Larry Dunn of Massapequa Park recalls his memorable first date with his future wife, Suzanne.
I met Suzanne Azar at WDRE-FM radio station in 1988. She was the promotions manager, and I was a radio announcer and the music director. I had previously worked at WLIR-FM.
When I saw her for the first time, it was love at first sight — at least for me. I was 31, and Suzanne was 25. When I finally got the courage to ask her on a date, Suzanne said she had a boyfriend. I continued asking her. She kept saying, “No.”
A month later, when I was going to cover the New York Islanders game at Nassau Coliseum, I asked Suzanne if she would like to come along. She had never been to a hockey game and to my surprise, she said, “Yes.”
Although my radio show had an alternative-rock music format, the New York Islanders was part of my media beat. I often had the players on my show. Suzanne and I sat in the press section at the Coliseum. After the game, we went to the media room, where I was going to interview the players. My mistake was forgetting that it was connected to the locker room. The team saw me with Suzanne and, as a prank, several players walked into the media room naked. She was mortified and didn’t know which way to look. I was devastated. What a way to remember the first date. Even so, as we were leaving the Coliseum, I decided to go for broke and I kissed her.
Suzanne soon broke up with her boyfriend and eventually we became a couple. We were together all the time, either at the radio station or covering concerts and dance club promotions on Long Island and in Manhattan.
In 1992, the New York Islanders played another big part in our relationship. They worked with me to put my marriage proposal to Suzanne on the scoreboard during a game. I bought 16 tickets to the game for her family to witness the moment. To my relief, she said, “Yes.” We married on June 12, 1993, at The Manor East in Massapequa.
Suzanne left WDRE-FM in 1989. She worked in corporate marketing at Blockbuster Video and is now a full-time homemaker. We have four beautiful children.
I left WDRE-FM in 1991. I am now senior director of marketing and sales at Island Federal, a credit union. Since 2003, I have been a radio announcer on SiriusXM’s 1st Wave, an alternative-rock music format morning show. I also appeared in a Showtime documentary about WLIR-FM, “New Wave: Dare to Be Different.”
On Valentine’s Day, Suzanne and I had an early 25th anniversary celebration. The programming department at SiriusXM asked us to do a show together that would be repeated during the day. We picked love songs to be played, and we told our first-date story. At the end of the show, we renewed our wedding vows on the air, officiated by my good friend Father Dave Dwyer of SiriusXM’s Catholic Channel. The reaction from the listeners and on social media was overwhelming.
For our 25th anniversary in June, we spent a weekend in Manhattan and relived our dating days. We went to a Broadway play, took a horse-and-buggy ride and danced the night away. We then stopped at SiriusXM so I could record my radio shows, along with my special guest, Suzanne.