Author Topic: GLORY DAYS  (Read 183937 times)

Offline res8cue_99

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Gender: Male
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #150 on: June 11, 2019, 04:13:35 PM »
John! Please keep the stories coming and i know you have been told this before but you should really think about writing a book. I would be one of the fist guys in line to buy it. Love the ones about 277 and 112. I had the privilege of buffing them in the mid 90s and I swear the kitchen was never the same color when we would come back for a weekend. What a great house and a great group of firemen. Also you might remember the guy that would come in every Saturday and ride the truck on the 9by6 tour I think his name was Bob but not sure. Think they said he was a honorary Chief. I think he kept a journal of every call he ran. Anyway thanks for all time you put into this site. God Bless and be safe
 
 

Nycfire.net

Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #150 on: June 11, 2019, 04:13:35 PM »

Offline lucky

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #151 on: June 11, 2019, 04:33:53 PM »
The man you were talking about was named Larry M. He grew up in the neighborhood and moved in our response area in Ridgewood, Queens. Either of the companies would pick him up after a 7AM run on a Saturday morning as he never drove a car.

Offline JohnnyGage

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 558
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #152 on: June 11, 2019, 06:15:13 PM »
John! Please keep the stories coming and i know you have been told this before but you should really think about writing a book. I would be one of the fist guys in line to buy it. Love the ones about 277 and 112. I had the privilege of buffing them in the mid 90s and I swear the kitchen was never the same color when we would come back for a weekend. What a great house and a great group of firemen. Also you might remember the guy that would come in every Saturday and ride the truck on the 9by6 tour I think his name was Bob but not sure. Think they said he was a honorary Chief. I think he kept a journal of every call he ran. Anyway thanks for all time you put into this site. God Bless and be safe

Larry Martin was a fixture on Sundays on Knickerbocker Ave, the day we had MUD.  Larry was made an Honorable Chief in 1986, he held the position of Aux Capt....Every Sunday (as mentioned) someone would pick him up and bring him in (and home), in his arms would be at least four cakes his sister would bake...that we devoured. Larry was a walking / talking knowledge of everything Bushwick. He recalled every firefighter, and officer. He recalled every significant fire, he knew the box alarm assignment down to the last company. Whenever we would get "Knickerbocker Ave and Schaeffer Street" he would exclaim "BEER BOX!", from the by-gone days...Larry was a beautiful sweet man, every man respected him. I sat and talked with him many times, just letting him reflect on his memories was fascinating...Sometimes our "out of control behavior" would amuse Larry, he saw everything...Larry had his corner spot on the couch and took in every single facet of L 112, every nuance locked into his memory, during the afternoon he would squeeze in a nap on the couch, upright. At the end of the tour, he would call his sister that he lived with, and tell her of his day...then say he will be home soon, could she "please draw me a bath"! ....God Bless Larry. At a recent 112 reunion just last month someone told me he passed away, he was one of the most gentlest, kind and sweet souls you could ever meet...Members on this sight would have loved his insightful encylopedia knowledge of Bushwick fires....Rest in Peace Larry, you were one of a kind! I am honored to post this message and photo of Honorary Chief Larry Martin in his office.


« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 10:07:59 PM by JohnnyGage »

Offline 68jk09

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11822
  • Gender: Male
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #153 on: June 11, 2019, 07:14:21 PM »
^^^^^  Very nice...no matter how hard FFs are working they always find the time to extend a hand to make another's life brighter.

Offline res8cue_99

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Gender: Male
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #154 on: June 11, 2019, 11:16:32 PM »
Thanks John and Lucky. I knew somebody would remember and you are so right what a loving guy and so glad i got to meet him. So sorry about his passing, I do not think he will ever know how many life's he touched just to sit and talk with him was a honor. Thanks again John and Lucky and the others that keep this site up and going. It is an honor and privilege to be a part ot this site. May God Bless each and everyone of you. Be safe and thanks again. RIP Larry M gone but not forgotten. 

