Category Archives: Remembrance

WTC Remembrance: Firefighter Gerard Gorman – Ultimate Survivor

Today marks the nineteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 2001, which, nearly two decades later, continue to affect our lives as New Yorkers, as well as the lives of those whose loved ones were killed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and in Washington, D.C. My annual series returns this year with a remarkable story of resilience in the face of unimaginable horror: Firefighter Gerard Gorman: Ultimate Survivor [link to the article]. Gerard was an FDNY first responder on that day. I can’t thank him enough for sharing his memories—salty language and all—as a testament to the indomitable spirit of a true native New Yorker, something as relevant to 2020 as it is to the spirit of September 11, 2001.

Those who read this year’s installment might recognize the name of John Perry, mentioned by Gerard; I had met John at a regular discussion group run by Victor Niederhoffer in Manhattan.

For those who have not read previous entries in the series, here is a convenient index:

2001: As It Happened . . .

2002: New York, New York

2003: Remembering the World Trade Center: A Tribute

2004: My Friend Ray

2005: Patrick Burke, Educator

2006: Cousin Scott

2007: Charlie: To Build and Rebuild

2008: Eddie Mecner, Firefighter

2009: Lenny: Losses and Loves

2010: Tim Drinan, Student

2011: Ten Years Later

2012: A Memorial for the Ages: A Pictorial

2013: My Friend Matthew: A 9/11 Baby of a Different Stripe

2014: A Museum for the Ages: A Pictorial

2015: A New One World Trade Center Rises From the Ashes: A Pictorial

2016: Fifteen Years Ago: Through the Looking Glass of a Video Time Machine

2017: Sue Mayham: Not Business as Usual

2018: Anthony Schirripa, Architect

2019: Zack Fletcher: Twin Towers, Twin Memories

2020: Firefighter Gerard Gorman: Ultimate Survivor

Never forget. ❤

Tom Seaver, RIP

The great baseball pitcher, Tom Seaver, died on Monday at the age of 75. He was a legendary player and a class act all the way. One of the key ingredients to the 1969 Miracle Mets season (he went 25-7 that season, going on to win the first of three career Cy Young Awards), he would ultimately end his career with 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts, and a 2.86 ERA. Remarkable.

He may have been The Franchise for the New York Mets, but he also had a Yankee connection—aside from recording his 300th victory against them as a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox to the applause of NY fans [YouTube link]. That happened on August 4, 1985—which was, of all days, Phil Rizzuto Day at the Stadium, when Rizzuto got knocked over by a Holy Cow [YouTube link]!).

Ironically, the two Hall of FamersSeaver and Rizzuto—would later be joined in the Yankee broadcasting booth, on WPIX-TV from 1989 to 1993.

For a little extra entertainment, highlighting their different styles, to say the least, check out the Hall of Fame speeches given by both Seaver and Rizzuto [YouTube links].

RIP, Tom Terrific.

Song of the Day #1806

Song of the Day: Ben, music by Walter Scharf, lyrics by Don Black, was the title track to the 1972 flick, sequel to the 1971 killer rat film, “Willard.” A young Michael Jackson (born on this date in 1958) sings this song over the film’s closing credits [YouTube link]. The studio recording [YouTube link] would go on to become a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit, the first of so many solo MJ hits to come. It would go on to win a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Other renditions include those performed live by Billy Gillman and by Dutch violinist Andre Rieu [YouTube links]. In keeping with our Summer Music Festival (Jazz Edition), check out this big band arrangement by Jim McMillen and Company [YouTube link] (from the album “Swingin’ to Michael Jackson: A Tribute” [YouTube links]). Tomorrow is the VMAs… where MJ collected quite a few awards over the years.

Song of the Day #1804

Song of the Day: Never Let Me Go, words and music by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, was first heard in the 1956 Michael Curtiz-directed crime drama, “The Scarlet Hour” brought to life in the film by the great Nat King Cole and in a longer studio recording as well [YouTube links]. Jazz pianist Bill Evans recorded this song for his album, “Alone,” for which he received his third of seven Grammy Awards (out of 31 total nominations in his career). The legendary musician was born on this date in 1929. Check out Bill’s 14+ minute solo piano performance of this lovely composition [YouTube link].

Olivia de Havilland, RIP

On July 1, I noted that Olivia de Havilland had reached 104 years of age.

Today, Olivia has died—one of the few remaining stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

As I noted on the first of the month: “From her films with the great swashbuckler Errol Flynn to her Oscar-winning turns in ‘To Each His Own’ and ‘The Heiress,’ she has provided us with quite a film legacy.”

Olivia, RIP