Shannon, Pat(ricia) 1933-
SHANNON, Pat(ricia) 1933-
Born December 23, 1933, in San Diego, CA; daughter of John C. and Wanda (Jackson) Shannon; married (divorced); children: Wanda Kathleen Baker, J. R. Baker, Shannon Baker. Education: Attended University of Nevada.
Home—P.O. Box One, Twin Bridges, MT 59754.
Community activist and author.
The Man Who Stayed Home, Benlettery Press, 1997.
Charles and Me: Notes in the Margin, Four Courts Press (Dublin, Ireland), 2002.
When CBS news journalist Charles Kuralt died in 1997, he left behind one secret: the married reporter had a thirty-year relationship with another woman. Kuralt was best known for his "On the Road" television reports from various locations around the United States as he traveled the backroads and visited the small towns across the country. He was known as "the stylist of Americana," according to Necia Parker-Gibson in Library Journal. But Kuralt's death, and the subsequent court battle over who owned his property in Montana—his family or his mistress, Pat Shannon—brought an unwanted national attention to the CBS star's name.
Kuralt met Shannon in Reno, Nevada, when she was involved in renovating an empty piece of downtown land as a city park with the help of some 700 volunteers. The project needed publicity, and Shannon believed that Kuralt could provide that publicity with a television feature story. The initial meeting soon led to an ongoing relationship, with Kuralt supporting a wife and two daughters on the East Coast and Shannon and her three children on the West Coast. Eventually, Kuralt bought a cabin and some land in Montana where he enjoyed fishing far from the pressures of his career. His visits there were usually with Shannon, to whom he left the cabin in his will. Days before his death, he wrote a letter to Shannon telling her she would also receive all the land surrounding the cabin. When Kuralt died, Shannon went to court to contest his will and get the land she felt Kuralt had wanted her to have. Shannon's Charles and Me: Notes in the Margin presents her memories of the long-term relationship she had with Kuralt. Parker-Gibson called the memoir an "earnest and very personal" account that shows Kuralt was "more gifted as a journalist than as a husband or paramour."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, September 15, 2002, Necia Parker-Gibson, review of Charles and Me: Notes in the Margin, p. 70.
Washington Post, June 1, 1998, Paige Williams, "A Double Life on the Road: Charles Kuralt Told Many an Engaging Story; Wait till You Hear This One," pp. C1-C3.*