Gas cost about a dollar a gallon. The Hartford Civic Center was home to the Whalers and on occasion, the Boston Celtics. People had lunch from the vendors at the Main Street Market and I anchored my first newscast with the legendary Denise D’Ascenzo. It was the fall of 1994, and now Denise and I are celebrating an anniversary: 15 years .
Sitting next to Denise was intimidating at first, but within days we became fast friends and realized we had plenty in common. Our grandfathers are from the same region in Italy (Abruzzo) and pretty much we come from similar backgrounds. For the past decade in a half we have noticed we like the same foods, the same music, and now we even drive the same kind of car (Buick Enclaves.) We’ve been there for each other through the ups and downs of our lives. Denise did a reading at my wedding to Kara, and I was there for her when her father died. We’ve both grieved the loss of children to miscarriage, and shared the joy of the births of Kathryn, Helena and Julian.
Anchoring with Denise is never dull and is always fun. Our days here at Channel 3 are full of discussing news stories of course, but there are a few sophmoric antics mixed in for levity sake…usually silly games with words or what have you. The next day, I always enjoy listening to Denise tell me how her husband guffawed as she recapped her day over the dinner table.
The fall of 1994 was an interesting time to do be anchoring the news. There was no World Series because of the strike. The Weicker era was coming to an end and the election of former congressman John Rowland as governor ended a quarter century drought for Republicans. In fact, all across the country Republicans were enjoying success thanks to Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” The most watched political show in state was “CT ’94” moderated by Duby McDowell.
I should point out, Denise is something of a broadcast bigamist, because in late December she will also celebrate 15 years on the anchor desk with Al Terzi.
Here is a clip of Denise and me from ’94: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw1XqSv22Ms