling Susan!



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