Thursday, September 11, 2008

From the Fishmugger

The Fishmugger (so named because he catches the fish, but throws them back....I think) is a Jersey boy. I asked why he hadn't posted or commented something at the Castle about the day. Here's his reply -

If you think I should post...hows this? You can use it if you like.

When you live and work in the shadow of the World Trade, had lunch and dinner up at Windows on the World; where the view is spectacular and you look down on the Statue of Liberty, the event is a little more personal.

The phone rang..."Turn on your TV, a plane hit the World Trade" I had a call like that when Regan was shot. We have three major airports around NYC and a few minor ones. The Hudson is a corridor for small planes staying under FAA ceilings. So some stupid private pilot hit the building, I know the building...he went splat. But it was a slow morning, so I looked in. Jesus.

While watching TV all day, I fielded calls from club members on what we should do. We originally centered on getting food to the rescue workers...make soup and sandwiches. But when we called to find out where to bring it, we were told the restaurants in NYC were giving more then enough. Then we freed up $25,000 out of the clubs budget to buy tools because there was a call for crowbars and gloves and what all. We broke Roberts Rules to do that with a phone poll but we figured we can clean it up with an official vote at the next board meeting and the IRS be damned. The members were going to fan out and hit every hardware store for miles but a phone check told us that companies were bringing so much stuff that a holding area was now being used at the Meadowlands. So we stopped.

We checked up on friends and most were OK. Denis Rossi's son in law went for a hair cut instead of breakfast with friends at the World Trade. We called families to find out what floor someone worked on. Phones were jammed in NY and we couldn't get through on regular cells so we mapped the buildings and figured the odds on chances of survival.

And it didn't end on just that day. We lived it for weeks. One of the saddest notes were when we found out that the cops were going around to the commuter train stations and marking tires. That way they could determine if the owner survived. Summit NJ, a small town lost 50 people. We lost Tom Celic, NYFD, brother of Steve, one of our members. The funerals went on forever.

After that we just hung out waiting to see where we could help. That years Oktoberfest went to Firemen Widows and Orphans fund in Tom Celic's name, $28,000+. They didn't need it...they had millions. We gave it anyway because we advertised it. Oh well.

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