in His Home
would start in at 10 in the morning, pestering the men of Engine Company 74 on
the Upper West Side for a chance to rule the kitchen for a day. "How 'bout
I make some fat boys tonight?" Ruben Correa would say, promising steak-and-cheese
hoagies that would make them cry for more. The other firemen say that when they
sat down to eat, Firefighter Correa, 44, always watched them dig in before taking
his first bite, making sure they liked what he had cooked.
only place that the big former marine liked more than his firehouse was his home.
He scrimped and saved and even sold his car to come up with enough money to move
his wife, Susan, and their three girls into their own house in Staten Island two
years ago. It made for a long commute to the Upper West Side, but it meant the
girls could leave their bicycles in the driveway.
years of unmerciful badgering by his colleagues, Firefighter Correa agreed a few
years ago to become catcher for the firehouse's softball team. He was called Yogi,
and like the Yankee great, he saw the game as "90 percent mental, the other
half physical." He had an arm like a wrecking ball, powerful yet unpredictable.
But he played like a marine, with guts and grit.
greatest fault," said Daniel Murphy, a fellow firefighter who has been the
Correa family's liaison with the Fire Department since Sept. 11, "was that
he never learned to take the first pitch."
Profile published in THE NEW
YORK TIMES on July 28, 2002.
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