The Monday (11/21) show will be one to remember, for me.
While we were dealing with the assassination of SAPD Detective Benjamin Marconi, I started getting e-mails and messages letting me know that Pat Rodgers (Frisina) had passed away.
During commercial breaks, I was able to verify, then break the news, at 12:37 P.M.
A one-two punch for San Antonio. Detective Marconi was a special man whose ambush murder adds S.A. to the list of cities with senseless targeting of police. Pat was a trusted radio voice for more than 30 years, mostly on WOAI and KTSA.
I wish I’d known Ben Marconi. I did know Pat.
In fact, he found me in NY and brought me to S.A. in 1994. He literally brought me—picking me up at the airport on a Sunday in September, in his sagging, cream-colored Cadillac Sedan de Ville. He drove me straight down 281, exited Commerce and took me to the Alamo. Only after that did he drop me at my hotel.
I got the message.
I was a risky hire for him, a Northerner coming in to a station where seldom was heard a new voice, since the veteran ones were such rock stars. He stayed in my corner when I struggled to find an audience, and was a gentle mentor.
Moving to San Antonio, Texas has been the most fortunate thing to ever happen to me. Almost every good thing in my life happened here. San Antonio is like a gift Pat Rodgers wrapped up and gave me.
After a few years, he moved on from WOAI, wound up at KTSA, and eventually so did I. Through the years, he became a sort of father-confessor, talking about our shared Catholic faith and guiding me in that, just as he had shepherded me in radio. A good shepherd.
It was a point of great pride and joy for him to enter the Catholic diaconate, and in his last “gig”, to be the communications director for the archdiocese.
Let me say what he would’ve been too modest to say: he was like a miracle for them. Someone who could explain the faith, and focus their messaging during some of the most difficult years the Church has ever had in San Antonio, and America. It wasn’t a career move, but a labor of love, and it probably paid like one, too. No matter, he was right where he belonged.
Pat lived his life in the way he lived his faith: to think of God as someone who wants a relationship with you. A friend who loves you unconditionally, awaits your call and is always available.
Now he’s in heaven, and here on earth, many of us are thankful to have had the friendship of Pat Rodgers.