The Pleasure of Pigeons
Last summer, Jose J. Marrero rediscovered one of the joys of his childhood. He bought some pigeons.
Always handy — he had fixed up a dining room at his home in Old Bridge, N.J., and an upstairs room that lies unfinished — Mr. Marrero built a pigeon coop in the backyard. He'd come home from his job at Euro Brokers, where he was a facilities manager, and spend an hour or so out back just watching the birds, his wife, Jodi, said. He was making plans to race them, just as he had when he was growing up in Brooklyn.
Mr. Marrero, 32, was the fire warden for his floor — the 84th, in the south tower. He had helped a man down the stairs, Mrs. Marrero said, when he got a call on his walkie-talkie from someone else who needed assistance. He went back in.
"In the bombing of '93, he did the same exact thing," she said. "Helped people right to the end."
Now, the pigeons are having babies like crazy, Mrs. Marrero said. There are about 20 of them, and they provide plenty of entertainment for the couple's three children. One bird in particular has taken a fancy to their 3-year-old, coming right up to her and eating out of her hand.
"We named him Jose," Mrs. Marrero said.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 27, 2001.