Pat Ciarrocchi

Pat Ciarrocchi


Pat Ciarrocchi had a scare.

Of Major League proportion.

Pat Ciarrocchi is also loyal.

The scare was a brain tumor that was discovered, and removed, in October in an operation that had happy endings on several levels.

The loyalty is how Pat – I just can’t call her by her last name; she’s always Pat in my mind – chose to make her adventure known to audiences that watched her as anchor, host, reporter, and practitioner of all-around excellence at Channel 3 for three decades.

More actually.

She brought her tale to her alma mater, “Eyewitness News,” and to her dear friend and colleague for most of her tenure there, Ukee Washington, who is now anchor across the board of CBS 3’s newscasts starting at 4 p.m. and ending at 11 p.m.

The morning after Pat appeared with Washington, to whom she refers as a “brother from another mother” while he calls her his “sister from another mister,” she published her account of everything from concern and diagnosis to recovery. That account appeared on most news feed and can be easily accessed via the Internet, so I’m going to refer to that for most details, not only because Pat is the best conveyor of her story, but because, typically, she relates even fear and worry with her usual combination of heart and humility. Pat’s tale is compelling and moving while remaining constantly uplifting and oh so human.

The gist is Pat was having trouble hearing in one ear, the ear in which she wore a device through which the control room could communicate with her, for all of those decades I mentioned above.

At an age when vanity gives way to hearing aids if necessary, Pat went to be examined for her auditory difficulty, only to learn further tests were needed as a lesion on the brain was suspected.

Suspicions were correct. A telephone call from Penn Medicine was received. Pat had a tumor.

I will take the liberty to report Penn’s pathology department declared the tumor benign, and not only that, but lacking the cell structure to grow back. Of course, that good news could only be delivered if the tumor was removed. In Pat’s story, she tells how she made her decision for sooner-rather-than-later surgery and how much her husband, David Fineman was involved in the process.

Pat, in a personal conversation, called a “fun fact,” the staples that bound the wound on the right side of her scalp formed a question mark.

How’s that for someone whose career, which continues, is being a reporter?

The tumor being on the right side of Pat’s brain was a relief of sorts because creativity and communication skills, including the ability to speak, are governed by cells on the left side, so while Pat and David did not know totally what Pat was facing when she underwent surgery, there was minimal danger her writing, conceiving, and presentation skills would be affected.

When you read Pat’s piece, you’ll see how much her faith, in providence and in her surgeon, helped during a difficult time. You’ll also see how her native curiosity and optimism figure into her attitude toward the surgery and her approach to recovery.

Pat was her radiant self when I spoke to her this week. The conversation was between two people who have known each other longer than seems imaginable, but there is one part I wanted a share and told her I would.

Pat’s recovery was in stages. Progress was not always as immediate or thorough as someone as active and enthusiastic as Pat would like. Delight alternated with impatience, improvement with frustration, advancement with stasis. Fatigue and wooziness are not part of Pat Ciarrocchi’s usual existence, and though she fully understood why she was experiencing them, they caused anxiety and as close as Pat gets to anger.

Then came an afternoon when everything seemed routine, normal even. There was no wooziness or interruption to thought or action. Everything flowed as before. A critical turning point had come. The perception was jubilating.

Naturally, this revelation had to be shared, and with the one person who had been with Pat through the entire ordeal, the person who has been her partner in life, her husband, David.

She went to the room where David was and her inimitable style announced, “I’m back.”

David, Pat says, looked at her, smiled, and quietly said, “I know.”

Welcome back, Pat. It’s so nice to have you back where you belong!

No Good Globes

This year's Golden Globe ceremony was one of the least watched in the history of the award.

Maybe one should not be surprised by that.

The award covers movies and television.

This year, because of the coronavirus and the long shuttering of movie theaters, the line between movies and television is a blur. There may not have been the same interest in films given that many mya not have been known where to see them.

Neither NBC nor the Globes helped themselves with ads that featured hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, popular draws in general, making fun of the awards and joking, yet in a way that hinted sincerity, they were going to drive award shows off the map.

Their opening monologue certainly seemed to work to that end.

Calling Ricky Gervais.

Satire and kidding are one thing. (Well, maybe two.) Fey and Poehler seems to mean what they said. In so they were being fashionable. Cynicism and denigration of institutions is in, and Hollywood is too much a purveyor or both not to join in on them. The problem is it seemed wrong. The Golden Globes were always fun, almost irreverent.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is right to address the lack of representation among its voters, but Fey, Poehler, and others needed to turn the plight into the modern melodrama that is boring more than inspiring many people. Three representatives from the HFPA did better.

In general, the Globes lacked a spark Gervais gave former ceremonies or that Neil Patrick Harris provided for the Tonys. Once the awards were about to be distributed, matters improved.

There were surprises with Rosamund Pike, for instance, receiving the Best Actress Award for Comedy, or Andra Day, in a deserving performance gaining favor for “The U.S. vs. Billie Holiday” over Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” or Carey Mulligan in “Promising Young Woman.

On the television side, it was interesting that Emma Corrin’s Diana was given preference over Olivia Colman’s Elizabeth II on “The Crown” and the Jason Sudeikis took Best Comedy Actor honors for Apple+’s “Ted Lasso.”

Red seemed to be the color for the best gowns, and my prize for the best of the night goes to Salma Hayak for both her dress and her use of jewelry.

Have fun mocking yourself, Globes, but for 2022, be a little serious, too.


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