Skiing Like the Wind
Life blew hot and cold for George C. Cain, in that he made his living fighting fires but spent much of his time on cold snowy mountains, skiing.
"I have pictures of him, and you'd think he could reach up and touch heaven," said his mother, Rosemary Cain. "He could ski like the wind."
Adrienne Bartolini confirmed Firefighter Cain's skiing ability. They became friends in Telluride, Colo., where the future firefighter worked for five years as a carpenter in the warm months and skied in the cold. He loved the mogul runs, and had no problem with one of the resort's toughest runs, Kant-Mak-M. "He used to just rip down that," Ms. Bartolini said. Then he got the call to join the New York Fire Department, and they spent six weeks driving to New York in her Volkswagen van in 1994.
Firefighter Cain, 35, joined Ladder Company 7 in Manhattan and lived in Patterson, N.Y., though he grew up in Massapequa. He was in terrific shape, and ran the New York Marathon in 1999. He was training for this year's event. His mates at Ladder 7, who called him the Dude, recalled he could always beat them running up the stairs.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 17, 2001.