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Visiting Firemen


Last night, having had a lot of fun (and a lot to drink), but finding myself home alone at a reasonable hour, I quite predictably went into cutup mode - and put my foot in it. I wrote the following entry.

I don't get many nights out on the town, due to my police record, but imagine my thrill at being asked to spend a night on the town with the fire chief of Itchboro, New Jersey. I was so happy to be photographed with someone important that I actually showed my teeth - something I never do - while the fire chief, notwithstanding mufti, managed to looked very official.

If only more denizens of the suburbs knew how we Gothamites longed to be photographed with them - I'd smile so much more often.

("Itchboro" came to me much later. I initially wrote "Bogota," which is a real town that, it dawned on me eventually, might have a real fire chief. It never occurred to me that Joe would mind being likened to a fire chief. But I can see why he might mind the "Itchboro" part. Hence this late-in-the-day repair.)

Anyway, here's what happened. Aaron, Joe and I had just walked out of Grand Central, where we'd had drinks. Aaron, claiming that it was a school night (which it was), was going to head home. Joe and I were going to cross 42nd Street, to have dinner at Pershing Square. Who should be standing right in our path but Sean Maloney, a candidate for New York State Attorney General. Joe ran up to introduce himself. Reading his mind, I pulled my camera out of the bag I was carrying it and, because of my slight palsy, which makes flash photography very difficult, handed it to Aaron. "Take a picture!"

But Joe had his back to us, and Aaron seemed unsure about the propriety of taking an unposed shot. Within several blinks of an eye, Joe and I were lined up for the photo above, which Aaron was happy to take. I can't say why Joe looks so serious, but I suspect that it's because he was wishing that I - or at any rate the other person in the picture - were Sean Maloney.

Then Joe went back to Mr Maloney, who was happy to have his picture taken with the man behind Joe.My.God. As well he should be!


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You cannot possibly be unaware of how much that photo looks like the left two-thirds of a photo by Weegee entitled "The Critic" (circa 1945).

Your resemblance to Sir Thomas Sean grows stronger with each passing year. One of my legs is getting longer, I'm sure. I swear this said "Bogota, New Jersey" just a moment ago where it now says "When, New Jersey". So, is the gentleman on your left Anthony Culmone, the current Bogota, NJ Fire Chief, or are you just having us on here? Bogota is as I recall nestled between Hackensack and Ft. Lee north of IH-80 on the Hackensack River but I have no idea where When, NJ might be nor can I locate it on any of my sources. You're having us on aren't you, it's JJ from J.M.G. isn't it?

Jeez Louise! Now, it says "Itchboro, New Jersey" another town beyond my grasp. I'll check again tomorrow and we what it says. Fat fingered tonight?

I'm so far behind in reading my favourite blogs it makes me want to cry. But this delightful photograph has brightened my evening! What a wonderful smile!

And aren't you the blogger about town?

I am a kottke.org micropatron

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