A Tribute to
ROBIN SESTERO
by Todd Sestero

In General     Snippets     Her Career     Pictures      Floobydust




In General



Both Robin and I were born in New Rochelle NY, well, kinda...... New Rochelle didn't have a hospital at the time, or at least one close, so technically, we were born in Bronxville NY, a neighboring city (albeit a really small one ! :-)   Her day of happiness was on June 13th, 1954.

During the early years, because our father was an advertising manager and changed jobs frequently, we moved from New Rochelle to Tyler TX in 1959, to Batavia NY in 1964, back to New Rochelle for nine months in 1965, and then finally to Towson MD in 1966 and Ruxton in 1967.

She attended Dumbarton Junior High School, Towson High School, and UMBC.  Her best friends from those days at Dumbarton are Beth Fryer and Karyn Thompson.  She was truly a flower child of the 60's and was very experienced :-)  As usual, we had our differences and our disagreements, but we generally got along pretty well.  If I was around, I would always be protective of her.  There was one instance at our high school bus stop where this local "head" Jeff was trying to get her started on drugs.  I picked him up by the collar of his army jacket and told him to "leave her alone, when she's ready, she will come to you", and threw him down on the ground (I was 6 ft tall, Jeff was barely over five and a half - the tiny little worm)---he never bothered her again (or anyone else at the bus stop for that matter). 
  
Robin always loved animals, but had a special place in her heart for cats.  Our first one in Tyler was a small alley cat that got run over by a car, and she dragged the thing home to have our parents recuperate the poor little thing.  His name was Squeaky, and he survived and lived a full life until we moved into Ruxton.  Robin is survived by her latest two, Freddy and Betty.

On 9/26/86, Robin and Greg got married at the Little Church of the West Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, at 11pm.  The wedding cost $129.04!  Robin and Greg met while on staff at Entertainment Tonight, and when they first met, were slightly at odds with each other because of first impressions, plus, they were also involved with other people.  Once those two relationships broke up, they decided to have coffee one evening, and after that, it was only a matter of a few months before they flew to Las Vegas and became married.

Our parents were Robert A. and Gloria Sestero, both born in New York City back in the mid 1920's.  Mom's grandparents came from the Reading PA area: Paul and Susanne Scheck, and we considered them Pennsylvania Dutch, with a little mix of Hungarian on our grandmothers side.  On my fathers side, both of his parents came over on the boat from Italy, but interestingly enough, even tho they only lived about 75 miles apart in Italy (Savona and Bergamo), they did not meet till they were here in this country.  Our mother did not have any brothers or sisters, and our father had one older sister Amalia.  Amalia was married to actor Allan Melvin.



Robin peacefully passed away on Friday, September 4th, 2015, after a long bout with illness.  She is survived by myself, my wife Dianne, her nieces Tina (and her husband Rob) and Jennifer, great nieces Elena & Sophia, Aunt Amalia, and ex-husband Greg Czech.  RIP my dear sister, we really rocked the pillars of Hell when we were young!

As a most interesting side note, on the morning we got the called that Robin had passed away, when my wife and I got into the car to go over to Stella Maris, the radio station HAD JUST started playing Led Zepplin's (anyone want to take a guess?) Stairway to Heaven.  Likewise, a few miles away, when my daughter Tina got into her car to come over, Queen's (maybe NOT so appropriate) Another One Bites The Dust was playing.  On the day of Robin's viewing, my wife and daughter had to dash out to get flowers to replace an arrangement that FTD could not deliver until Monday (would that be OK, they asked.... WTF?), and when they got into my car, George Thoroughgood's I Drink Alone was on, and on the way back, they were next to a Thunderbird of the same (or very close) year to Robin's at a traffic light...... to many coincidences maybe?

Check out Robin's obituaries:
     At the Sunpapers
     At Peaceful Alternatives

One of the best pictures of Robin we have from the early days, courtesy Bruce Dunlop, her boyfriend at the time
This was taken out in the driveway of our house at 7521 L'Hirondelle Club Rd in Ruxton MD
(and I still have that stupid statue in my yard :-)

 

Snippets




Robin was a car junkie, and ever since she was a kid always wanted a Thunderbird, so in 2002 she went out and bought herself baby blue one (ok, it's really aqua), which she still has today and recently had a complete makeover done on it.  Other cars she has owned: a silver 2010 Chevy Camaro, a black 2015 Kia Soul, a white 2011 Scion, a white Volvo station wagon, an Acura, a brown 1977? Honda Civic, and a yellow 1971 Fiat 124.