Offline JohnnyGage

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 558
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #155 on: June 14, 2019, 04:22:36 PM »
A NEW WORLD

It’s been a year or so after my grandmothers funeral, I have not seen or spoken with Uncle Jack since. But today it’s my family’s turn to visit them up in Northern Westchester County. The visit is nice, both families outside sitting around his picnic table...there is a commotion down the street from Jack's house, the local fire department is responding with a handful of apparatus, sirens filled the air. Jack, my dad and I peer down the street at the activity, there seems to be a small fire in a house about six doors down.  Curiously I ask Jack, “aren’t you a fireman?” He responds that he is, I follow up with another question; “so why are you not going to the fire?”

At this point in my life, the ripe old age of thirteen, I did not know the difference between volunteer firefighter or city career firefighter. I just thought everyone served their hometown. What do I know?...My indoctrination to the FDNY and A NEW WORLD lesson #1 was forty minutes away.

Jack realizes my enthusiasm and inquisitiveness, he seems pleased that I have this interest. He mentions to my dad that we could take a quick ride to the Bronx and stop by his firehouse, show it to me and be back for dinner. Yeah, sure, says dad. Jack, my dad and me hop into Jack’s Buick Skylark and we head to the South Bronx. I’m excited, I have no recollection of the ride, what highway or parkway we used, I did begin to notice the neighborhood changing within each block as we entered into the South Bronx. I was overwhelmed by the drastic environmental change and the differences of Long Island’s open air and green grass life verses uneven cobblestone roads... I was bombarded by busy and noisy streets filled with people and surrounded by these large six story apartment buildings that made it feel like a canyon, fire hydrants were pouring water out on almost every street...I never saw so many abandoned cars before....my eyes darted everywhere from the back seat of Jack’s car, my mind was spinning as if we entered another galaxy. But this galaxy was cool, very interesting, compelling, different and exciting. I tried to absorb every view, every minute and burn it into memory. I’m surprised my coconut didn’t explode or pass-out.

Jack stops off at the firehouse on Intervale Avenue, the red doors are down and the firehouse is empty. He finds out both companies are operating at a job on Hoe Avenue near Jennings Street (I researched this location years later to verify to myself of accuracy). Our carload pulls up to the curb, I start to take the scene in, I am transfixed and hypnotized at what I see before me, the air smells like damp smoke...fire trucks and firefighters crowd the entire street with hoselines, an aerial ladder has been placed on the roof of a three story frame house, wisps of steam rising from spots near the roof, fireman taking a breather, some smoke cigarettes, others drinking from a spigot attached to the engine where water pours out freely in a small arc to the ground. I notice two homes completely blackened and burned, destroyed. The surrounding noise is loud from the sound of the idling engines in the apparatus as we get closer. The three of us walk to the scene, as we get closer, the first rig I notice is an aerial ladder with a 6 inch yellowish white number on the door, the number “31”, Jack proceeds to introduce me and my dad to LCC Jerry Albert, (Jerry Albert is an L 31 Legend and the first guy I meet!). Jerry is a big bear of a guy, has a beer belly, white hair and a friendly smile. Jerry greets me warmly with a firm handshake, he has thick hands, he does the same to my dad. Jerry recounts the job to us, in a non matter of fact way, you get the sense this was a typical job...oh, and by the way, Jerry casually mentions to Jack, “FF so and so broke his leg getting off the aerial”. “Broke his leg”? Spoken as if this was a common occurrence...this sounds unimaginable to me, if a kid broke his leg back in school or playing baseball that would be a huge story.

I’m awestruck by the neighborhood surrounding us, I scan around at this gritty backdrop...added to the backdrop are firemen moving around us going about their business, they appear grungy, tired and sweaty, but smiling and joking...some smoke cigarettes while in the process of putting away tools and picking up hose...any fireman that passes by, stops and greets Jack with a big hello, then turn to my dad and me with dirty hand shakes and blackened smiles...I was amazed that I was this close to a fire scene, in fact we were in the center of it. I noticed other people standing on the corner watching from afar, but here I was, directly in the middle of this scene. I felt privileged standing alongside with these men and their rumbling equipment. It was intoxicating, I’m sure it was quite the adventure for my dad, too.

