THEY SAVED NEW YORK

nfd2004

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You are an awesome person Willy. So Dan, I will match Willy with $ 1,000 myself also.
TK

Tom, that is great

Lt Q,,
I hope that you are one of the featured members in that book

Being a part of FDNY Probie Class - Sept, 1968, I’m sure you have a few stories to tell yourself

what some of these guys might not know is that you were a Lt in the busy Bushwick Ladder 112 and worked with Mr Gage when he was assigned there

Okay, no more secrets. That’s it. Time for Mr Willy to zip it up

NFD2004 is now 10-9
 
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nfd2004

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The latest update on the new upcoming book; "They Saved New York".

Dan, aka "JohnnyGage", reports so far he has completed over 40 interviews with photos, and he thought he would be finished with 60.
But right now it looks more like he is going for 70.

Recently he interviewed 5 members in one day, each having an amazing story to tell.

Some of the interviews involve stories from firefighters who were there at:
The Fraunces Tavern Bombing.
The N.Y. Telephone Fire
The Fathers Day Fire
Black Sunday

And There's More;

He has also talked to the history makers of the FDNY from:
Second Sections
Inside 82/31 during the FDNY War Years
The creation of FDNYs Bible - Ladder 3
The implementation of the Squads
The formation of Haz Mat
The rebuilding of the FDNY after 9/11

Dan says he is now ready to find an editor.

Dan also passes along this to all of us - "wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year"

Let me also add another GREAT BOOK written by our own "Mike Dick", aka "mikeindabronx", and Retired FDNY Lt Tom Barry, titled:
"Into the Smoke with New York's Bravest" which was released in July, 2021
According to Fire Engineering Books that book has been given a FIVE STAR Rating. It just doesn't get any better than that.

I too give it a FIVE STAR Rating.

Let me also add - "this is NOT a paid commercial"
Just some facts that I thought many of you might be interested in

Books that tell the story in words and photos, of the FDNYs record number of fires fought by a very Special Breed of Firefighters.
A time many refer to as "The FDNY War Years"
 

JohnnyGage

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Hello my friends, Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year, here is a quick book update. So far I've completed 40 interviews of the most dynamic characters of the FDNY. Last week I got the inside scoop on the origin of hazmat, a first person hair raising account of the Black Sunday fire, tidbits from a revered senior man and long time Harlem ladder chauffeur, insightful stories from a long time senior lieutenant in one of the most renowned Brooklyn truck companies. I'm doing 10 more interviews by the end of this month. Glenns intriguing photos continue to amaze me, you could see through the subjects eyes into their souls, I'll keep you posted!
 

mack

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Hello my friends, Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year, here is a quick book update. So far I've completed 40 interviews of the most dynamic characters of the FDNY. Last week I got the inside scoop on the origin of hazmat, a first person hair raising account of the Black Sunday fire, tidbits from a revered senior man and long time Harlem ladder chauffeur, insightful stories from a long time senior lieutenant in one of the most renowned Brooklyn truck companies. I'm doing 10 more interviews by the end of this month. Glenns intriguing photos continue to amaze me, you could see through the subjects eyes into their souls, I'll keep you posted!
Thanks Dan. We appreciate all you do and admire your work. This book will be not only be interesting, it will also be a fitting tribute to the heroes you are interviewing and the members who served with them. It is more than biographical accounts, it is a history of significant events, fires, tragedies and innovations from those who were there and those who made it happen. Lest we forget. Your terrific writing style, read over the years in WNYF, NYC Firenet and other sites, will also ensure the narratives in the book are accurate, humorous, touching and totally enjoyable to read.

Thanks again, Dan!
 

jmag228

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Hi Dan,
Best of continued luck with your outstanding venture. Anticipate a great read when it is done. Happy New Year.
Thanks
 

nfd2004

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Dan, aka "johnnygage", has given us another progress report.

Dan states that so far he has interviewed 55 members, including four Chief of Departments.
Last Thursday he interviewed retired Chief of Department, Tom Richardson, who Dan stated as one of the nicest guys he has ever met.
During that time, his photographer Glenn and his assistant Tina was with him.

Originally Dan had a target of interviewing 60 members, but now it looks like he will reach about 80 members.
This week he plans to interview the Captain of Ladder 26 - Charlie Roberto, Rescue 3 legend - Bobby Pressler and the well known and respected, Chief Jay Jonas.

The book has taken on a homage of it's own. With interviews from first person accounts of many historic fires in NYC.
Such as the St George Hotel fire, the Fathers Day fire, Black Sunday, the N.Y. Telephone Exchange, the Fraunces Tavern fire, both WTC fires, etc.
Also various rope rescues made, developing the squads, haz mat, and ceremonial units.
Dan has also interviewed bosses that rebuilt their company after 9/11, including SOC Command and the entire FDNY.