Once upon a time, while Robin and Greg lived in Los Angeles, Robin got a hankering for a PT Cruiser.  Well, way up in Traverse City where our aunt spends her summers, one of her friends is a used car dealer.  On one of her trips to TC, she casually mentioned this to the guy, and he offered her a Cruiser at a good price.  So without checking things, she bought it and had it shipped to California.  Only one problem with the car tho - it didn't have the California emissions control on the car, so she could not get it registered.  OUCH!  So, for the year or so that Robin had the car, she kept getting the dealer guy in Traverse City to keep re-issuing the temporary registration, with a new temp tag to go along with it until she finally sold it off out of state.  She quietly referred to it as the "criminal car".


I taught Robin how to drive in our family's 1967 Karmann Ghia, and someone still owes me interest on that one! :-)  We banged into a few trashcans and the parents got pissed with us, oh well.

Back in 1991, I got laid off from my job, and had plenty of time to do nothing.  So Robin asked if I could come out to L.A. and help remodel her kitchen.  One night during the tear-it-apart phase, we wanted to make room for more tear-outs, so we loaded up the pick-up truck they had rented.  Then, the three of us went out around 10pm and drove around till we could find a place to dump the stuff.  We found a vacant lot on one of those typical steep L.A. hillsides, and rushed like mad to get rid of the stuff.  It took us an hour for our heart rates to go down! :-)

When we were living in Tyler, and I was about 12, me and a friend decided to take our parents 1963 Grand Prix out for a drive.  We lived on a "U" shaped street, with a creek running down the middle.  I backed the car out of the driveway, and went around to the far side, turned around and came back.  Somewhere in there, I threw it into neutral and revved up the engine, I guess I thought it was cool.  Robin finked on me and I got into trouble big time over that one!

Fast forward to high school.  Robin and Beth took the Karman Ghia out for a ride, TO SOUTH CAROLINA while our parents were away for the weekend.  Too bad I didn't know about it, I would have paid her back.... nah, not really.....

  Robin and her new 1978 Civic at our house on Gibbons Blvd in Timonium, ~1979

  The church where Robin and Greg were married

  Her Volvo sitting in front of 5210 Tampa Ave in Tarzana




Her Career



Robin always had a creative streak in her as long as I can remember.  Back in high school she excelled in art classes and anything else remotely creative.  Next stop was four years at a local college, UMBC: University of Maryland - Baltimore County.  I even signed up to take a class with her that involved flying and the images you could create as you flew around in the heavens - the class included one flying lesson to boot!  Those of you who have had the privilege to work with Robin also know she was an effective at delegating work assignments, and as such, often coerced me into doing art assignments for her, for that is one of the few areas I was better at.

After graduating from UMBC, her first employment was with WMPT Channel 67, based in Owings Mills MD.   This was maybe around 1976.  She was a production assistant, and helped with anything they needed.  She was even able to get my daughter, her niece, Tina into one of the commercials for the station.

From there, she hopped over to WJZ Channel 13 in Baltimore on top of TV Hill, and was a production assistant there also, eventually becoming a segment producer for Evening Magazine.  While at Channel 13, she met one of her best and long time friends, Becky Girvan.

Next stop was going down to Washington DC - Channel 9, a Group W affiliate, and did segment producing for PM Magazine.  The five or so Group W stations got to call their shows Evening Magazine, while the affiliates were allowed to use PM Magazine.  During her tenure at channel 9, she and her camera crew were the first on the scene for the horrific crash of Air Florida flight #90 that crashed into the 14th Street Bridge and the Potomac River back on January 13th, 1982.

From DC to Indianapolis.... She then took the opportunity to take a step up the corporate ladder by accepting a position with a TV station in Indy producing the show Indianapolis AM.  She was in Indianapolis for a year before moving west and making  L.A. her home for 20 years.

During her stay in L.A., she worked on a host of productions for a myriad of production companies.  Among them are ET, American Chronicles, Jones and Jury, and LMNO Productions (3 links).

  

Robin finally decided to move back east to be closer to her family, and in 2002, moved to New York City and worked for Court TV (now TruTV).

After one year there, she jumped ship for an opportunity to work for Discovery Communications in Bethesda MD.  At Discovery, she was probably responsible for some of the more memorable shows of her career, including: Hoarding: Buried Alive and the Puppy Bowl, an alternative to those who got tired of watching the
Superbowl.

