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Monday, September 15, 2008

Guest Bloggers Response to 9-11 Tribute

This sticker is on the back of most NYC express buses that go into Manhattan. A nice way to start off this post as I do every day as I sit in the back right next to this flag There was quite a show of patriotism after my last post , hope you enjoy my guest bloggers as much as I did.

I had many responses to the 9-11 tribute in my last post. I'd like to thank all who responded in the comment section and emailed me many nice gestures for putting the post up. Two stories are listed here by guest bloggers who had their own story to share, and I feel it is appropriate to listen to their views and stories of the past , as they listened to mine. Below is a friend of mine named Frank. He is obviously competing with me wearing a crown since their is only one"KING OF NEW YORK" ...ahem, you know...ME.

Any now this is Frank with his prince and princess and that little doll Beany from the 60's and 70's , well thats his little buddy who has been with him for many years. He also told me one day that Beany is like "Talking Tina" from The Twilight Zone series and will kill me one fact his children agree that Beany will kill me...I am really starting to take this threat seriously of that creepy doll showing up on my doorstep....maybe I watched CHUCKY too much as a kid. But thats A WHOLE OTHER STORY. Here is Frank's recount of his days which were just before mine downtown, thanks for the time Frank......oh and thank you too Beany.

Eddie I was inspired by your tribute to the W.T.C. From September 1979 to December 1988. I also worked in downtown Manhattan and a few of these jobs were in the W.T.C. One job I had was on the 99th floor of 2 wtc, another job was on the 81st floor of one wtc lunch time was the best, we would hang out by the sphere, or go down to battery park and laugh at all the tourists drinking from a water fountain that a bum just used 3 hours ago to wash himself.

Here are some pictures that I took through the years I worked in THE WORLD TRADE CENTER !

Getting off the ferry this was the first thing I'd see every morning for 9 years. My first job was in this building, 19 battery place.

Standing by the sphere I thought this would make a cool picture. I get chills looking at this picture.

KING: This is a picture of the building I said in my previous blog that was directly across the street form my building and the tower, however it was still covered in steel screen being renovated. Great shot of the roof Frank.
The communications aerial taken from the office.

Side view from the office overlooking The Hudson River.

Great overhead shots of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge.

That's how old this picture is. This is a shot looking across west street when they started to build on that side of the w.t.c. What is it called today? the world financial center?

King: Yes , thats exactly what it is and refurbished as you saw in my prior post the difference between then and now. What a photo. Seeing this photo gives me more faith that when they finish The Freedom Tower a lifelong healing process will perhaps rebuild quicker along with our spirits and strength.

Finally, this picture was taken from one wtc suite 8101, this is the direction the first plane came from. Those poor people sitting at their desks having their morning coffee. God bless them all.

And God bless you Frank for sharing with us your own memories and great photos to walk us through what once was....Its a brave thing to relive those memories. Thank you.

-Part 2 Jerry Kennedy--------------------------------------------------

This next story was sent to me from a man who grew up in the Bronx, and is a staple of what this city was built on and and the people who helped make it what it is today...and this story made me sad , and laugh, very hard. This was the first contact I got from him and I then asked him If he would give me permission to post it on my blog, and that it should be told being such a New York story.Read on as you see his first one and response.

Hi this email was passed onto me from another friend of mine from the King of New York Hacks who was also a volunteer NYC fireman and I loved it. I am having some problem with my email at the moment and could not email The King of New York Hacks this little story of a New York firefighter now deceased who happened to be my father. Could you pass it onto him. You can certainly read it too. I am convinced fireman are some of the great characters in this crazy world.

Thanks Jerry Kennedy

I definitely agree with him that the brotherhood of firefighters are some of the great characters in this crazy world.

Soooooo...his friend got my email and forwarded it me , here goes.


Hi! I enjoyed reading your blog and especially enjoyed seeing those photos of some of my old haunts downtown. We do have something in common as I worked in 4 World Trade doing computer work for Wm. H. McGee & Co. during the 80's and yes I too visited some of those "skin bars" on Greenwich you only once..maybe twice.

I am the son of a New York Fireman who drove the tiller on a hook and ladder for many years. Regretfully he also drove the family car the same way feeding the wheel from one giant arm to another. We, his seven children and my poor mother, were usually seasick by he time we arrived at a destination.

A fast read about my father. It was the day before Thanksgiving in 1957. I went to a small parochial H.S. in the Bronx (St. Simon Stock) and could walk home for lunch. When I arrived home my mom was crying and told me Dad's best friend, also a Fireman, Lt. Richard MacClave was killed in a fire. In those days firemen wore one of those old fashioned gas masks that looked like a tin can attached to a face mask. My father rushed to the scene and helped pull his buddy out. A radio reporter stuck a microphone in my dads face and my dad said "he would be alive if we had better equipment."

The next day he was transferred to Rescue One then the busiest house in New York. At Riche's wake my job was to help watch his children while his wife greeted the many mourners. I was sitting in the front row when the Mayor and Fire Commissioner Cavanaugh arrived. My father was one of the honor guard on each side of "Ritchie's" coffin. Ritchie's father in law (in his best Galway Ireland brogue) approached the Mayor and said pointing to my father. "Are ye trying to kill this man as ye did my son in law?"... The Mayor looked at the Commissioner (Cavanaugh) and said "what is he talking about?"... Cavanaugh answered pointing to my father "That's the big mouth that said we had bad equipment. I moved him to Rescue One." The mayor stuck his finger in Cavanaugh's chest and said "Move him back."

