Me and Martini – July/August 2015

Will the Real “Thelma & Louise” Please Stand Up

In Me & Martini, we hope to introduce you to other listeners so you can learn about the rest of your Martini family. Brad is frequently talking about “Thelma and Louise” and their adventures in Florida (and more). We thought we would take this opportunity to bring you the people behind the infamous stories in their own words.

by Cindy Covington and Susan Straughn

Cindy was born and raised in North Carolina, and has lived in Tampa FL for the last 30+ years. She was a systems analyst at NCR Corporation (where Susan and she met), a Tampa Bay area Realtor for 17 years and now is an entrepreneur & self employed in the pet care industry (the best job EVER).  She is married to Douglas, a career prosecutor for the State of Florida. 

Susan is a native Floridian. Her family goes back from her standpoint three generations. Now she has great-nephews and so her family roots and legacy grows as native Floridians. She was very fortunate to be afforded an education that has opened doors to wonderful opportunities. First starting at National Cash Register (where she and Cindy met) after graduate school, she was trained as an account executive selling mainframes and computers to financial institutions within the state of Florida. After about 14 years of success at NCR, she felt there was more she needed to do. That’s when Susan decided to go back to school and get a BS in Nursing. By doing this, it has led her to her dream job….as after working in the hospital and outpatient environment she got headhunted by a medical device company out of Silicon Valley called Curon Medical which led her to Barrx Medical (which was acquired in 2012 by Covidien and now Metronic).  Susan was instrumental in the startup of this company in 2005 for the treatment of a precancerous disease of the esophagus, caused by chronic heartburn, called Barrett’s Esophagus. This is the topic you hear Brad talk about every day, as she felt compelled to personally sponsor a daily shout out, so as to share an awareness surrounding this treatable condition, that if left unchecked and not treated, potentially can lead to esophageal cancer.

We were both working at NCR Corp. in different divisions when fate pulled us together to be instant friends, as we both have an adventurous spirit. Through almost 30 years of friendship, laughter and sorrow we are more like sisters/family (as neither of us has a sister).  Susan also introduced Cindy to her husband, Douglas many moons ago.  When Douglas asked Cindy to marry him the response was “I come with a cat, a bird, a horse and Susan”.  Thankfully he said OK and more importantly… knows we need our girl’s weekends away!!

We travel a lot together… and we are always looking for fun.  On one of our trips while riding in the car, Cindy had her hair “piled” on top of her head with a clip.  Susan looked over and said “Well, hey Thelma”.  The response was “If I’m Thelma, you are Louise”.  So, that is what we would call ourselves.  Then … one day we were driving from Tampa to Ft. Lauderdale for a long weekend.  We had MITM playing while in the car.  Brad mentioned something about one of us, so we sent him an email to say “hi!” & that we were listening while we were traveling.  The next thing we know he is talking about us and calling us Thelma & Louise as we “tear across Florida”.  We told him that is what we call ourselves and he said it seemed appropriate.   It stuck with him calling us that…so, we guess that is who we really are.

Both of us grew up in the mid 50’s and 60’s with our parents playing “martini music” in the home.  After a little maturity has finally settled in, we now find this music the most pleasing in many ways.  One day Cindy was searching to find an internet station that played the standards.  “Martini music station” was Googled…and up came the catchy Lenny icon and a link to click on MITM.  Cindy loved it and shared the link with Susan…and the rest is history.

Being listeners has made both of us sponsors. If you love it, why not sponsor???  We both have been very active in the Tampa arts community, giving of our time and money.  We have taken on big fundraiser projects for various organizations…. So giving back is a natural response.  With as little as $1 a day to sponsor we think it is the best bargain around.  Look at the hours and hours of enjoyment that is received from only $1 every day…. Hard to beat!  We encourage everyone to help out and become a sponsor … whether hourly, sponsor a day or the weekend lounge…see how good it feels to know you are doing your part.

We’d like to thank our very own “Thelma and Louise” for doing their part. We are so grateful to call them part of our Martini family. Recently, Susan’s travels brought her out to Los Angeles and she had the chance to visit Brad and Mother Miriam. Upon meeting them, she felt “it was like seeing longtime friends although it was our first time meeting.”