Dawne Gee is the quintessential Louisvillian. She loves her hometown more than anyone, and her spirit is palpable, whether she’s anchoring the evening news on WAVE-TV or hosting one of hundreds of charity events she does each year.
August will mark Gee’s 21st anniversary with WAVE, but more pressing to her is coming to terms with being an empty-nester. Gee’s three children have all grown up and are embarking on new journeys, she tells Insider: Brittney is a first-grade teacher and tutor at U of L; Eric works in food services; and Alex is wrapping up his first year at Western Kentucky University as a communications major (“You’d think he’d know better,” Gee jokes).
Gee has faced numerous health issues, including kidney cancer last year, and gastroparesis last month. While she’s not 100 percent — “It’s a battle every day,” she says — she’s back at work for now.
In 2010, Gee was chosen as LEO Weekly’s Louisvillian of the Year, and I was fortunate to hang out with her several times for the story. Fun facts I learned about her: She has a degree in communications and biology from U of L; she once worked as a bouncer at Comedy Caravan; and she falls asleep watching horror movies.
Before she gets swept up in the Derby madness, Insider caught up with Gee to ask her some very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
The most surprising thing on my Bucket List is I’d like a full 15 minutes of uninterrupted meditation. I’d like my monkey mind to hush and nirvana to be mine instead of the incessant chatter of what I haven’t accomplished, what’s happening to the world, or what I could be accomplishing at the moment I’m trying to attain peace of mind.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
One of the posters on my wall in junior high was Keith Partridge, and I would play the song “I Think I Love You” on my small record player over and over again nonstop until my sister was crazy.
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
If the key to the city actually opened anything, I’d give it to my daughter’s first-grade class and let them have a ball.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Coals Pizza — it sounded crazy, but grapes, rope sausage, olive oil, red onions, asiago cheese, mascarpone and ricotta. It was pure heaven.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
I loved 50. At that age, I didn’t care what anyone else did, said or thought. The only problem is, I couldn’t remember what I did, said or thought. That can be good, too!
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
I don’t resemble anyone at all.
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
I would LOVE to be stuck in an elevator with Louis de Pointe du Lac (Brad Pitt’s character in “Interview with the Vampire”) or Denzel Washington. I’d like for James Taylor music to be playing while I’m stuck in there with whoever I’m in there with!