Firefighter Who Saw Beauty
What Taube and Barbara Olsen recall about their son was his ability to see things not as they were, but as they could be.
They said their boy, Eric Taube Olsen, had a passion for finding the beauty in an old car that might seem little more than a busted-up clunker.
They said he enjoyed whittling away the hours with a block of wood and turning it into something more. They say he loved working in stained glass, and the way it could change the color of light.
Firefighter Olsen, 41, a firefighter with Ladder Company 15, had a particular fondness for collecting Cadillacs from the 1940's. In all, he had acquired 11 vehicles, including one old fire engine.
On the morning of Sept. 11, Firefighter Olsen and a buddy, Arthur T. Barry, another off-duty firefighter, were planning on tinkering with one of the cars. Instead, they rushed off to the World Trade Center.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 10, 2002.