I remember stepping off the plane and a wall of humidity hit me like a
ton of bricks. That was my first memory of Panama. The first few days
at NBA were at the FarFan barracks. I was then sent up river, so to
speak, to Summit Transmitting Station. Spent 1 year there, March of 68
t Mar. of 69. Had a great time. Then was transferred to the message
center in Ft. Amador, Was billeted in FarFan for the next year.
After Panama, I served on two Tin Cans out of Mayport Fla.. The U.S.S.
Sarsfield. DD 837, and the U.S.S. Noa DD 841. Was discharged off the
Noa, and went back to Brooklyn. I Worked for ITT for about a year in
their communications dept. I then was accepted into the apprenticeship
program of Local Union #3, IBEW. (International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers). During this time I met my wife, Cathy Castronova,
We had two beautiful daughter while living in Brooklyn.
The work situation in New York at that time was not very good. In
fact right after my apprenticeship my first job as a journeyman was in
Washington State. I also worked in New Orleans, Colorado, and
Washington State again. I traveled for about a year. worked on two
paper mills in Wash., oil refinery and 1 coal burning power station in
Craig Colo.. We moved from Brooklyn to Howell NJ in 84. Wow. What a
shock. Here I was on a main ave, over a pizza parlor and then moved to
A lot of our work is in new construction. Been on many a high rise
building coming out of the ground. I was in the Trade Center when it
was first attacked in 93. I was having lunch on the 44th flr when the
bomb went off. Man, the whole building shook. We thought a transformer
blew because the power went out. When I got to the stairway to go
down, there were a million people trying to go down also.So me and my
partner stayed in the mail room on the 43rd flr. Thats when we started
hearing about a bomb going off in the basement. There was a pregnant
woman with us and she was not doing well. Smoke was starting to get
thick, and the stairway was still packed. After about two hours she
was really in bad shape, she went into convulsions. My partner and I
applied cool went compresses, keeping her as cool as we could, and a
rolled cloth between her teeth to prevent her from swallowing her
tongue. We really didnt know what to do. It was scary. She was about 8
months pregnant. Finally the Fire Dept 1st Aide Squad arrived and took
over. Man I'll never forget that day.
I've worked on a few jobs in the Trade Center since that day. I was
there the month before the last attack, and was transferred to another
job up town. We were doing a job for Blue Cross Blue Shield. They took
over 10 flrs for their new Processing center. It was finished about a
week before the bombing.
I had bought my video camera to work with me a week after the 1st
bombing. I'll try to get it down loaded and post it.
I recently started collecting military rifles. I have an M1 Garand, a
British Enfield Mark III and a Mitchell Mauser. Yes I know. The
Mitchell Mauser is not really authentic. that they were done over,
given bogus numbers and what not. I didnt know. It was advertised in
the NRA journal. Who'd have thought that it was not the original
weapon and was a make over. Its a nice weapon, and shoots good. They
all shoot good. except me. But Im getting there. Im looking for a 1903
Springfield to add to my collection, but there bit pricey for a decent
I retired this past March after 38 years in the electrical union. My
wife and I babysit for my grand daughter everyday. We dont mind. We
love it. My daughter is a teacher, so when she gets the summer off, or
spring break and what not, were gone. Theres another one on the way
due this spring. So by this time next year there'll be two. Cant wait.
We are really looking forward to it. My wife and I really didnt want
to see our grand kids in a day care. Heard too many stories.
Ill sign off for now, and try to get some flicks posted.