The Brian Visit

Brian-1On any given Saturday for I don’t know how long, my friend Brian would pop in for beverages and conversation.

My wife called it “The Brian Visit.”

Brian and I worked together at WPOP and WFSB.  From a working relationship came a close friendship that lasted nearly 40 years.  We both have a strict definition of the word “friend,” so to lose a friend is a profoundly sad experience.

Brian-2Today, I am profoundly sad.  I have lost my friend.  There will be no more “Brian Visits.”  At least, not in person.

In the days ahead, I will join with other friends to raise a glass to Brian Garnett.  We may cry, but we will definitely laugh.  And we will appreciate who he was.

He made my life better.  He made me better.  I will miss him.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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36 Responses to The Brian Visit

  1. Jim says:

    I will miss Brian also. He was a wonderful person and better friend. I am truly sorry to hear of his passing, we have lost a gentleman, and a gentle man.

  2. ctjpmarie says:

    Gerry…sorry about your friend Brian. That is a loss and what a bummer…You know I know Brian’s name so it must be from growing up and WPOP.

    I find this old Eskimo proverb helpful when I lose someone I love. Hopefully tonight…when you look up at the stars…perhaps it will help you two! Peace!

    “Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”

  3. Tracy says:

    I have found memories of covering crime and courts with Brian. He always made me laugh and I remember his contagious smile. So sorry for your loss. Tracy Gordon Fox

  4. jonathan foster says:

    Gerry … nicely done. What an awesome time it was working with you both at FSB. It is a very sad day.

    Be well,

    Jonathan

  5. Beckie says:

    Growing up, I remember watching Brian Garnett on ch. 3. So sorry to hear of his passing. Sending thoughts of peace to his friends and family.

  6. Dan Davis says:

    So sorry for your loss, Gerry.
    Duke

  7. Bernard Kavaler says:

    Brian was a consummate professional, and a solid colleague. The WPOP years remain a fond memory and source of pride. It was a heck of a team, and Brian was the lead reporter in every sense. His career through the years demonstrated his singular commitment to getting the job done right. He has left us far too soon.

  8. Polly Bell D'Addabbo says:

    Oh no! Gerry, i’m so sorry! Brian was a true journalist! I respected him as a co-worker and person!. I didn’t know a soul when I moved here for WFSB. I’ll never forget Brian and his wife had me over for dinner. He tried to make me feel as welcome as possible! He was a senior rept…..he didn’t need to do that. I’m forever grateful to have met him! And I’m so sorry you’ve lost such a wonderful friend! My heart is with you and his family!

  9. John M West says:

    Gerry, so sorry to hear of Brian’s passing.. life time friendships are so rare.. Solid memories are remembered. Just a speck in time -ca grain of Sand. Godspeed Brian. (from your media friends everywhere.

    John M West
    Freelance Associates
    Southington CT

  10. Brian was one of the best crime reporters I’d ever seen or worked with. Dedication was his middle name.

    Despite the loss of two of my own brothers, I am shocked and saddened at the loss of Brian — he was a constant beacon of integrity in journalism and public service.

    I remember during the ‘crack wars’ when Brian wouldn’t leave the WFSB newsroom without his bullet proof vest — he made sure the newsroom had several for us to use — and he was always the first out the door on breaking news.

    We all hated covering blizzards (I remember covering the blizzard of ’96 with him), but Brian would have seen it as appropriate that he passed on to the next life during one of the biggest news stories in recent Connecticut memory.

    The words of a classic Brian Garnett story ring in my ears, as a defendant was led into the courtroom, “shackled, sullen and silent…”

  11. barbturner4@aol.com says:

    Very very sorry Gerry.

  12. Geoff says:

    So nicely said Gerry. So sorry for the loss of your friend. But you have great memories and thoughts for future “Sunday visits”.

  13. Nfdsoxfan says:

    I’m sorry for your loss Gerry.

  14. Its so nice to see someone recognize the very important relationship of a “friend”…too often today we simply dont appreciate our “friends”. A friend is not so much the person who gets you tickets, has “that house”, has “that car”, really he or she is not the person who gives you anything…but love, loyalty and “Brian visits”.

    I did not know Brian except from his work. Im so sorry for your loss Gerry and sorry for all fo Brian’s friends.

  15. Gary Somerset says:

    Gerry—very nice tribute and sorry for your loss. I learned so much from you and Brian when I started out on the Assignment Desk at WFSB in the early 1990s.

    Brian was a commanding figure, but also very kind and helpful. When the “Gang Wars” erupted in Hartford, he was the one to go to for help. I was on the Assignment Desk one summer weekend during this period and Brian came up to me late on a Friday and said: “Under the penalty of death you are not allowed to give this phone number to anyone.” I was terrified when he said this, but Brian was going on vacation and gave me a number to reach him at any time I needed help or guidance (remember, no cells phones in the early 90s). I was honored and in fact Brian called me both weekend days to go over information he had recieved on the lastest gang incidents. A true professional and class act! He will be missed.

  16. Kathy Thomas - Berlin says:

    Gerry: Connecticut has lost a special man. I too heard from Brian about the special friendship you two had. He cherished that!! My sincere condolences go out to you and his family and friends.

  17. True friends…and LONG friendships…are a gift beyond description. You and he were blessed with that gift. I know there is a kitchen table up there, Gerry.

  18. Dick Ahles says:

    Gerry–So sorry for all of us who loved and admired Brian as a friend and reporter. He’s the first to leave us, I think, from a group of very special people who were part of a newsroom that was one of a kind, a place where there were so many talented and truly dedicated people who loved to get a good story and tell it well. I hesitate to name anyone for fear of leaving someone out because they were all so hard working and hard playing, a combination that made them great. We competed hard with the other TV stations but we wanted more than anything to beat the Courant. And no one wanted it more than Brian. He was the leader of a group of happy warriors. We will miss him so very much.

