Monday, September 11, 2006

Joseph Lostrangio - A Memorial

Those who have read my blog already know about my love for guitars and my complete inability to find the patience or will to master them. Today I'm going to tell you about a guitarist I never met. His name was Joseph Lostrangio.

Joe never met a six string he didn't like and he was an avid player. Friends remember him playing Billy Joel tunes with zeal.

Joe also had a love of saltwater fish. He had four tanks including a 90-gallon showpiece. Have you ever tended a saltwater fish tank? It's not a walk in the park. His enthusiasm was infectious and many coworkers learned how to care for their own fish through Joe's guidance.

Joe had a lot of enthusiasm and many diverse interests. His wife of 26 years, Theresann, called him "a life explorer."

Joe and Theresann lived in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. By all accounts he was a good father to their two children and a good husband. He encouraged the kids to follow his example of devouring new experiences and supported their talents and interests.

Speaking of devouring, Joe had another passion: food. Some friends called him a gourmet chef but others suggested it went way beyond that. He was fearless with food and tried as many exotic ingredients as he could find, often querying staff members of New York restaurants about how to find the next, weirdest ingredient yet.

Which was probably yet another reason Joe was excited about his new job in New York City. He grew up in Long Island and went to New York Law School in Chinatown. He worked as a reinsurance consultant and often visited the city but the new job with the Devonshire Group would put him in the heart of the financial district. And it put him near some great restaurants where he could learn tricks and procure new culinary delicacies.

His son, Joe Jr., was attending St John's College and they agreed to share an apartment so that Joe Sr. would have a place to stay whenever he would be unable to commute home. It was a perfect arrangement.

His first day of work was September 10, 2001. His office was on the 77th floor of 1 World Trade Center (the North Tower). He called a friend at about 5pm that evening and left a message for them to meet at a Chinese restaurant later that week. Later he called Theresann from the apartment and they discussed family news, what bills needed paying, and that he would call her from work in the afternoon the next day, as was his habit.

I hope they told each other they loved each other. I suspect they did.

The next morning at 08:26 am, hijacked American Airlines flight 11 struck the North Tower somewhere between the 93rd and 99th floor. One hundred and two minutes later WTC1 collapsed.

Joseph Lostrangio was 48 years old.

I never knew you, Joe, but researching your story has made me sad that I did not have the opportunity to make your acquaintance and call you a friend. Perhaps you could have taught me to master that silly F chord.

You have inspired me and challenged me to devour life. Yours was cut way too short but you made the most of it.

"… I'm not sure about a life after this
God knows I've never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That is running to the promised land

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
By the river of dreams
In the middle of the night…"

Billy Joel – River of Dreams


This memorial is part of The 2996 Project administered by D.Challener Roe.
You have done an amazing thing Mr. Roe.


The New York Times

September 11 Victims: Joseph Lostrangio

9-11 Heroes: Joseph Lostrangio Joseph Lostrangio

September 11 Class Action: Statement of Theresann Lostrangio


Anonymous said...

Thank you for participating in this..... everyone should be remembered.... it's an amazing project.

Anonymous said...

may we remember in love and learn to live in peace ----seems to me the music will live on in rememberance

MamaKBear said...

Wonderful job! I feel like I'm getting to know the victims while reading these tributes.

Rest in peace, Joseph, I'll never forget!

My own tribute is for DANIEL can see it at

Anonymous said...

Great tribute. Many blessings to all those who lost loved ones that day.
I am honored to post a tribute to Joseph Lovero, a Dispatcher with the Jersey City Fire Dept.

Mistress Regina said...

You should be proud of the job you have done creating this memorial for Joseph. May his soul rest in peace.

I have seen criticism of this project; cheap words from small minds is my response.

Remember Elizabeth Claire Logler...

Anonymous said...

Nice tribute! Thanks for letting me get to know Joe.

Mine's up.

Anonymous said...

My deepest sympathies go out to The Lostrangio Family....

In Memory of Edward Phillip York

Jas said...

Nice job, E.

Kami said...

This is a wonderful tribute you've done. Thank you!

Lois Lane said...

Nice job Eric. I wish I had met Joe too.
Lois Lane

Anonymous said...