But hold on there’s more...Ladder 31 was just about finished taking up, the aerial lowered and jacks lifted... Jerry Albert tells Jack to “throw me in the cab” for the ride back to quarters ...WHOA! I’m going to ride in that fire truck!?... Before you know it I was in the front seat sitting next to the legend Jerry Albert as we are about to return to quarters. I noticed from my point of view, a steep cobble stoned hill that we would be making a left turn onto, Jennings Street. (That's how I recalled the fire location from that steep hill just before Southern Blvd and the “el” below).  I was concerned about the steep declining hill and remember asking Jerry if we can go down that hill? Jerry said, we’ll take it slow, we’ll be fine. He was very reassuring... what a gentleman!...I was engrossed with the big guy, sitting in the middle of the front seat of the cab next to him as he drove the rig back to quarters shifting smoothly through the gears... I do not recall who the truck officer was.

I felt like my experience was all a dream. One thing for sure...I became a FDNY buff immediately obsessed, engulfed and infatuated with anything FDNY. A NEW WORLD appeared before my eyes, there was nothing else to compare this experience with.

For the next year, Engine 82 and Ladder 31 would be in various news sources about being the busiest firehouse in the world. Engine 82 ran to 9,111 alarms. Magazine articles and Newspaper articles appeared. Even a color pictorial centerfold feature in NY Daily News Sunday magazine of Engine 82 and Ladder 31, complete with a clear photo of Jack operating a car fire... But one magazine, by chance,  would light the fuse for me...Thirteen years old, I am sitting in a barber shop waiting chair along the back wall, I glance over to my left at a  July 1970 “TRUE” magazine on a small table between the chairs. The cover has an airplane glider, on the left of the magazine cover is a list of five features inside this edition, the last feature article mentioned on the cover catches my eye: “Smoke Eaters of Engine Co. 82”, I quickly thumb through the pages to locate the article. The first introduction page is a full page of a “blurry” Ladder 31 cab image coming toward the reader you, the blurry-ness action shot makes it look like the truck is responding. “I know this truck! I was right there in the front seat”...I asked the barber if I could have the mag and he said I could, I couldn’t wait to get home and read the article. The article is a small excerpt from the future #1 Best seller; REPORT FROM ENGINE CO. 82 that has not yet been released...”Then it hit me"; I felt a connection to this budding lifestyle and exciting culture unfolding in front of me, the excerpt brings me back to that special day... I needed to get back to Intervale Avenue. Tonight I will call Uncle Jack.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed!    KMG 365

NEXT;   INSIDE MY NEW WORLD; A Recollection of Intervale Avenue visits.


« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 04:38:36 PM by JohnnyGage »

Offline JohnnyGage

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 558
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #156 on: June 14, 2019, 04:27:10 PM »
SIDE NOTE:    TRUE MAGAZINE

Forty nine years ago, waiting for a haircut in a barber shop chair, a simple life altering event materialized, I’m a young 13 year old...and my life would never be the same again.

...While writing the above memory, I got to thinking a nice cover photo of the TRUE MAGAZINE  would be a nice addition to my story. I started to research online, I entered TRUE Magazine Covers for 1970. To my amazement not only did a photo appear, but another attachment lead me to e-bay where the mag was available for $13!...I could not believe my good fortune, I jumped at the offer and ordered the mag...I was waiting for a reply that it was not available or not in stock any longer...But yesterday I received the July 1970 Issue of TRUE magazine in my mail! It came in a gray envelope with the magazine inserted into a plastic sleeve. The mag still had an address label of someone that resided in Mineola, (Long Island) NY. The magazine was in very good condition, it did have a little of that “old paper” smell to it, otherwise, fine shape.

The article is written by Dennis Smith, before Dennis Smith was Dennis Smith! The article starts on page 50 and continues for almost four full pages with a few black and white photos. This is pre “Report from Engine Co. 82…”. The article is an excerpt for the soon to be published classic.