    Dick Ahles

  19. Gerry says:

    What great comments. Thank you all. His son is reading them too, and he also appreciates them a great deal.

  20. Art Donahue says:

    Gerry,
    I’m very saddened to hear about Brian. I had no idea he was ill. I was thinking about the 1982 trip we made together in Sky 3 with pilot Jack Mayer to Mount Washington to cover the Inferno Race in Tuckerman Ravine when I realized that the picture you have of Brian with the cassette recorder was taken that very morning at the AMC’s Pinkham Notch base lodge. We had decided we couldn’t make the climb up with a heavy 3-tube video camera and ¾” tape deck, so we shot the story with a 16mm Bell and Howell and Brian’s audio cassette recorder. After hiking all the way up in rain and fog the race was cancelled and we ended up sliding back down the snow covered trail on garbage bags like a bunch of kids completely soaked by the rain. He was one of best journalists I’ve ever worked with, very smart and very dedicated to accurate and truthful reporting. The last time I saw Brian was at the Worcester Cold Storage Fire in 1999. I was very fortunate to have worked with him.

  21. Steven Kalb says:

    Gerry….sorry to hear about your friend. Had no clue he was ill. Brian was working for the DOC when our paths last crossed. I was one of the reporters picked to watch the Ross execution, Brian was my “contact” at the DOC. Always the consummate professional I could count on him to be straight, factual and available to answer any questions I might have about that which I was about to witness and the “timeline” of events. I can’t say we were ever friends.My loss. I can say I respected him and his work both as a reporter and later as a spokesman for the DOC.

  22. Pingback: Remembering Channel 3′s Brian Garnett « Channel 3's Dennis House Blogs

  23. Dennis House says:

    Gerry, I remember witnessing your friendship with Brian when I first started working with both of you. I am truly sorry for your loss. As a journalist, Brian was one of the best, and lessons I learned from him, are still with me today. I still laugh at some of the funny things he said.

    Dennis House

  24. Scott Garnett says:

    As he was also an avid Boomtown fan, I know Brian would have appreciated that he was getting top billing just above Rex Trailer on your blog.

  25. Dee says:

    So very sorry for your loss Gerry and to his family. I didn’t know him but my heart goes out to you and his family. Friends like that will always be with you that I know for sure.
    Sincerely
    DeeDee Lennon-Forstrom

  26. Andy says:

    Nice tribute on NBC Connecticut tonite. Very moved. Sorry for your loss.

  27. Jeff Garnett says:

    Gerry. Thanks for your tribute to Brian here and on the news tonight. You were a great friend
    to my brother and your reflections of him are much appreciated by his family.

  28. Geno says:

    Well said, Mr. Brooks.

  29. Brenda Kestenbaum says:

    Despite his intimidating nature, I enjoyed being assigned to edit with Brian. We loved to push each other’s buttons. I could match his “gruff” with my “bitchy”. His fuse could be short, but it was a catalyst to do the job right the first time. As former editor Gary Krimstein said, “he taught me to edit fast. Real, real fast!” I’ll miss him. He was part of a very special time in the WFSB News Department, that I’m so proud to have experienced.

  30. Todd Rosenthal says:

    Gerry — So sorry a to hear about Brian on your newscast this evening. I still chuckle when I think back on the evening we spent celebrating Rick’s 30th birthday. I remember Brian having the good sense to pretend he didn’t know any of us. Way too young…

  31. Gerry, so sorry for your loss..when I heard your newscast it felt like a punch to my stomach..it’s a loss to anyone who ever watched Brian wherever he was broadcasting…may his memory be for blessing.

  32. Dan Tapper says:

    Wonderful recollection, Gerry, and I am very sorry that you have lost such a good friend. I knew Brian during his reporting years and he was a quality guy and a terrific reporter. What I will remember the most was his coverage of the Kara Laczynski murder, the young woman who was a Journal Inquirer reporter. My now-wife (then girlfriend) was a witness in that trial (3 trials in all, actually, plus all the pre-trial stuff) and every time she had to come to court, testify and later face the media it was obviously a very difficult and emotional experience for her. Brian covered the trials and interviewed her, and treated her with a level of compassion and respect that she still remembers to this day. He was a good man who left a profound impact on many, many people.

  33. Gerry says:

    Such great memories and comments. As you can see above, his family is checking them out as well, and I know they appreciate them a great deal. Thank you all.

  34. Dana Luby Neves says:

    Gerry, I posted this on the Laurel, but I wanted to do it here, too.

    Brian was my guiding light as a young journalist. He taught me so many things, including how and *why* we do some of the things we do, that may even go misunderstood. He taught me you could be funny and be serious all at the same time. Brian never once talked to me about beating the competition, he just did it. As if there was no other option. Everyone is remembering the tough and gruff stories – which I could, too. But, I remember a man with a big heart, and booming voice. He could do a ‘human interest’ story so well, we’d all be in tears watching. In later years, he would give me some on the best parenting advice in the whole world as we swapped stories. I will miss that. I will miss the way he said ‘hellllllllooooooooo’ the same way every time we talked. I will miss him so much. I already do.

  35. Gerry says:

    Me too Dana. For those who don’t know, Dana is news director at WFSB, Channel 3.

  36. Tim says:

    Jerry, caught some of your kind words about Brian in the Courant the other day. Thinking back to my interning days at 3 during the early 80s, I was all too young and impressionable. I thought everybody there was a class act. 30 something years later… I was right! Keep up what’s left of the business worth keeping up. Go UMASS.

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