April 23, 2014

Radio sweethearts share a love of tunes and travel

Beloved music critic Alan Cross met news anchor Mary Ellen Beninger in the radio booth

Beninger and Cross recently toured Dubai together

Beninger and Cross recently toured Dubai together

Self-professed music geek Alan Cross and his wife, 680News anchor Mary Ellen Beninger, share a passion for music and the radio industry — as well as their English bull terrier, Schmooze. When Beninger isn’t working on her new series of novels and Cross isn’t tied up with his radio show, The Secret History of Rock, the couple enjoys making up for their disappointing honeymoon by travelling to exotic destinations. Here, the local couple shares the story of how their ’round-the-world romance began:

How they met
Mary Ellen: [We met] at work. He was the overnight guy. I was the morning news person. It was him or the gas attendant.

Alan: Every morning at 4, there was a feature where I played the side of an album. This turned out to be the time when Mary Ellen came into work.

The first date
Mary Ellen: The first date I remember was New Year’s Eve. He took me to a fancy French restaurant and wore a tuxedo and was dying from a cold but was so sweet.

The courtship
Mary Ellen: [Spending] New Year’s in New York City [is another fond memory]. This time I had the cold, but we ate dinner at Sardi’s and saw A Chorus Line and were going to watch the ball drop in Times Square but ran into a drugged out guy smashing car windows and thought, “Let’s just go back to the hotel.”

The proposal
Alan: We were over at a friend’s apartment, for Mary Ellen’s birthday,  where the big event was watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show on VHS. I had bought her a new bathrobe and stuck the ring box in one of the pockets.

The big day
Mary Ellen: We were married in Alan’s hometown of Stonewall, Man. He was the mayor’s kid and from an enormous family. There was no choice. We went to a resort in Mexico [for our honeymoon]. When we arrived, the toilets had just begun working for the first time in days. There were discarded straws and fruit garnishes in the pool from the swim-up bar, and Volkswagen-sized flying cockroaches in the bathroom. He’s been making it up to me ever since.  

Their special bond
Mary Ellen: We both care about our relationship, our home, our dog and our family. We both love to travel. Both enjoy food. We both love music, though our tastes don’t always intersect.

Alan: Travel. Food. Dogs. That pretty much sums it up.

Secret to their success
Mary Ellen: Like anything, you calibrate success on a daily basis. But I have never met anyone whom I find as funny or interesting as Alan. Besides, I can close my eyes and remember [his] mullet.

Alan: You had to bring that up, didn’t you?

Relationship advice
Mary Ellen: Try and be kind with one another. It’s rough out there.

Alan: Keep work and home life as separate as possible. If you have to choose, always take home life.