Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale
Welcome back. This week a true story about the day I saw “New York City cry.”
Last Sunday must have been an average day for New York City Police Officer Dennis Guerra. A good cop with eight years of experience, he had a wife and four kids. By all accounts it was clear he loved his job and his community. Guerra’s partner on Sunday was Officer Rosa Rodriquez. A mother with four children, Rodriquez has three years on the job with the NYPD.
It was a chance call for the two officers who were working in a patrol car. The call brought them a report of a fire that had just started on the 12th floor of a nearby apartment building. City cops typically don’t respond to fire alarm calls but these two cops had a history of going far beyond the call of duty and it didn’t surprise anyone when they went to the scene. When the officers arrived no smoke was visible from the outside of the building so they got into an elevator to investigate. Things appeared to be normal but when they reached the 12th floor and as the doors opened thick black smoke poured into the elevator. The officers radioed for help but they were quickly overcome by the smoke. Officer Guerra died that day and as of this writing, Officer Rodriguez is still clinging to life in critical condition in a New York hospital. According to the New York Times, Marcell Dockery, a teenager living in the building, admitted that he had set a mattress on fire on the 12th floor. Dockery is being held without bond pending formal charges.
Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton whom I wrote about a few months ago spoke to hundreds of officers later the same day. He reminded everyone present that “unforeseen dangers await even the most routine calls”. Mayor Bill De Blasio praised the courage of the two officers who selflessly rushed to help others.
Members of the NYPD, who hadn’t lost an officer in the line of duty since 2011, were taking the incident very hard. Many of the officers in the crowd, all of whom were in uniform with their badges adorned with black mourning bands, were visibly moved to tears thinking of the two young officers.
An incident like this makes you realize that you should thank our police and our firemen for their service whenever there is an opportunity. I hope we will all find a chance to do it.
On a brighter side, I continue to be amazed by the friendliness of New Yorkers. OST Coffee House on 12th & Avenue B is an artists’ hangout and a cool place to start one’s day. Winston’s on 53rd & 1st takes great care of you at any time of the day with great food and service. Of course there’s 28 Scots where I often stop before attending the Today Show. Underneath one floor of Rockefeller Center there are several little restaurants with a large outdoor seating area which is a great place to watch the ice skaters while you rest your feet.
Here are a couple of scoops. If you are interested in riding the Gray Line double decker bus, with a little bargaining you can get three days for the price of two. The aircraft carrier Intrepid is permanently moored in New York harbor and some of our most sophisticated military aircraft is displayed on its decks where tours are held daily. The driver of my tour bus turned out to be Buffalo Bill’s grand nephew and he told me that tours of the Intrepid are not to be missed. Yes, I did say Buffalo Bill’s grand nephew and this guy had letters from Buffalo Bill to his grandmother (Bill’s sister) that prove it! Yes from the good old boys who work the Today Show to bus drivers to your everyday Joe walking the street, New Yorkers are a good bunch.
Also, it only happens once a year and its getting close. Elder Care’s The Good, The Bad and The Barbeque out at the Cross Bell Ranch will give you the chance to visit one of Oklahoma’s truly great ranches that is still in operation.
Till next week, I’ll see ya down the road…………………