One of the highlights of her career was in 2007, winning a sports Emmy (at top of page) for the production of 2006's
Race2Replace, a documentary of finding a new lead rider on the Discovery Racing Team.  FOR SOME REASON, I was not aware that she even had one!  It was not on display at any of her residence's - she never talked about it.  In talking to Greg, he said that hardly anyone in the business puts theirs on display.  Can I be honest here?..... I work on radar systems for a living, and we would never ever get an Emmy for that (hell, we hardly ever get a thank you), even tho they save lives!.  So take them out of hiding and be proud of the fact that you have one!!!  Show it off!  Sheesh!  :-)  :-)

After leaving Discovery in 2011, she concentrated on her passions: houses and staging.  Again, those of you who know Robin, you know that she could never just buy a house and live in it, that was way too mundane and boring - so every house she ever lived in became a project!

Please check back often, as this page will updated quite often for the near future!


Pictures



  Robin and Karyn

  Robin and Karyn back in the ole high school days.... those crazy Goofballs! :-)

     From around 1957 or 1958 in Central Park, New York City.

  Robin in her bedroom at 7521 Club Rd, maybe around 1970?

  Robin during her ET days

  Robin with Greg Czech and Rod Klein at ET somewhere between 1982 and 1990

  Robin, our father, and a blurry little Tina at one of her apartments in Cockeysville, ~1979

A picture from around 1995, maybe, on one of my trips to L.A.  LtoR, Todd Sestero, Robin and husband Greg Czech.


Following are pictures from a Welcoming Party Robin had back in September of 2011 at her new house in Roland Park....
(L) Robin and my wife Dianne,  (R) Robin before the party
 

(L) Robin with Beth Fryer,  (R) Robin and myself with a couple of her former co-workers
 

     

  Robin with Shannon Paciorik and Mike Kane
  Robin with Shannon Paciorik, Mike Kane, and Christo Doyle
The above two photos were found on Google Images, and are by Marc Bryan-Brown-2007.  They are from the 28th Annual Sports Emmy Awards for winning Outstanding Broadband-Coverage

   
Robin on "moving in day" to her new house in Bethesa 

The following six pictures were sent to me by Elli Swink, who was Robin's administrative assistant at Discovery.  She took the pictures in April of 2010.

In the first picture, we have Robin with Holly Stein and Lori Butterfield, two of Robin's department directors.  
To the right of that were a couple of Apple posters which Robin loved (she was a big, BIG Apple fan).

  

Below is a gathering of the Hoarding Buried Alive staff being addressed by Discovery president David Zaslav for the immense success of the show.
On the right is Robin with Superman (real identity unknown, for obvious reasons) and Senior Vice President Diane Tryneski.

  

On the left is Robin in a dance line at a Discovery Christmas party (yeah, I know it's not PC to say that anymore :-),
And on the right is Robin at her desk under the watchful eye of posters promoting her Puppybowl series.....

  


The Puppybowl

The Puppybowl was a success story if there ever was one.  All you have to do is wander through Google Images, and you will find a treasure trove of pictures depicting clones and copies, from Hallmark's Kittenbowl to oodles of locally run Puppybowl's around the country.  The premise couldn't be easier either: build a tiny football field and let the puppies have fun!  They eventually allowed cats in, but I'm sure the players union wasn't happy about that!

   
 
 


 

 

  Who let the cats in? - this one takes after me, always wanting to check out the behind-the-scenes tech! :-)



Homes


Homes, they were part of Robin as much as her soul was, here are some of them....

  Her house in Bethesda MD, second house after she moved back to Maryland

  Her apartment in Mount Washington MD, a suburb of Baltimore

  1204 Poplar Hill in Roland Park, Baltimore MD  - part of a larger lot, split up, and she kept the open lot

  Inside 1204 Poplar Hill, looking from the kitchen into the dining room, living room, and the den

  The remodeled kitchen at 1204 Poplar Hill

  The guest bedroom at 1204 Poplar Hill


Floobydust



I put this up in front of my house on Labor Day

Don't know where Bronxville NY is, where Robin and I were born? 
    Well, don't feel bad, neither do most people..... 
        It is Northwest of New Rochelle, way north of the Bronx, in Westchester County.


Here is a sampling of the things I have found on the internet about Robin:

 

 

  

 

  



RAILFAN GUIDES HOME
RAILROAD SIGNALS HOME


web statistics

NEW 09/06/2015
Last Modified 01-Dec-2016