A Mariner's Spirit
Michael Carlo loved sailing, his family, friends, and the ocean — not necessarily in that order. He was scheduled to travel to the British Virgin Islands on Sept. 12 to be certified a sailing captain. Mr. Carlo, 34, a firefighter, had even moved to Long Beach, N.Y., to be closer to the ocean.
Firefighter Carlo was a founding member of the Fire Department's volleyball team, and traveled to Sweden a few years ago to compete in the Police and Fire Olympics. When the New Yorkers arrived, they were told that no substitutions were allowed.
"Michael volunteered to sit out and have some of the bigger guys play," Mr. Carlo's brother Robert recalled. "But we decided we were going to play the way we wanted to play." The firefighters forfeited all their games in order to substitute players.
Michael Carlo was a gentleman in his personal life, too. A sought-after bachelor, he had many girlfriends, and always remained friendly with them — and their mothers — after a breakup.
At his house after Sept. 11, his family found some words by Mark Twain on a Post-it above the desk:
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones that you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on July 14, 2002.