1. Where did you grow up & what was it like? I grew up in Brooklyn, NY with a country house in upstate like I mentioned. I am a die hard lifelong Yankee fan. My claim to fame in this regard is I have been in all 3 Yankee stadium's. My first game was in 1971 with my mom. I am what you call a section 39 bleacher creature. And I was at the World Series at the new new stadium. I was at the last game of the old stadium as well as the first game of the new stadium.
2. In your movie script you wrote: "Be a phoenix or a statistic", which are you? I made that up myself and my brother actually uses it. In motivational speeches. Of course I am a phoenix my whole life crashed. And I could have easily become one of these people who drinks 25 beers a day before noon. And does nothing but bitch about how bad life sucks. I define success by inner happiness. Another one of my favorite quotes. Is the mirror accepts no lies. It maybe hard to believe but many people seem to be able to lie to the mirror. I CAN NOT NOR WILL I.
3. How do you define success? My greatest job is not in the movie script. It is in chapter 31 of DH. A baby who was face down in the bathtub. The mother was so freaked out she thought she caused her child's own death. And couldn't bring herself to touch him. The firemen took the baby out of the tub. This is a big problem for me. The firemen get too much credit, paramedics are more than ambulance drivers. No disrespect intended but the only time they save a baby. Is if they pull that baby out of a fire. No disrespect intended to the firemen. I give them so much credit because it takes so much courage to run into a building everyone else is running out of.
4. What have you learned over your lifetime that you'd like to share with the younger generation? I am probably the only hippie who went to military school. I was at Woodstock as a 5 yr old. Perhaps that was the best perspective to see it from. You could literally walk to the stage from our country house in Bethel. Pretty funny cause my parents were hippies and now they are so far to the right they practically tip over. I am an Independent who goes down the lines of common sense. I don't like red state blue state. I say we blend together become 50 purple states. The color of royalty. After all we are the greatest nation on the planet.
5. What is your favorite hobby? I love to read and believe it or not I read Shakespeare. Especially Julius Caesar, For I too have been stabbed in the back by such honorable men. I love Stephen King he is my favorite author. And he is far from all gore and guts. Two of my favorite books are Hearts in Atlantis and The Stand. Throw in Black House and the Talisman. All his books seem to be connected to the tower. The books I mentioned I actually read slow cause I didn't want them to end. When I read I can easily read 5,000 pages a week. I'm starting to like Lee Child a lot. The Jack Reacher stories.
6. Who has had the greatest influence on you? The Kennedy brothers. Especially JFK for obvious reasons. John Lennon again for obvious reasons. I was at the Dakota as a distraught drunken 16 yr old. We all sang "Give Peace A Chance and Imagine." It didn't matter what color lips were on that bottle. And it still doesn't matter to me today. Come Aug 31st I will have 20 yrs sobrerity. I tell people I'm quite capable of making an ass out of myself without alcohol. Ok this is a biggie. Just like I used to go to AA and NA for the hugs. And to see and listen to people WHO I SHOULD NOT BE LIKE!! Adolph Hitler had a huge influence on my life. How so you may ask. Look at my last name. Although I am Irish/Italian/German my dad's father was the German. Hence the last name. When I was 7 yrs old my best friend was name Greg Gunzberg. His family was clearly Jewish and lost many members in the Holocaust. This would be 1971. You know what as a 7 yr old I was embarrassed to tell people that I was German. And asked my mom if I could use her last name Nocerino. We had a long talk about this but you can see how a negative person can influence a child.
7. What will be your legacy? Is the world better because of you/your work/your influence? Once a person has my loyalty they have it for life. I give everyone basic human respect. And I expect the same. If someone gets a lower level of respect from me. It's because they earned it. If someone wants a higher level of respect from me. Then also they have earned it. Respect it's more than a 7 letter word to me. And this has always been a problem for me. Because I could never work for somebody I didn't respect. In my books I mention that Lt bars are not based on experience. Intelligence or merit they are based on a 75 question multiple choice test. I'm sorry that's not enough to qualify you as my leader. And it certainly doesn't mean you can tell me how to be, what to say and how to do things. Especially when it comes to a triple shooting up on the 15th floor. I would like to be remembered as someone who did the right thing. Just because it was the right thing to do.
8. What's the funniest work story/ event you remember? I mentioned that I went to military school. That would be Xavier in NYC. That didn't work out to well cause you know what. I am a lone wolf and all of NYC was my backyard. I hung out in the Village at the age of 14. And hit all the clubs all the time. I can't tell you how many bands I got to see. Before they hit it big. This will make you laugh and then I have to stop typing. Electric lady land is on West 8th street. That was Jimi Hendrix's studio. I saw Bob Dylan playing harmonica and acoustic guitar on the street. He looked like a bum and people were just passing by and throwing change in his guitar case. I put a dollar in and I said I know who you are. He laughed and said don't tell anyone. Then he told me that song wasn't worth a dollar.
As for funniest job I had two floaters in my career. Both with Jason. The first one central asked over the air. "16 Victor do you have a drowning on that scene?" I responded back "No I think he's just been doing the back stroke for the last 12 days." That went out over all of Manhattan North. And Brendan said he nearly crashed his rig when he heard me say that. He laughed so hard. A few months later. We had another floater. And Jason said to me "He ain't doin the back stroke is he?" We went down on the rocks and I saw that his wrist watch was still working. I held up a purple bloated arm and did my impersonation of the Timex man. Standing over him saying, "There you have it folks it takes a dippin and keeps on tickin." Jason nearly fell into the water he was laughing so hard. There's really nothing funny about EMS but like I said. Sometimes you have laugh to avoid going crazy.
Brendan had a funny job that I showed up on. A known drug dealer was shot in the head behind the ear. Then rolled up in a rug. They left him under a giant billboard that had a picture of McGruff the Crime Dog. And that billboard said take a bite out of crime.
9. Is there anything I haven't asked about that you would care to comment on? I have some tattoo's one on my forearm is Japanese. It means, "Great talent; God given." You might know where that came from. The other is Celtic I wear it on the right side of my neck. It means, "Protector of Peace." If you're familiar with Stephen King then think of me as an Eddy Dean. If you're familiar with the Godfather then think of me as Clemenza.
I have a rare talent. Did you ever hear someone say they can slow the game down? Yes, I can do that -I can go on auto pilot. And think in pictures. Slow single frame pictures when everything around me is turning to shit. On that baby job my partner asked me. How did you know what to do so quickly? I told him the kid was the same size as my daughter. I knew what I would do if it was my own child. And I instinctively put that plan of action to purposeful use. I will also tell you when it comes to partners give me a street rat. With a GED who cares over a Harvard education every time.......
I would like to add. Is the world a better place because I am in it? You may never hear this in your life again, but getting busted was the best thing that ever happened to me. And I did tell my lawyer that. Before I got busted the answer would be a definitive NO. But after one day at a time. Sometimes one minute at a time. That will be for my higher power to judge. And I hope what I have been doing will tip the scales slightly in my favor. When I have to stand before him.
10. What is your favorite dinner & what do you drink with it? My favorite drink is Pepsi you know why. Because they donate literally thousands of cases a week. To all sorts of self help groups, local churches and low income people. My favorite meal is baked lasagna with giant meatballs. I refuse to eat veal for obvious reasons. And the best meal I ever had in my life was baked Swordfish with a secret sauce, under the palm trees in Aruba.
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