FDNY Tales - The Tee Shirt (Seymour Schenker)

One day a friend of mine, Frank Carle, while delivering Meals on Wheels struck up a conversation with a 94 year old gentleman who lived alone.

The gentleman's name was Pat Conlisk and he mentioned that he had retired from FDNY as a deputy chief, and had been a battalion chief in the 44th Battalion.

Frank said that he knew a fireman named Seymour. "Seymour Schenker?" "Yes, Seymour Schenker". Mr. Conlisk said: "I worked with Seymour when I was the chief in the 44th Battalion.

When I found out about this my wife baked a cake and we visited him. We reminisced for hours.

I wanted to pick him up and take him to our retirees breakfast but he was unable to leave the house.

Two months later his daughter, Margaret, called to give us the sad news that her father was in the hospital, and in bad shape.

I rushed to the hospital with my wife and brought along a Watkins Street tee shirt - "Engine 231, Ladder 120, 44th Battalion". He wanted to put it on, but it was not possible because of the medical devices connected to him.

I laid it across his chest. He held my wife's hand and smiled.

He died later that night with the tee shirt still on him. For the funeral Watkins Street sent an honor guard and a bagpiper.

Later on his daughter told me that he was buried wearing the tee shirt.

"The Tradition Lives On". (Seymour Schenker)

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Thanks, Ira Hoffman

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