He Still Speaks to Her
Lt. Peter C. Martin had plenty of interests. He liked to watch Nascar races, "glued to the TV," said his friend, Lt. Peter Lund. He also kept track of how many fires he had been to, perhaps inspired by a book, "20,000 Alarms," that was lying around the Rescue 2 firehouse in Brooklyn.
And once a month, he would take out the antique rifles he collected, put on a cowboy hat and take aim at the buffalo silhouettes set up on a field in the Hamptons with other members of the local Single Action Shooting Society. There he was known as "Sidewinder Pete," a true aficionado to whom the group dedicated a memorial shoot last month.
But mostly, Mr. Martin, 43, cared about being a father to his three boys, ages 13, 9 and 6. His own father had died when he was 11 months old. "As much as he loved the Fire Department, his first love was ours," said his wife, Alice. "He would race home from work so he could put the boys to bed. He'd sing to them, and tell them stories. He had a whole routine."
Now Mrs. Martin is taking care of things on her own. "I get a lot of strength from Peter," she said. "I can almost hear him saying to me, 'Everything's O.K.' "
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 11, 2001.