I wrote about the Pat Gazzola service this afternoon. Bret Bielema did a wonderful job of paying respect to “the catfish man” and here’s a commentary:
Thank you Clay. I’m traveling to Arizona to help a friend celebrate his birthday. The first thing that I did when I got to my motel room was to look for your story about Pat.
As always, it hit just the right note.
Bret did a great job. He nailed it with Pat.
Pat wanted nothing more than perfection in everything he did and that included recruiting weekends.
Bret may have never done a funeral service talk, but he was really good. I saw people smiling as he talked about Pat. He captured the man we all loved. I’ve always said it’s easy to talk about those we love. I find it very easy to write about those that I love. Pat fits.
I’ve always found it good to write these type of columns – if not for everyone else, for me. They help me move forward. They generally pour out quickly, like in 45 minutes. I take longer for other columns or features. But when you love someone, it pours out. It did for me yesterday. I was glad to have someone like Bret who poured it out so well so that I’d be able to capture the rest of the stuff I knew about Pat.
Here’s what I know right now, Pat is in that big, happy place in Heaven, talking about the Razorbacks with my father. They are having a big time.
Also, I’d like to thank Matt Jones. He gave my column a good edit. It helps greatly when you have an editor you trust. Gives me confidence that the editor is going to help my copy. Little tweaks and additions sometimes can make your story much better. Between me, Matt, Jimmy and Dudley, it’s a nice team. I’m very proud of the team.
It’s always a treat to read your pieces about people you love. It’s your sweet spot. Your description of CBB’s remarks about Pat reinforces my respect of our coach. He adds a personal caring touch to our program and state. He fits our culture as well as any coach since CFB. That means a lot to me. I surely hopes he has a break out year in the W/L area because that’s the bottom line in today’s world.
I was fortunate to meet Pat on a couple of occasions including seeing him lead out in the Hog Call while recruits visited the Catfish Hole. He was a true fan and a fantastic businessman. Prayers for his family as they move on with life.
Thanks, Clay. I’m sure your love and friendship were very special for Pat, too.