As cohost of the Jim Kerr Rock and Roll Morning Show, Shelli brings classic tracks and chat to her listeners on Q104.3 NYC. The gig also requires the Mount Airy native to create conversational commercials for advertisers.
About 10 years ago, she started singing the praises of a North Jersey convenience store chain, and thus met the guy who was then its vice president of marketing: John.
“He's really, really nice,” she said. And that's not all: “He has the look that I really like. Tall, thin, kind of longish, gray hair.” She pegged him for a rock-and-roll kind of guy even before he told her writing songs and playing guitar were among his passions.
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John, who grew up in Allentown, noticed Shelli, too. “She was really great to work with, and she's very attractive, very smart, very cosmopolitan. And very engaged in the things she believes in.” For example, she uses her Sonstein Sundays show to bring awareness to the health issues of the 9/11 first-responders and participates in many fund-raisers supporting them.
After one of their business meetings in 2011, Shelli took a risk: “If you're ever down in Neptune City, give me a call,” she wrote in an email. John knew that's where Shelli lived, but he misunderstood her intent. “I thought she was just being nice to a client.”
At subsequent meetings and via email, both were a bit flirtatious, but so mildly that the other was never really certain of it.
Then in 2012, John bought an 1852 farmhouse in Upper Black Eddy, Bucks County, and sent Shelli many photos. The house was beautiful, but what Shelli most wanted to know was how many people lived in it. Maybe this guy was not even available. She and her station's midday jock came up with a plan: “Is your significant other going to redecorate it?” she asked. His “she's not so significant anymore” reply made her smile.
In early 2013, John googled Shelli and found a crazy video she made of an offering on behalf of her beloved Jersey Devils, who weren't doing so hot. “I had tied my lucky red thong to a balloon and sent it up to the hockey gods,” Shelli said.
That Valentine's Day, John, now 61, sent Shelli, 62, his most flirty, least worky email yet: “I know you're not wearing your red thong, so what are you wearing today?”
Shelli didn't flinch. “You're right,” she wrote. “I'm wearing my Stone Pony thong, though.”
That's when John knew there was something between them. He asked if he'd see her at the forthcoming Who and Elvis Costello show. “We don't get free tickets,” she said. “I happen to have an extra ticket,” he replied. “If you're asking if I'd like to go with you, I'd love to,” she said.
John's research included talking to the chef at Ca Va, a midtown restaurant. They had great food, great conversation, and a great time at the concert. John walked Shelli to the 34th Street subway entrance, where they had their first kiss.
John and Shelli had two previous marriages -- short first ones when they were very young, and longer second ones. Both have adult children: John has a son, Mike; Shelli has two sons, Aaron and Ryan, and a daughter, Dina. She also has two grandchildren, Zach, now 4, and Evan, 1½.
Shelli and John flirted up a storm the week after their first date, but Date Two had to wait while she visited her kids and oldest grandson in Los Angeles. John emailed upon her return but did not get the answer he hoped for.
“I had such a great time,” Shelli said. “But I have to be honest. A guy I dated before reached out to me, and I wonder if I should see if there's still something there.” John said he understood. But truth was, he did not. He emailed back moments later, telling Shelli he thought she was making a mistake. Their date held much promise, he said, and things had already failed to work with the other guy.
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