Image Gallery
 
 
 
 
In May of 2002 after closing my escrow and taking care of other business I flew back to NY to start cooking for my "cooking ministry".
 
Some of the early road blocks and challenges that I encountered when I got there were:
 
1. Difficulties in making connections at first and not knowing anyone.
 
2. Scheduling firehouses with no knowledge or where they were and who to contact.
 
3. Starting from scratch with cooking supplies, places to purchase food, no vehicle to arrange transportation for shopping and getting the food to and from firehouses.
 
4. Finding a church home and Christian support group
 
In all of this mayhem I moved 7 times in the first 3 months when I could not find a place to settle and a total of 12 times in the 2 years.
 
 
 
 
                If you ever drive by my house you will always see the American Flag and the Marine Corps flag flying. Not just on holidays!
 
 
 
 
 
During those two years we had two Marine bases in Tustin and El Toro. After being very involved with the city and being the Chairman of Board of the Tustin Chamber of Commerce, I became the liason between the city and the Marine bases. When my duties representing the city were over, I continued my involvement with the Marine bases building many relationships and friends over the years. On Thanksgiving for fourteen years I fed 750 Marines and their families a free Thanksgiving meal. This picture is a shadow box of patches representing all of the squadrons at the Marine bases.
 
The Marine corps became a very important part of my life.
 
 
 
 
 
My involvement with the Marine Base grew through the years and for all of my contributions to the two Marine bases throughout the years the commandant awarded me the highest medal you can receive as a civilian the Meritorious Public Service medal on the left. The patch you see in this shadow box represents the blimp hangars at Tustin, CA and the flag was flown over the Marine base for a week and then presented to me at the ceremony when they issued the medal.
 
 
 
 This was a tshirt given to me by Captain Brown who lost his brother. Battalion Chief Oreo Palmer of Engine 3 Ladder 12 Battalion 7 was the only squadron to reach the 84th floor with all of his 100 lbs of gear and his whole squadron. He transmitted to the command post “There were many fires and a large amount of carnage and he was headed into do what he could…”. But before those last words were uttered the building collapsed.
 
 
 
This towel was purchased by my good friend Cheri Larson’s daughter Nicole and her friend Monica. She had them monogrammed with my name and I gave one to every firehouse I cooked at. What was really special for me was when I went back to some of the firehouses the towel was hanging there on display in the kitchens.
 
 
 
 
 
Stories about the lives of some of the men who were murdered that day and how so many families lost a loved one so senselessly. I am sure you recognize this poster made by Tommy Gabbay, a fireman at Engine 68 LAD 49 depicting Father Michael in the Yankee Stadium Center. Father was not the first person to die but the first that they recognized and he was death certificate number one. He was killed by falling debris when he was praying over a fireman.
  
 
 
Here is captain John Vigiano many battles he has faced in his life. A former Marine retired FDNY captain. Winning a battle against throat cancer in 1980. But his two greatest accomplishments were his sons - NYPD Detective Joseph and FDNY firefighter John the second. Proud does not begin to describe the way John speaks of his sons. Joe the detective had on three different occasions been hospitalized from bullets nearly taking his life. He became a detective at age 24. His hard work and bravery earned him a medal of honor, combat cross and three medals of valor. This picture shows the proud dad with the pictures of his two sons in his helmet. His son Joe was found. Johns remains were never found. Need I say more!
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is Captain Donovan born in Staten Island, NY. His wife Debbie and two girls Shannon, 19, and Kelsey, 15, live in Masapequa, Long Island – who have become a part of my extended family. Captain Mike was a fireman in NY for 25 years. 
-Click here to view his video-
 
 
 
 Some of the Pages of the Book that were Signed
 
 
 Engine 202 Ladder 101 & 131 Brooklyn
 
 
 Engine 279 Ladder 131 Brooklyn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Rescue One - 530 W. 43rd Street, Midtown Manhattan Hashhagen wrote books!