Mr Gage, also advises us that the book has kept him very busy.
He interviews the subject and records the conversation.
The next night he listens to the interview and makes an outline
That followed by a night or two of drafting the story.
After that he sends it out to the editor that was recommended to him by Retired Chief Vinny Dunn and she does a fantastic job.
When the piece comes back, he then sends it to Glenn to compile, and Dan makes a hard copy for himself just in case, his "laptop blows up".

Dan also adds - but it's been fun and believes the book will be a huge hit.
This has never been done before.

THANK YOU Mr Gage (Dan) for that EXCELLENT PROGRESS REPORT.
I think many of us here, also feel that your book, "They Saved New York", will be a Huge Hit as well.

Let me also mention that Dan's good friend and Brother Firefighter, the late Dennis Smith was right.
He advised Dan that it wouldn't be easy writing a book and Dan can now fully appreciate those words of the late FDNY Firefighter/Author Dennis Smith.

THANK YOU DAN for this latest update.
 

nfd2004

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Latest Progress Report on the upcoming book "THEY SAVED NEW YORK" by Dan Potter, aka "johnny gage".

Dan recently interviewed Retired B/C Jack Calderone (B-21 ?) and Retired Captain Bob Farrell of Ladder 31.
First, glad to hear that both FDNY War Years Members are doing very well these days according to Dan.

Word from Dan is that he has EIGHT MORE INTERVIEWS to conduct, and as I understand it, then the process of producing the book will take place.

I think there's a lot of us out there that are waiting for the books release, as we will get to read the stories of each of the 80 or so "FDNY War Years Members", tell their own individual stories.

I might also add that many of us are aware that Retired War Years Member, Jack Calderone, was the founder and producer of the very popular "Fire Apparatus Journal Magazine".

Also that Retired War Years Member, Bob Farrell, has written his own book titled: "The War Years".

As we can imagine, Dan continues to be a very busy man these days as he puts the finishing touches of each guys story into his upcoming book.
I think the title of Dan's book, "THEY SAVED NEW YORK" says it all.
Yes, "THEY REALLY DID SAVE NEW YORK" as the city was burning down.
Blocks and Entire Neighborhoods were burning.
They REALLY were the guys I considered to be "The GREATEST GENERATION OF FIREFIGHTERS" that saved more lives and put their skills to work, at times on almost on an hourly basis.

As a buff I remember going to 13 all hands or greater alarm fires just in one area of the Bronx over about a 12 hour period.
Of course I could see columns of smoke from other jobs going on as well.
And that was all within about a 4 or 5 sq mile area.

I brought a couple of other guys down with me who were on the job and I remember as we left the Bronx one night, they said; "It was like they opened the gates and let us out".

Today of course we have several of those FDNY War Years Firefighters right here on this web site with us, including the owner of this site, and good friend, Retired Captain John Bendick.

Dan, as we've seen here in your "Glory Day's Stories", I think we would all agree that you certainly have some EXCELLENT WRITING SKILLS as you shared some of your own personnel stories with us during your younger days working the very busy NYC-EMS in one of NYCs toughest neighborhoods.
Then following your days with the very busy Washington, DC Fire Dept of which you performed a very heroic rescue.
And then of course your career as a member of the FDNY which included the attack on America.

Dan, we are HONORED to have you here with us and THANK YOU for all you have done.
 
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JohnnyGage

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Thanks for adding the update Willy. Yes we are getting close to wrapping up the interviews and photos. Last week, I visited the fire academy and interviewed the Chief of Training Frank Leeb and Chief Ray Downeys son Deputy Chuck Downey. Both were extremely friendly, helpful and kind. Magnificent men in the highest order. Chief Leeb was the IC for the horrible Bronx fire back in January where 17 were killed. I can't say enough about the fine outstanding brothers and their staff, I was furnished with an office to interview and invited to stay for lunch.

While I was there, I met two old friends. The first was Lenny. Lenny and I were firefighters in Manhattan while I was at L 5, he was at L 8 at the time and eventually became the 2nd Batt Chiefs Aide, we studied for the upcoming Lt exam together for a little bit. When I went on vacation, Lenny painted my locker fire engine red, it looked like the quality paint job you'd find on the rig. All the other lockers were black. Lenny is now a Batt Chief!

Then I popped over to the Mann library next door that was always on my bucket list to visit. There were two older gentlemen sitting at different tables doing project work. I was speaking with Dan Maye who runs the library. His dad was the union leader back during the War Years with L 31, Dan is a fire marshal and we were comparing notes. When I mentioned the companies I worked in, specifically L 112, the one guy at the table lifted his head. He said "are you THE Dan Potter from Ladder 112", I then recognized him as Eric the buff, who used to ride with us back in my Bushwick days as a kid and is now a retired correction officer, but still a buff at heart. Small world, right?