Carefully and gingerly thumbing through the magazine pages there are advertisements for “Columbia House Records”, remember them? A loose card to enroll into the club is still inside...just return the card with your selection of any 12 records for $3.98 and receive a transistor radio too!... Cigarette ads for “KOOL”, “WINSTON” tastes good like a cigarette should... and an actor with a black-eye for “TAREYTON”; we would rather fight than switch, on the back cover. A few fashion ads... double breasted buttons and wide lapels are cutting edge in 1970 (wait, did they go out of style?).

Looking back now, I believe this magazine, magically intertwined with a pre-school haircut and fate would become one of the most defining moments of my young life...imagine, who would think a sixty cent magazine could jump start and propel my future into the FDNY culture and tangible evidence of reconnecting to yesteryear?

TO ALL.....HAVE A WONDERFUL HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!     KMG 365


« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 04:32:56 PM by JohnnyGage »

Offline nfd2004

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5461
  • Gender: Male
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #157 on: June 14, 2019, 09:07:40 PM »
SIDE NOTE:    TRUE MAGAZINE

Forty nine years ago, waiting for a haircut in a barber shop chair, a simple life altering event materialized, I’m a young 13 year old...and my life would never be the same again.

...While writing the above memory, I got to thinking a nice cover photo of the TRUE MAGAZINE  would be a nice addition to my story. I started to research online, I entered TRUE Magazine Covers for 1970. To my amazement not only did a photo appear, but another attachment lead me to e-bay where the mag was available for $13!...I could not believe my good fortune, I jumped at the offer and ordered the mag...I was waiting for a reply that it was not available or not in stock any longer...But yesterday I received the July 1970 Issue of TRUE magazine in my mail! It came in a gray envelope with the magazine inserted into a plastic sleeve. The mag still had an address label of someone that resided in Mineola, (Long Island) NY. The magazine was in very good condition, it did have a little of that “old paper” smell to it, otherwise, fine shape.

The article is written by Dennis Smith, before Dennis Smith was Dennis Smith! The article starts on page 50 and continues for almost four full pages with a few black and white photos. This is pre “Report from Engine Co. 82…”. The article is an excerpt for the soon to be published classic.

Carefully and gingerly thumbing through the magazine pages there are advertisements for “Columbia House Records”, remember them? A loose card to enroll into the club is still inside...just return the card with your selection of any 12 records for $3.98 and receive a transistor radio too!... Cigarette ads for “KOOL”, “WINSTON” tastes good like a cigarette should... and an actor with a black-eye for “TAREYTON”; we would rather fight than switch, on the back cover. A few fashion ads... double breasted buttons and wide lapels are cutting edge in 1970 (wait, did they go out of style?).

Looking back now, I believe this magazine, magically intertwined with a pre-school haircut and fate would become one of the most defining moments of my young life...imagine, who would think a sixty cent magazine could jump start and propel my future into the FDNY culture and tangible evidence of reconnecting to yesteryear?

TO ALL.....HAVE A WONDERFUL HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!     KMG 365



 Dan, this Glory Days story brings back some memories for me too. 

 I was in the library with my father who had been taking books out to study for the Lts job in the Bridgeport FD. I remember them being Fire Administration, The Fire Chiefs Handbook, Arco Lt Book, etc. They also would have Fire Engineering there to read but it couldn't be taken out. I would read it too.

 BUT - one day I noticed the same July, 1970 TRUE Magazine in that library that you talk about. I too read the story and I think it also talked about a new book coming out called "Report from Engine 82". The busiest engine company in the world. I had already been introduced to the FDNY and was riding with Rescue 2. Like Dan, riding with Rescue 2 opened up a whole new world for me. Later if I didn't go to Rescue 2, I was hanging out in East Harlem. Chasing Engine 58/Ladder 26 and Engine 35/Ladder 14 around because the streets were numbered and easy to learn.

 But when that True Magazine came out with the story, I started to hang out by 82/31. Dan, described the area - the cobblestone streets, the smell, and the surrounding area perfectly well. That's exactly how it was. It was an education you couldn't get from a book.

