WIS goes behind the scenes with Susan

(Columbia) March 2, 2006 - There's a lot more to Susan Aude than the pretty face in front of the camera. Susan has a green thumb and a wild side that viewers don't usually get to see, and she's surrounded by a loving family and friends.

The Susan WIS' Judi Gatson knows loves spending time outdoors. Just one look at her backyard and it's obvious she's a master gardener.

"I love my backyard here, I garden. But let me be honest, I kind of tell people how to garden for me."

She has five or six feeders that keep the birds chirping, and she even feeds them worms.

"I love just being your average outdoor backyard bird watcher, enjoy that a lot."

There's nothing average about Susan. But that's typical Susan, a woman who does great things, but has no idea how great her accomplishments really are.

Just think about the guts it took for her to go after a job in TV.

"Gosh if, I'd known how much work it was going to be on some days and what I was getting into, I might not have done it. But I was just a young person who was, you know, finally feeling better and feeling independent. I just wanted to be like any other young person and get a job doing something I thought I'd be good at."

But the Susan Judi knows is much more than an anchorwoman, she's a daughter.

"I was lucky, I think, to grow up in a military family because we got to travel from the time I was very little. We lived in many different places, all over the world from France to Alaska."

"My mom lives in Columbia, she, I think, is just about one of the strongest and most tenderhearted people I'll ever meet."

"I think from my dad I learned especially a love of reading. He always... a father who every week, went to the library and brought home books for his children"

And Susan's a sister, "I have two wonderful brothers. We were typical siblings, picking on each other. They pull my hair, I pull their hair, you know, chasing each other all over the house and getting into trouble plenty of times."

And she's a mother, "It's weird when you run into people and they say, 'How's your little girl?' and I go, 'Well, she's not little anymore. She'll be 23 in April.'"

Now that Blythe's all grown up, Susan gets to explore more of her wild side. She was a sexy Cleopatra at a station Halloween party, and she's even been known to ride a hog.

"It's not that I do that all the time, but once in a while it's funny. It's funny, because people for so many years only see me in anchorwoman clothes."

Susan also loves hanging out with her girlfriends, "Yes, we do all kinds of fun things together."

The girls love her too. Elizabeth Martin, Barbara Sheridan and Nancy Songer are three of Susan's dearest friends.

Elizabeth remembers a trip she took with Susan, "I said to her, 'What floor are you on?' Because we weren't rooming together, and she said, 'fourth floor.' I said, 'Fourth floor? Why aren't you on the first floor?' And she said, 'What do you mean first floor? I can get on the elevator just like you can!'"

Barbara says it's fun just being around her, "It is a great deal of fun to work with Susan, we might be doing something very, very serious and all of a sudden we may starting singing a song."

And Nancy admires Susan's courage "And it's not just the courage that people would imagine, it's a deep morale courage, that she's wiling to go places in her heart and demand things of herself that are hard sometimes."

Back in her garden, Susan says she'll spend her free time doing the things she loves, "I enjoy reading. In the summertime I try to swim. I am active in my faith, the Bahai faith, and that brings me a lot of spiritual and intellectual joy and the friends I meet through that and the ways that I've been challenged to grow spiritually have all been good for me."

The Susan Judi knows is always ready for the next big adventure, "I'm just kind of looking forward to whatever it is, kind of not knowing is part of the fun and waiting to see what happens."

Reported by Judi Gatson

Posted 6:55pm by Chantelle Janelle