Many of the guys who I spent time with at the Nut House over the years would no longer be working there. Guys like Carl Bedigian, Kenny Watson and John Florio were my heroes when I was 14 years old, sitting in the jumpseat across from them while cruising the streets of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, while going on a run. They all died that day. Lt. Chris Sullivan from Tower Ladder 111 and newer member Mike Roberts, who were also riding 214 that day, were also killed.
Tommy Langone, who I saw two days earlier, was also killed, along with his brother Pete, a member of FDNY Squad 252. Tommy was an all-star in my eyes. He was with NYPD and Roslyn Rescue Fire Company and also found time to teach firefighters at the Nassau County Fire Academy. Any chance to spend time with him was great and he was always willing to share his wisdom. He seemed like the kind of guy any younger firefighter could call a mentor.
Here it is 11 years later and I work from home in St. Paul, MN. On Sept. 11, 2001, I was working for Firehouse Magazine in Melville, NY, about 30 miles east of New York City. One thing that still hasn’t changed in the last 11 years, is that these guys are still my heroes and they made an impact on my life that I will never forget.
I apologize for not including a photo of Kenny here. In my recent moves I have misplaced some of my older photo albums and have been unable to track one down.