the early years the friends the family the mom the wife the TV producer the ham the driver



Killer Bs, 2004

Sue has often said of the
charming and lovely Jeni B:
“She’s me when I was in my 20s.

i remember very distinctly the moment that i stepped into the masonic temple with nothing but a knapsack carrying lunch money, a granola bar and a bottle of water... i felt obviously unprepared and scared was my second job in the glorious world of television and i had been given the coveted title of 'viewer relations', aka 'email girl'. i didn't know anybody on the show but as my dad always told me, "firm handshake and look 'em in the eye"... the recipe for making new i did.
i introduced my way through pretty much the whole staff (around 65 people at the time) and latched on to a few individuals straight away.i really loved my bosses, al magee (who to me was very impressive without tv cred, that of 'sleep country' fame), john & barb (who frightened me with their random surprise visits), and commander-in-chief (also known as payday lady), sue brophey.
slowly, the crew's personalities began to emerge and people started to mesh. i don't remember how it happened, all i know is a few post show drinks at the bar next door, a ctv christmas party, the first annual 'alcopalooza' and you got yourself some friends.i didn't expect to become buddy-buddy with any of my higher-ups, but thought that they were all very unique and i was intrigued by them... one in particular.
as i watched sue work, i thought i pretty much had her figured out. bookworm. dedicated wife and mom. money manager. straight laced. enforcer of rules & regulations. strong willed. proper, and sometimes prim. organized. awesome speller. fierce. funny. loved milk. loved order. sue brophey.
well, i had some of it right.
one day, i was laughing with a co-worker about my body type and i cracked a joke about the size of my non-existent chest & my lanky frame. from out of nowhere and over at the other side of the office came the comment, "jeni b, you are just like me when i was your age".
sue brophey, mother and order-lover? i don't think so.
another time, i was talking about some of my shenanigans 'out on the town' and again, the shout out from over yonder, "i tell you... you are just like me when i was your age".
sue brophey, wife and milk-drinker? think again.
this continued as the years went by. sue would tell me over and over again how much i reminded her of herself at my age. she would tell me about the times when she and laurie and kim would laugh until they spilled their wine, about her jobs as a PA, switchboard girl and her stint on the Tommy Hunter Show. i always agreed and smiled when she would say it, but being a young, free, party girl 'on the town', i never really fully believed it.
she seemed so straight. so organized. so married!
but as time went on, i watched my moneywise boss belt out tunes at karaoke, break her own rule of 'no smoking' in the green room, down a couple of bottles of wine in one sitting, super-sleuth out an employee's not-so-tricky ways, dance her feet off, challenge me to a spelling bee (& our host to a duel on more than one occasion), plan parties, travel the country, work more than one job at a time and always manage to be the life of the party. all this while staying true to her husband and helping her kids with homework over the phone. every. single. day.
she is dedicated to her friends, co-workers and family more than anyone i know. she cries at the good stuff.
and she can (and does) don a pair of sparkly pants in front of a crowd of 1000 without batting an eye.
this is someone to admire.
now here i am married, organized, strong willed, emotional, a lover of order, adament against spell check and blessed and honoured to have been figured out all those years ago.
i am her at her age. a mini-sue.
and i can tell you, there is no better compliment to be given. if i can be even half the woman you are at your age sue brophey, than i'm a lucky gal.
thank you for being my friend.
now excuse me, i'm off to grab a glass of milk.
Jeni Besworth

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