Wow….where do I begin?…
Wow….where do I begin? I suppose by saying that I really miss seeing you around, Steve!
Steve and I went to Norman Thomas High School together. We also grew up in the Bronx together (I still live in Pelham Parkway – He, in Castle Hill)…As things in life turn out…our paths crossed again as adults. Steve’s Firehouse was just two blocks away from my job!
One day, as I was walking to lunch, I hear someone calling me..I didn’t recognize him but he began to talk about Norman Thomas to me..then I realized that Steve Mercado had gone from high school nerd to rugged firefighter! Thereafter, I’d see him often…in front of the Plaza Hotel..coming back from runs, doing inspections at my office building, etc. I felt honored to be his friend.
I had planned to go to the high school reunion with him. He was kind enough to offer me a ride as I had no way of getting there, while he also stated that I’d have to find a way home with someone else as he planned to stay long at the reunion. He was a real family man to his wife and children.
When the tragedy of 9/11 occurred I lost a fireman I was seeing as well as his brother and another close friend. I didn’t think anything would happen to Steve. He did, after all, work around Lincoln Center, and I assumed during those moments that those closest to WTC would perish (like my friends whose firehouse was in Brooklyn). I was shocked and saddened, therefore, to hear of Steve’s untimely death.
Recently, several people from my job, and I went to his job and prayed. Afterwards some of his ‘brothers’ invited us in for coffee and desert and it was nice to share ‘Steve’ stories.
My heart goes out to his parents, his wife and his children.