Wednesday, September 16, 1998
Fairy tales can come true. Main Street Fayetteville's Lisa Martin has proved it.
Martin's Prince Charming swept into Fayette last January in the guise of CNN television personality Bill Tush, and the couple will be married Sept. 25 at Tush's third home in Palm Springs.
Longtime Atlanta area residents will remember Tush from the early days when media mogul Ted Turner started his television empire with a single local station that later became the Superstation,then blossomed into his cable network. Tush's humorous news and entertainment programs became a hallmark.
Tush's fame and fortunes rose with Turner's, and now he hosts the Show Business Weekend show Saturday mornings on CNN, and is the network's senior entertainment correspondent, known best for his annual coverage of the movie industry's Oscars. With 25 years of service, he is Turner's longest-running on-air personality.
Carolyn Cary, contributing writer for The Citizen and Fayette County's official historian, played a key role in the fairy tale come true, along with McRae Communications owner Joe Snowden. "Joe said he felt like Cupid," said Martin.
Snowden invited Tush to speak at the Fayette Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet in January. Afterward, during a reception, Martin and Tush spoke briefly, and Cary captured the moment on film.
"I just went up to tell him I enjoyed his speech," said Martin. "I used to work for Turner Broadcasting [CNN's parent company], so I found it very interesting.
"Carolyn captured our moment," said Martin.
The rest, as they say, is history. Tush phoned Martin the next day from the airplane on his way back to New York City, and the two have been dating steadily ever since. Cary gave copies of the photo to Martin, who sent one to Tush, adding to the magic.
"I've been going to New York every other weekend, and we decided to take the plunge," she said.
An Atlanta native, Martin confessed she "grew up watching" Tush and always enjoyed his "unique sense of humor." Once she got to know him personally, she said, there was more to Tush than his celebrity. "Behind the TV persona, he's one of the nicest people I've ever met."
After the Sept. 25 wedding, Tush and Martin will have a combination reception and 50th birthday party for Tush in October in Manhattan, which will be their permanent home. Tush also has a home in his home town of Pittsburgh.
"I'm excited about everything," Martin said. "I've always wanted to work in New York." She already has some interviews lined up, she said.
But parting will be bittersweet, she added. "I hate to leave Main Street," she said. "But I'm very confident that Sherry [Main Street Coordinator Sherry Anderson] is going to be able to take it to the next level."
The program, which seeks to improve and promote Fayetteville's historic downtown business district, is indeed moving to a new level. With new funding in this year's city budget, Main Street has moved and is restoring the historic Hollingsworth House and hopes to acquire and continue restoration of the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House.
"It's just going to get bigger and better," she said.