The Magic of Thursday
Jeffrey Walz and his wife were told they could not have a child, so when they had Bradley, he was something of a miracle to them. Mr. Walz doted on the boy, and made sure he did something special with his son every Thursday, his day off from Ladder 9, Engine 33 ‹ the zoo, a museum, a baseball game, an afternoon in the park.
Mr. Walz, 37, grew up in Staten Island and lived in Tuckahoe, N.Y. He was the son of a fireman, and it was as a fireman that he met his wife, Rani. She was at a Halloween party in the East Village that was so good that the Fire Department was called, and when Mr. Walz arrived and saw her in costume, they posed for a photo together, naturally. "I was dressed as a Dalmatian," she said. She sent it to him, with her number.
Bradley, now 3 1/2 and the family's "little linebacker," has begun to resemble his father in small ways. He's big, like his father, and to his mother's frustration, he has picked up her husband's habit of separating his peanut butter sandwiches from his jelly sandwiches ‹ never together.
And Bradley has suddenly become interested in his father's profession. "Not until any of this happened," Ms. Walz said, "has my son showed any interest in fire trucks."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 4, 2001.