on December 29, 2001
Bravest and Grumpiest
Yes, Capt. Patrick J. Brown was a firefighting hero. But oh,
there was so much more. "Everything he tackled, he gave 300
percent," said Sharon Watts — onetime fiancée, ever a good friend
— whether firefighting, music or yoga. He squeezed a baby grand
into his apartment, and once puzzled a piano teacher who had
arrived looking for "Little Patty Brown." He loved Broadway
shows, saying that in another life he might have been a choreographer.
Ms. Watts recalled fondly that when she and Captain Brown, 48,
a Vietnam veteran, started dating, he asked her to go with him
to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Lower Manhattan. "We saw
flowers that had been knocked over, and we set them up again."
When he worked in Harlem, he bicycled from his Stuyvesant Town
apartment to 149th Street, but at Ladder Company 3 on 13th Street,
she said, "he could run to his firehouse and take his yoga mat
with him." He was "a deeply spiritual man," said a friend, James
Remar, "but he was far too humble to advertise that." It was
hard to pull him out of the city, said his sister, Carolyn Negron,
who lives on Long Island. "He had to be around that action.
My father used to say, 'If our house is on fire, he ain't coming.'
" Captain Brown sometimes called himself a "grumpy old man,"
Ms. Watts said, so for his 47th birthday, she hand-painted a
cereal bowl for him that said "To Pat: FDNY's Bravest and Grumpiest."
He never married. "He had felt so much loss," she said. "He
didn't want anyone close to him to feel the pain of losing someone."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 27, 2001.
Ladder 3 Article
Daily News Article
11, 2001 Victims Article