Author Topic: Retired FDNY member needs friends  (Read 840 times)

Offline Flyingfortress

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Retired FDNY member needs friends
« on: February 12, 2018, 07:23:22 PM »
I was born and raised in Brooklyn one block North of Eng 255/L 157.  I always viewed firefighters as super heroes and spent countless days hanging around the house, doing little chores for the members and of course, chasing after them on my bike.  Later in my teen years, we moved to Bay Ridge and Eng 241/Ld 109 became my “house of choice”. 
Fast forward nearly 40 years.  I now live in Michigan working as a biographer for a nearly two dozen retirement communities.  I was introduced to a new resident named Bill Lake.  As soon as he spoke to me I knew he too was from Brooklyn.  Just by chance, I had worn my FDNY t shirt that day.  He got a big smile on his face and his wife was smiling even bigger when she said; “Bill retired from the fire department.”  I bent down and gave him a hug.  Not only was I meeting a fellow Brooklynite, Imwas meeting one of my heroes!  Then he bowled me over when he said he was the chauffeur for Ladder 109 until the late 1970s when he became a fire marshall.  We spoke for two hours.  It felt good for me to speak with someone who knew the old neighborhood, the pizzerias, the schools (I attended Fort Hamilton HS) and of course the street names. 
Later his wife told me Bill hasn’t been himself lately.  He’s confined to a wheelchair and a rather depressed.  He and I meeting perked him up and later I came up with a plan.
I found a photo of L 109 at the time Bill drove it.  I’m getting it blown up on glossy paper and mailing it to the quarters of En241/ L109 for the members to sign.  I spoke to the Lt on the phone and he was good with the idea.  I asked if there were any unit T shirts of patches available I could buy, he wasn’t sure if there were any.  I’m sending some funds to purchase a shirt if available and if not, they can put the funds towards the meal after using what is needed for return postage of the signed photo. 
I was wondering if any of you would consider sending Bill a card just to say hello.  I know it would mean the world to him and his wife.  Please let me knowmifmyou’d care to do this and I’ll send you his mailing address.  What a small world this really is!!

Nycfire.net

Retired FDNY member needs friends
« on: February 12, 2018, 07:23:22 PM »

Offline nfd2004

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4442
  • Gender: Male
Re: Retired FDNY member needs friends
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 08:41:52 PM »
 Interesting story to add speaking of Ladder 109.

 I believe that the rearmount Seagrave, Ladder 109 was purchased by the Taftville Fire Dept in Connecticut. I think it was a 1970.

 That ladder truck was then rehabbed and put into front line service serving that dept for many more years.

 Then when the Taftville FD purchased a new ladder truck, that truck became a spare ladder for the Norwich, Ct Fire Dept. where it served at least another decade or so. If I'm not mistaken that ladder truck served well after the year 2004. The year that I retired from that department.

 It's a small world, but I might have sat in the same seat that FDNY's Brooklyns Firefighter Bill Lake did. I remember how I loved everything about it because I had buffed during those busy 70s and 80s and saw the kind of work those ladders did.

 I'm sure that I have pictures of that ladder truck from the time it went into service with the Taftville FD and onto the Norwich FD.

 Flyingfortress, I'll give you my information. I'm sure I have those pictures on a disk and I will plan on making up a few of those rig shots this week for Retired FDNY Brother Bill Lake. Maybe we can plaster his entire wall with pictures of the former Ladder Co 109. (I'll even sign it too if he wants - lol).

 If you're new to the site, WELCOME. It's a great place for anybody who is into the FDNY. Check out some of the threads in the "History Section". I think you'll like that.

Offline manhattan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1290
Re: Retired FDNY member needs friends
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 08:52:05 PM »
Flyingfortress,

It sounds like Bill and his wife have already found a friend in you.  God bless you for doing the right thing and reaching out like this.

I'm sure I speak for all the NYCFIRE.NET members as I, too, welcome you to the site and ask that you invite Bill to join us.  I'm sure he'd share some good stories and enjoy keeping up with what's going on and, maybe, get back in touch with some old friends.

Offline Flyingfortress

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Retired FDNY member needs friends
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 09:21:06 PM »
Thanks for the welcome!!  I’m actually going to see him Friday.  I can’t show him this post as the signed pictures are to be a surprise gift.  I did tell him we would sit a listen to the FDNY dispatch on Broadcastify and he got a nice smile on him from that.

Offline mack

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4718
  • Gender: Male
Re: Retired FDNY member needs friends
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 09:23:40 PM »
Flying Fortress - Welcome to the site.

Thank you for being a good guy and caring for a brother who needs a friend.  How could you tell he was from Brooklyn when he tawked?

Please send me a PM with Bill's address.

Also, maybe you could show him a section on this site about E 241/L109.  Go to "FDNY & NYC Firehouses" thread in the "History" section.  Go to page 54 of that thread and there are pictures and history of 241/109.

« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 09:30:00 PM by mack »

Offline JOR176

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1761
  • Gender: Male
Re: Retired FDNY member needs friends
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 10:09:53 AM »
I wonder if he is any relation to Bill Lake R2 who perished on 9-11

Offline Flyingfortress

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Retired FDNY member needs friends
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 08:00:18 PM »
Interesting you bring that up.  Bill told me about the other Bill Lake.  He didn't mention he was from R2.  My Mr Lake said they had received phone calls inquiring if it was indeed him.  Not sure why anyone could get the two mixed up being Mr Lake retired in 1982.

Offline mack

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4718
  • Gender: Male
Re: Retired FDNY member needs friends
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 12:20:45 PM »
Interesting you bring that up.  Bill told me about the other Bill Lake.  He didn't mention he was from R2.  My Mr Lake said they had received phone calls inquiring if it was indeed him.  Not sure why anyone could get the two mixed up being Mr Lake retired in 1982.

Same name - might be a relative.

Offline Flyingfortress

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Retired FDNY member needs friends
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2018, 04:37:27 PM »
Bill Lake received his photos today as well as a new NYFD t shirt I ordered from Amazon.  Shortly before going into his room, I received an email from the Third Avenue Express stating they would be sending him a unit t shirt as well!!  Bill and his wife were so excited which lead him to telling me some “combat” stories from back in the day.  One of the best ones was when he was assigned to a house in the Bronx.  it was a slow house and he and his crew were placed there as a form of R & R.  The Chief came in one morning and was doing and inspection when he called everyone over to one of the poles.  There, illuminated by the sunlight, was a spider web from the pole to the window.  It was definitely a slow house!!
I still can’t get over the fact that as a kid some 40 years ago I’d see Bill driving 109 Truck down 69th street but never meet him till now in another part of the country! Small, small world indeed.

Offline memory master

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1972
Re: Retired FDNY member needs friends
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2018, 06:13:17 PM »
Fortress, when you get a chance ask him if he worked with Frank McGreevey (RIP) in L109. He and my dad, (RIP), (E16) worked together in the Bank Of New York main building on Wall street when the retired from the FD.

 

anything