Eric, great job.
We all have seen blogs with a list of the 2,996 victims of that horrible day, but this is much much more.
You and others have created an awesome blog world of tributes. The project is awesome, and I intend to keep the list of those that participated as a list of blogs to visit.
Again, great job.
I honored Frank J. Koestner at my blog Sanity's Bluff, drop by sometime.

Oops, shouldn't use bluff and drop by in the same sentence.

Just a little humor to break up the sadness of this job that had to be done, since the msm (mean spirited media) would never do something this nobel.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute. Just a fellow 2,996 blogger trying to make the rounds

Anonymous said...

This was a wonderful tribute, I feel like I know Joseph as a person, not just a name, a number, a victim. Just beautiful.
Cheers, Kelly
I remember Marisa DiNardo Schorpp

MrsGreenThumb said...

Good job, I now know Joseph, I would have loved him for his passion for life. I am also privileged to have honored Catherina A. Nardella on my blog. She was an amazing woman, not a number but one of thousands who died that day.

Melissa said...

Eric, that was a great tribute. How funny, my dad has always had a salt water tank, I know exactly how commited a man Joe would have to be to have one. Very cool that you got a guy who loved music like you do.

Thanks for visiting my tribute tonight.

Remembering Tommy Kennedy. :)

Michelle said...

Beautiful tribute Eric :o)
Its very inspiring how many have joined the tribute.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Eric, you did a lovely job on this. I clicked the link you left at my site, and I'm glad I did. I'm going to read as many of these tributes as I can....

Anonymous said...

You wrote a wonderful tribute.

bernie said...

Anyone that can write one of these tributes without crying belongs in another country.

I linked to your tribute from 2996 tribute to victims of 9/11 - Terrence E Adderley

Anonymous said...

Very, as well as the victims of this tragic tragic day, have touched my heart.

Thanks for stopping by.

Suzi said...

What a wonderful post. I enjoyed reading about Joe- his guitar, his fish, his culinary adventures.

I caught my breath in horror to read that his first day at work was five years ago today.

Thank you for celebrating Joe's life.

I remembered Laura Gilly.

brian said...

Thank you for posting this tribute for a wonderful person who is missed.

Please stop by my tribute post for Gilbert and leave a link and comment so that others can come hear to read.

dmmgmfm said...

Beautiful tribute, thank you for sharing.

Miss Chris said...

A beautiful tribute. I feel priviledged that we got to participate in this memorial. Stop by and read about Debra Paris on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing. After reading these, I wish I could have known all of these souls. So many people...

I honored Michael Haub, FDNY.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Eric...

I'm keeping the tissues close by today...

Never forget. Ever.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had the strength to undertake this heartwrenching project. You really did justice to his memory....thank you

Diane Viere said...

Oh my goodness...your tribute has struck a chord in my heart! Beautiful. I have posted a tribute honoring Sgt. Michael Curtin, a NYPD officer who willingly walked into collapsing buildings on a rescue mission. His body was recoved in the rubble of Ground Zero March of 2002. So many lives lost--so many heroes.


Cathy said...

What a wonderful tribute..You will not believe that I was sitting here just listening to Billy Joel on the CD player. He was singing "innocent man" while I was reading about Joseph loving to play his guitar to Billy Joel songs.

It is so very sad that he only had started his job 1 day before the attackes.

Thank you for coming to my blog and leaving such a nice comment on Lars tribute.

Anonymous said...

thats a great tribute. I was honored to take part in this project.

Anonymous said...

Im very thankful for this tribute/article.. Joe is my mother's cousin, his mother is my great aunt.
Joe will always be remembered. He was great. Everyone will be remembered. I miss you uncle Joe.

Anonymous said...

Just found this Tribute- The NY times also has a Permanent tribute "Portraits of Grief" online also - I was a first responder that dreadful morning. This tribute to Joe is right on target. Joe was my brother-in-law- we met when we were about 19yrs old dating my sister and then married. We shared many adventures. When I was finally able to contact my sister that evening of 9-11-01,My shock when I got the news Joe was in NY - he was supposed to have been in Calif. Thank yo all for your caring comments- SGT(ret.) Nick S