 I guess for some of us, everything just seemed to fit into place. I guess maybe we were just born under the right stars. Because the time and place was perfect. 

 Thanks Dan, aka "JohnnyGage", and all the others who have contributed your stories during this special time of the FDNY.

Offline JohnnyGage

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 558
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #158 on: June 15, 2019, 10:18:56 AM »
THE ULTIMATE MILESTONE

I'm jumping ahead here.

July 2001 my transfer to L 31 has been approved. My first time back in this firehouse for decades, memories flashback, it "feels" like home. The cobblestone street is now paved smooth with blacktop. My emotions are carefully guarded, but I feel like a kid on Christmas Day. I have come full circle in my career, back where it all began. You would think this WAS my ultimate milestone, it's not...but very close.

A week or so goes by, just before this day tour starts TWO insignificant events takes place in one breath, but become my "Lifetime Achievment Awards"...The Boss comes up to me and hands me a red insert with a white 31, I am so proud to have this iconic piece in my hand as I think about how it used to look on Jacks helmet and the other legends during the War Year heyday, a piece of treasure. Furthermore, after he hands me the insert he non-chalantly tells me "You got the wheel today"! ...(stay cool Johnny, just stay cool I say to myself. But there is a mushroom cloud bursting inside my head!)... Thirty one years ago, I sat for the very first time in the front seat of L 31 next to the legend Jerry Albert as a young teen,  I would ride the next three years in the same front seat with other legends like Charlie McCarthy and Lt/Capt Bob Farrell. Today I will occupy that historic "SEAT", an unimaginable, full circle, complete ULTIMATE MILESTONE.

The day tour starts, I have just inspected the lights, tools, every nook and cranny of the tower ladder and as I have always done whenever I drove I begin to clean the inside of the cab and windows...reflecting on the magical times I rode as a kid here, I take a moment to relish my thoughts...I'm immediately brought back down to Earth as the housewatch printer starts spitting out a message and the voice alert says "LADDER..."







« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 02:02:51 PM by JohnnyGage »

Offline 1261Truckie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 916
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #159 on: June 15, 2019, 02:15:27 PM »
Shortly after that article came out 132 was relocated to 120 on a hot summer night that was absolutely nuts. We were the 3rd section of 120 when we got there and as we were coming down Watkins Street were sent to a job on either Herzl or Amboy.
As we were preparing to take up from that job one of our guys says " Man, my barber is gonna hate to see me, look at the scars on the back of my neck" As we laughed he was approached by a Daily News reporter who was buffing in Brownsville and would ultimately write a column of that night's fire activity.
Our guy shared the laugh and told him where the idea for the neck scars came from, a zinger at the Bronx. At that point we were special called to another job over on Chester Street. Ah, The Glory Days

Offline JohnnyGage

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 558
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #160 on: June 18, 2019, 07:53:45 PM »
Notice any difference between the two photos?  (Besides the flag)






Hint; check out over the bay doors.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 07:55:38 PM by JohnnyGage »

Online FDNYSTATENISLAND

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6019
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #161 on: June 18, 2019, 10:49:48 PM »
82 and 31 are on both sides of the engine and truck in the older pic, in newer pic 82 and 31 are only on one side? From 82 engine 82, to 82 engine. Is there a reason why?

Offline 1261Truckie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 916
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #162 on: June 18, 2019, 11:27:02 PM »
Did they take the numbers off the house to mount them on the front of the rig?

Offline mack

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6002
  • Gender: Male
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #163 on: June 19, 2019, 12:43:02 AM »
Two sets of numbers in place up to 1960s then only one number since 1970s.

Offline grumpy grizzly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3007
  • Gender: Male
Re: GLORY DAYS
« Reply #164 on: June 19, 2019, 10:29:00 AM »
I have the Code 3 house and both sets of apparatus, sure hasn't changed much according to the color picture.
FAC 20 TASS 68-69 SVN. Hue/PhuBai , Boston Spark from 71-79, Chicago 79-15, Bloomington/Normal 2015- present