Dreaming of Key West
Christopher Cramer had 317 days left and he would be gone for good.
Gone to Florida. Taking the buyout and retiring at 35.
And just like his man Jimmy Buffett, he was going to live on an island and fish and grow fat drinking beer.
"He wanted to get down there before he went totally gray," said his fiancée, Tracy Pereless, who was with him for four years, ever since they ran into each other in the bread aisle at the A&P. "That's what New York did to him for 11 years, turned him gray," she said. "He started at 7:10 and he hated it."
Mr. Cramer lived in commuter hell, driving more than 200 miles a day from his home in Long Beach, N.J., to the World Trade Center and back. He worked as vice president of tax operations for Fiduciary Trust Company International.
His home was on a lagoon, and on the weekends he fished from his deck and drank beer with his people and dreamed of Key West.
He was loved by his parents and three brothers and sister and fiancée. And if they could, they would apologize to him for forgetting to play Jimmy Buffett at his memorial.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 1, 2001.