Sunday, June 5, 2011

Back in the Good Ol' Days

If you knew Heather & Brett way back when in Jonesboro, then you had to know that we ran with a pretty good gang of friends.  Small market television is generally pretty rough on all the newbie newsies and it seemed as though we tended to stick pretty close together.  Some of the friendships we forged in the early days are the ones that have lasted the years.

Super Dad Ron Smiley!
But as time went by and contracts came up, most of us went our separate ways.  When we got married, we actually had eight different stations represented at our wedding!  Today, keeping up with our pals is just a mouse click away, but it's nice to catch up face to face.  When Heather had to travel to Cleveland, OH for a business trip, she jumped on the chance of seeing some of our K8 buddies again!

H & H
A short flight from Albany to Indianapolis, IN (yea for Southwest!) and she was in the company of Ron Smiley, his wife Michelle and their cute-as-a-bug daughter Haley.  Heather threw Haley's baby shower in Jonesboro, but never had the chance to meet her!  It took the car ride home from the airport for Haley to warm up, but she was ready to show Heather her room as soon as we walked in the front door!

Ron was hired at KAIT as a reporter just a few weeks before Heather started and the two sat across from each other in the newsroom.  If you've never had the pleasure of meeting Ron, take our word for it...he has one of the best laughs you'll ever hear!

The Smiley Family
Ron was a great reporter, but he sure didn't take long to get his meteorology degree and his AMS Seal of Approval!  Today Ron works as a meteorologist at Fox 59 in Indianapolis, IN!  He's a long way from Jonesboro and we couldn't be prouder!  Here's a peek at what he does now...

Heather also got to meet another generation of the K8 family on her trip.  Caroline Shelby Marini was born in December 2010 to some of the coolest parents a kid can get!  

Meeting sweet Caroline!
The Marini Family
Mom Emily and Dad Glenn also met at KAIT back in the day (we told you newsrooms are hot spots for relationships!)  Glenn & Emily married in March 2007...and some could credit Heather for helping that relationship get off the ground!  They live in Ft. Wayne, Indiana where they both work for WANE.  Emily produces the 5:00 newscast and Glenn is the sports director there.

Here's Caroline hard at work with her daddy...

Our mini K8 reunion at a Mexican restaurant in Indy was a pretty good time...had by all!

But the real fun didn't begin until we loaded up in the Smiley's third row SUV for a tour of Indy...ever try getting into the back of one of those things with a skirt on??

We ended up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the home of the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400 races.  The joint's so big it can seat more than a quarter million people!  We had to have our pics made there too of course.

We may not be cruising in news cars together, but even after all these's still an adventure with these guys!