Yesterday, May 12, I got to reconnect with Bob Farrell from 50 years ago when I was riding with him in the front seat of L 31's tiller rig. We had a great time tripping down memory lane, and he with loads of funny stories. Bob is the owner of Hooks Unlimited in Wall Township, NJ. near Long Branch. I interviewed him at the factory, I have ever seen so many fire tools in my life, from crates of fire axes, hooks, halligans and much more. Then Glenn (The photographer) and I shot over to Jack Calderones home. He has a beautiful house in NJ on the side of a mountain, 400 ft above sea level and you can see NYC and miles and miles overlooking various cities and landscape, the sight was spectacular. Glenn took Jack's photos (Jack retired from SI, Batt 22) in his room with his collection of over 2,000 fire truck model replicas in about 8 floor to ceiling glass cases, very impressive.

So yes, hope to wrap up soon, total interviews so far, 73, most likely end up with about 83ish. I'll be doing a handfull of interviews the next few weeks of some others including John Norman, Paul Hashagen and our friend Pete Hayden.

Best to all, JohnnyGage.
Snapshot, with L 31 Captain Bob Farrell

BobF.jpg
 
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Lt. Q

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Dan what a small world, running into Eric. It’s probably 25 years since I saw him last
 

JohnnyGage

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Dan what a small world, running into Eric. It’s probably 25 years since I saw him last
TK, It was like back to the future, he's a little hunched over and has gray hair. We swapped a few stories, I had him laughing.
 

lucky

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It was a tag team. I would drop him off on Jefferson Ave and Larry on 68 Ave.
 

nfd2004

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We have an update on the release of the book; "They Saved New York", written by Dan Potter, aka "johnny gage".

Dan is putting the final touches on the book.

He has interviewed a total of 87 members of the very busy FDNY War Years, with each individual member telling their own story of a decade or so of the heaviest years of fire activity in the history of the FDNY

Dan hopes to have his book ready by Fathers Day, June 19th.

I know that I am looking forward to it's release as I remember being a buff at one fire, and the place being so busy you could see the smoke from other fires going on sometimes within just a few blocks.

Whether it was the South Bronx, Harlem, Washington Heights, The Lower East Side, Bushwick, Bed Sty, Williamsburg, Brownsville/East New York, "everybody was working".

I don't think (and I hope not) we will ever see a time like that again.

So, what these 87 FDNY War Years Firefighters have to say, is their own individual story, that will go down in the history of the FDNY's Busiest Years of Fire Activity.

Thank you Dan for keeping us updated and certainly for taking the time to interview these firefighters to preserve their historic stories.

Note - I would also like to mention another GREAT BOOK recently released by our site member Mike Dick aka "mikeindabronx", and Retired FDNY Lt Tom Barry called: "Into the Smoke with New York's Bravest". Another great recording of those very busy FDNY War Years Members.
Thank You Mike and Lt Barry
 

*******

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I would like to see a book with the title of "Why Did They Let It Happen." I came on the job in 1960. We were assigned to a company that day as the Proby School was still in session with a class. I was assigned to L19. Rode with 19 for about 3 weeks before beginning school. The streets in 19's response area were crowded with people, all the buildings were intact. Ten years later I was a new Lt. assigned to E50. I was promoted to Captain in 1973 and assigned to E82. The change in 19's/50's response area was startling. It went from the crowed streets of 1960 back to Berlin of 1945. Busy box was 2743, Charlotte and 170. I'm sure that Lexington Ave. and 70th street in Manhattan was still the same. structural wise. Why Did They Let It Happen? Thousands of people were forced from their homes, firefighters suffered with injuries that would shorten their retirement years.

Perhaps they could find out who benefitted from the change? The vacant buildings/land was eventually owned by the city. Who bought the buildings/land from the city at a song of a price? Who built the garden type homes, sold them? In other words who suffered, who didn't?
 

JohnnyGage

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We have an update on the release of the book; "They Saved New York", written by Dan Potter, aka "johnny gage".

Dan is putting the final touches on the book.

He has interviewed a total of 87 members of the very busy FDNY War Years, with each individual member telling their own story of a decade or so of the heaviest years of fire activity in the history of the FDNY

Dan hopes to have his book ready by Fathers Day, June 19th.

I know that I am looking forward to it's release as I remember being a buff at one fire, and the place being so busy you could see the smoke from other fires going on sometimes within just a few blocks.

Whether it was the South Bronx, Harlem, Washington Heights, The Lower East Side, Bushwick, Bed Sty, Williamsburg, Brownsville/East New York, "everybody was working".

I don't think (and I hope not) we will ever see a time like that again.

So, what these 87 FDNY War Years Firefighters have to say, is their own individual story, that will go down in the history of the FDNY's Busiest Years of Fire Activity.

Thank you Dan for keeping us updated and certainly for taking the time to interview these firefighters to preserve their historic stories.

Note - I would also like to mention another GREAT BOOK recently released by our site member Mike Dick aka "mikeindabronx", and Retired FDNY Lt Tom Barry called: "Into the Smoke with New York's Bravest". Another great recording of those very busy FDNY War Years Members.
Thank You Mike and Lt Barry
Hi folks, small correction, we hope the book will be ready by the end of the summer, I'm hoping to complete my part of downloading the interviews and creating a story for the editor to review by Fathers Day. Stay tuned....
 
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