Posts Tagged ‘Fox Chicago’
We often talk about the darnedest things while on our way to cover stories. For some reason, cameraman Sean Gibbons and I started talking about pandas. I think it’s because we passed a Panda Express before we got to our location. Sean asked why pandas on loan from China always have double names like “Tian Tian” at the National Zoo in Washington D.C.
We didn’t spend much time discussing why. We decided to assign panda names to some of our co-workers.
Me = “Loo Loo”, Sean Gibbons = “Sean Sean”, Sondra Solarte = “Sol Sol”, Ed Flynn = “Flynn Flynn”, Matt Butterfield = “Butt Butt” and Patrick Elwood = “Pat Pat”.
Then, there’s cameraman Stewart Orlin. He’s incredibly witty, intelligent and somewhat shy. He’s also got an extremely wry sense of humor. After conferring with Sean and Ed, we decided that Stewart’s panda name just couldn’t conform with the others. He’s “Tom”. What’s your panda name?
For the past few years, I’ve organized the annual “Good Day Chicago” Secret Santa gift exchange at Fox Chicago. For awhile, we jokingly said “SANTA” should stand for: Secret and Non-denominational Transfer of Assets. It’s politically correct, ‘eh? Whatever. It’s our annual opportunity to thank every hardworking member of our staff for all they do all year. It takes quite a team to put on a newscast and most work behind-the-scenes. So I want to share and show off some of these beautiful people.
Sorry for all the blurry pictures – technically difficulties with my digital camera. (I think Santa is bringing a new one!)
Also, thanks to my pal Mike Pirozzoli of Wing Stop on N. Milwaukee for providing all the yummy food.
What’s the rule about things in your wardrobe? I think it’s something about rotating clothes out if you haven’t worn them in over a year. If I did that, my closet would be more than half empty. I always worry about giving a particular item away and then missing it soon after – even though that’s never happened.
My closet is a mess. There are shoes I’ve never worn and jackets from the 80′s (don’t tell anyone) with a thick layer of dust on them. I try to keep jeans and sweaters in neat piles but with little success. Since my husband’s closet is somewhat color-coded, I try to follow that example but he probably wonders if I’m color blind!
Because I work on television, I have a lot of brightly-colored clothing. Years of advice from wardrobe consultants have filled my closet with a lot of reds, blues and jewel tones. No, we do not have people at Fox Chicago who tell us what to wear.
I have far more tops than bottoms. Before we switched to an HD set, we used to wear jeans pretty often. Some people even wore shorts during the summer. We can’t do that anymore since we have new camera positions in the studio allowing viewers to see more of what we’re wearing.
Clearly, I need to weed out things that are outdated and merely taking up space. But what if they come back into fashion? Yeah, I’ll be ready when those skinny models hit the runways in Paris in dusty jackets!
There are few people on the morning shift at Fox Chicago who don’t drink coffee. I have to have it – enough to get up extra early (2:38 a.m.) in order to grind Starbucks coffee beans and brew it fresh. On Friday afternoons, I often stop in at one of the gazillion Starbucks so I can refuel, stay awake and shift to “normal” hours for the weekend.
I’ve been a Starbucks addict for so long, “Starbucks” and “coffee” were among the first words my daughter could read! It’s strange since I didn’t even try coffee until after I graduated from college. My boss at TVB News in Hong Kong invited me to lunch soon after I moved over from the States. It was a place where the waiters knew him so well, they knew what to serve and then naturally poured coffee for both of us after we ate. I was too intimidated to admit I didn’t drink coffee. And it wasn’t watery, starter coffee. We were at a fancy, schmancy restaurant that served coffee so strong, it was opaque and almost syrupy. Whoa, was I flying after that lunch!
So now I start every day with what my husband calls “industrial strength” coffee. On top of that, I used to drink just as much Diet Coke. I would actually have one or two cans a day. But I gave it up cold turkey about six months ago after talking with a nutritionist. I switched to drinking water. I suppose that balances out all the coffee, right?
Long before Chicago’s Chinatown became Chinatown, the corner of 22nd and Wentworth was home to the Michael Coletta Sons Funeral Home. As Chinatown evolved, the Coletta family moved the operation to 79th Street. About five years ago, the Coletta sons moved the business back towards Chinatown, settling on 31st Street near their childhood home and friends.
I met the twin sons, Michael and Mariano Coletta, at a Chinatown event. They bid hundreds of dollars on a Fox Chicago studio tour with me to benefit the Organization of Chinese Americans. They’ve been dear friends ever since. Through the years, Patrick Elwood and I have grown to love them and their families – gathering for an annual holiday dinner that will never be the same. When I tell people that some of my best friends from Chinatown are Italian, I’m not kidding!
Today, we gathered with the Coletta family for the funeral of Mariano, who most of us called “Morrie”. He died suddenly of a heart attack last week at the age of 66. At the mass, I was touched to be told, “Nancy, come sit with us. You are part of the family.” Tears were flowing as Morrie was remembered as an “instrument of happiness”. It’s true. He was a born prankster – always kidding around about something.
I already miss Morrie. I half expect one of his wacky phone calls at any minute. I will never erase his number from my cell phone or the joy he brought to my life.
I did a double take when I saw what Patrick Elwood was wearing today. His 9-year-old son Marty had picked out his tie. Not one of Pat’s ties. His tie. At least it wasn’t a clip-on! No one could tell it was a child’s tie on television because he had his jacket buttoned for the newscast. Patrick is never short on love for his children.
I arrived at work this morning to find just about everyone in the Fox Chicago newsroom all bundled up – as if they just walked in from our colder-than-average weather and then plopped down at their computers. Wait, that’s because they did. After weeks of relatively comfortable newsroom temperatures, a cold front had moved back in.
Roy estimates the room temperature is in the low 60′s. He tells me, “Even my soul is cold and that’s a dark place.” Without missing a beat, audio tech George Sarantos walks by and says, “What do you mean? You have no soul!”
I figured out one good source of warmth. After printing out materials for my story assignment, I let everyone know “If you print things, they come out warm!”
Soon after, David and Jan walked into another temperature extreme – the studio felt like a sauna. Meterologist Mark Strehl has his jacket off. But he keeps it nearby because he knows the newsroom cold front might move faster than anything on his weather radars.
What a thrill today to hear that our Fox Chicago / Jewel-Osco Food Drive during Hunger Action Month raised nearly $2 million in donations! Given our current economic climate, we didn’t expect to surpass last year’s total of $1.3 million. It’s heartwarming to know that people care about others even when they may also be in need.
Last month, Patrick Elwood and I met some amazing people while covering the food drive. From the man in Northwest Indiana who came out to donate a single can of beans to another man in the Southwest suburbs who added a single box of cereal, every little donation clearly added up.
All of it will benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Midwest Food Bank and River Bend Food Bank where volunteers have seen demand about double over the past year.
To everyone who volunteered, to all the businesses that donated goods by the truckloads, to those who came out to donate into the bins during our live segments and to the countless others who donated during checkout at Jewel-Osco, THANK YOU!!!
I enjoy getting a chance to talk with viewers when I’m out and about covering stories. Often, I am asked about Fox Chicago evening anchor Jeff Goldblatt. The most common question, “How did he get that scar on his chin?” Today, I found out. And along the way, I learned that many people in the newsroom didn’t know the answer either!