I was only sixteen years old but I remember it as if it was yesterday. Dad retired the next year and got a job at Radio City Music Hall running a group of ushers who worked on the first mezzanine. My older brother Frank was the manager of RCMH and we all thanked God for nepotism. An usher asked my father to help name a RCMH softball team which was going to be formed to play ushers from other theaters in central park. Dad named them the "Stupidos Bastidos" his favorite expression and the ushers loved it.

One day I will write a book about him.

PS: For many years he drove a limo part-time for a firm that had the contract with MGM. The movie starts loved it when pop picked them up since he was built like a bull. This was before todays phonies all having body guards.

And this last one my friend is a true story. Dad drove Alfred Hitchcock to the premier of one of his movies on Broadway. He then drove the limo to our walk-in apartment in the Bronx for some food and coffee. He comes home after dropping Hitchcock off , and walks in the door with a little dog. Alfred Hitchcock's little dog was our house (apartment) guest, but when my brother came home and opened the door to the walk in apartment, the little dog ran out onto Ryer Avenue and disappeared. We were all deployed to find that bitch and scoured the neighborhood. My older brother found it getting banged my a mutt owned by a neighbor across the street. Alfred Hitchcock's bitch was a virgin no longer and it happened on my father's watch. A pail of water separated the two and a quick drying off and back down to Manhattan they went. Hitchcock could not understand why the dog seemed exhausted and my father told him he was playing with the seven of us (his children) who had so much fun with their visiting pet. A few months later the former virgin queen gave birth to a litter of mutts and my father said Hitchcock always looked at him funny after that. God Bless you. The NYFD is always in our hearts. Below find a photo of pop, Firemen Francis J. Kennedy while a probie (probationary member,rookie) in Brooklyn circa 1938.

Jerry Kennedy

Firemen Francis J. Kennedy
Outside , no protection, driving the tiller.
What a great photo of a great fireman ...and dog sitter too LOL !!
After reading that I was compelled to get in touch with him, which I did ( the internet rules ),
and he followed up being kind enough to let me post this but he did a little photojournalism of his own for me to post . Great work Jerry. Here are his pics, and response to my request with an update to that story.


I don't mind you using my or my fathers name or the photo and I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Lt. Ritchie MacClaves wife Mary is still alive (she, in her nineties and in a nursing home) His four children are living in the NYC area. FYI, Mary MacClave (Ritchie's Widow) won a huge, huge settlement from the City of New York since her attorneys proved the equipment (mask) was faulty. God Bless have fun! PS: Some photos I took last week while walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and from the Brooklyn side. You can use those too. God, How I love New York! God Bless!
Jerry Kennedy

Brooklyn Bridge Walk

Side View.


Waterfall cross the river.

Waterfall under the Brooklyn Bridge.Great picture , I post the front earlier in one of my blogs so this shot is fitting.

The Falls drenching "The River Cafe" which in the papers here in NYC the owner said the water was blowing in and killing his plants outside....I think they lowered the pressure after that.

Right under the falls, good place for a quick shower.

Downtown viewed through a garden.

What was a view of the Twin Towers downtown Manhattan , and a few years from now we will see a glorious tribute standing high showing our determination and strength from with to show the world that NOTHING can keep us New Yorkers down....NOTHING !!!

Thanks Jerry for those great stories and fantastic photos of your father and the city, and for giving me the privilege to share it with my readers whom I believe will be grateful that I was able to post it. I will never watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie again without laughing about his extended family from The Bronx !! LOL And write that book !!!

Regards all, tonight I leave you again wishing you peace. Thanks so much and God Bless you all for the support , kind words and responses. , for as I sign off tonight .................................................I am THE KING OF NEW YORK HACKS.


  1. Great story K, definitely very New York in that despite being so huge, we can all still intertwine our lives as if we were in a small town. And that picture from 1938 is great!

  2. Once again, Bravo! I laughed out loud at Jerry's Dad also, and the pic of him is priceless.

    Frank's photos are great, too, loved the towers.

    Great guest bloggers; I have a few coming in a few days also. Nice to highlight when what others has to say is important! Thanks, King.

  3. The History Channel had an excellent one hour show about 9/11. It consisted entirely of various video & audio clips taken by people that day. No narration, no soundtrack music, just first hand videos. Very emotional, especially when the second plane hit.
    I doubt if they'll be repeating the special this year, but if you have a chance to catch it, I definitely recommend it.

  4. I'm not sure which pic i liked the best...seeing Beany for the first time in a long time or that great shot on the tiller from way back. Great work King !! I take a cab about once a week , hope i hop into yours one day

  5. cool follow up, and we know YOU are the only king in nyc

  6. I love your blog , the photos make me feel like i'm in the city and the stories make me laugh and cry.

  7. all are great posts and tributes to nyc...great follow up , i'm sure both are pleased to see their work on this blog. I like the idea of "guest blogger". First time i've seen it done, reminds me of "guest bartender" when you just HAVE to be there. I'll stop by anyway though.

  8. I saw the history channel one too, it was well done and left you speechless. These were great, first time I saw your blog and read through most of it ...funny,weird,good stories, I guess thats new york. The tributes were nice.Safe driving !!

  9. Wow those photos of the WTC are fantastic. That guy Frank must be one hell of a guy.

  10. you have a wonderful site!

  11. Great Site. Was added to mybookmarks. Greetings From USA.

  12. You have hit the mark. In it something is also to me your idea is pleasant. I suggest to take out for the general discussion.

  13. Hey, I found your blog in a new directory of blogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, anyway cool blog, I bookmarked you.