Hillcrest

 


  In my sunset years, I opted to become a volunteer firefighter, the oldest rookie in the known history of the Southampton, NY, Fire Department, protecting greater Southampton, on Long Island’s East End, since 1881. At 68 years young, I whipped through the classroom stuff and survived the...


To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Firehouse. Already have an account? Login

Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.

OR

Complete the registration form.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required

All the next day, I am groggy. Only then do I realize what a blow the cold had delivered. That hour and a half of exposure wracked me like a full-body concussion. As it happens, I am up early to take the 6:30 Jitney to Manhattan. On the way to the bus station, something impels me to go see the wound I experienced only from a distance. I veer my Jeep a couple of blocks out of my way and turn up Hillcrest, peering for the remains of all that action. In the pre-dawn darkness, it’s surprisingly hard to locate the right house. The first time, I drive past without recognizing a thing. Turning around, I finally pick out the place. The shell of the building still stands, like an empty carton. I see a security SUV in the driveway, nesting back in the shadows. I shiver at the sight of the charred, empty home where fire and smoke stole an old man’s life.