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Chapter 7 - Elizabeth's Birthday Wish ~ Part 1


2003 Ford Ambulance is a sample photo of the ambulance that took my wife to the Hospital on the south shore of Staten Island

Photo of my beautiful wife taken on our 1961 honeymoon in Puerto Rico later in years would fall and break her hip in February 2003 and again on December 11, 2016

Map showing location of February 2003 barge explosion & fire in the NY City-NJ area.

February 2003. A Bouchard Transportation Co. barge exploded & burned while unloading gasoline at the ExxonMobil docks at Port Mobil, Staten Island, NY, on the Arthur Kill waterway. Two workers were killed.

Burning wreckage of Bouchard Barge 125 after Feb 2003 explosion at ExxonMobil oil depot.

Part of the “depot side” firefighting contingent that fought the 2003 Staten Island barge explosion & fire.

“Vehicle-size” piece of the exploding Bouchard Barge 125 that was hurled into the depot on February 21, 2003.

One fear at the time of the February 2003 barge explosion was the possibility of a storage-tank chain reaction at the depot.

Smoldering remains and aftermath of the Bouchard Barge 125 explosion at ExxonMobil’s Staten Island depot. Half-sunken remains of the barge visible in the foreground, as large portions of it were blown out into the depot.

CHAPTER 7 - Part 1

( For Part 2 click on this link ~



February xx, 2003 began as a normal day and although at the time it was not a subject to joke about, today we are amazed and fortunately able to chuckle about this unbelievable story..........Liz and I had left our home to go to work just as we normally always did on this bright clear wintry day.... I had walked over to my car and was kneeling beside the car when I heard Liz yell out "oh $hit" followed by a loud scream.......It seems that Liz had picked out this little sliver of ice to step on, that caused her to take the worst possible fall in her life.......I immediately rushed to her side to help her get up but she was just in too much pain to be moved or get up......My neighbor Mike from across the street who was also going to work at that time, came running over to assist but like me was unable to help due to the severe pain that Liz expressed on her face along with her moans and groans......

Because of her severe pain the best I was able to do for her was to run into the house and call 911........The ambulance (LINK BELOW) arrived in a matter of minutes but must have seemed like a life time for Liz.....The two ambulance attendances seeing the pain she was in, knew that this was going to be a tuff assignment for them but they still had to do the task of lifting her and than placing her on the gurney..... After explaining to Liz their next move they picked her up, bearing her screams, and placed her on the gurney.....Right than and there the attendances must have known Liz had a broken hip......

Carefully placed in the ambulance and after telling me they would take her to Staten Island University Hospital South they proceeded on there way with me trying to follow behind them in hot pursuit.......Unable to keep up with them I trailed behind and would soon loose them.......When I reached the hospital I was only allowed to stay in the waiting room of the hospital......After what appeared to consist of the whole day of waiting, the broken hip was confirmed...

The next day February xx, was Liz's Birthday and although I wished her Birthday Wishes of recovery, I knew that she was unable to hear me due to the medication given to her in order to ease her pain.......By now other family members had reached the hospital and like me were waiting in her room for the doctor(s) to arrive and tell us the damage caused to Liz from the fall........The doctor finally arrived explaining that it was a broken hip and the operation to repair her hip could not happen until later that evening......He also told us that, "THE SURGERY WOULD DEFINITELY BE PERFORMED UNLESS THERE WAS AN EXPLOSION ? " and than left the room.

About an hour or so after the doctor left, my daughter Dina and I would be over by the window that was facing west towards New Jersey with a clear view, as we were on the top floor of the hospital...... At the southern part of Staten Island from the east shore where the hospital is located and the west shore the distance is fairly close to each other as the further south one travels on Staten Island the closer the east and west shores become.......Dina was sitting on the window sill while I was looking out of the window that had such a beautiful view........

The very next moment we knew, was the window flying open [it opened in ward into the room] hitting me in the chest and knocking Dina off the window sill onto the floor........Looking out the window I would see a dark black mushroom smoke cloud forming on the west shore of Staten Island that had the force that we certainly felt in the hospital room, with the mushroom cloud ending way over the size of the hospital's three or so floors.......Below I was able to find an actual video of this explosion that I would later find out from news reports to have happened at the Port Mobil barge, at approximately 10:00 am on Liz's birthday...It was my understanding that the casualty list would be several people but not enough to delay Liz's surgery as told to us by the room attending doctor....

If you can, watch the video to the end to see the news reports and the damaged caused to the water ways in this tragedy....And I thought these things only happened in the movies.... If I wanted to make up and write this stuff, it could not have possibly come out more devastating than the way it occurred in this two day real life situation......

SO, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO LIZ (glad we are all still here and your birthday recovery wish came true) AND TO ALL THE OTHER GOOD PEOPLE LIVING OUT THERE IN THIS WONDERFUL WORLD...............Nick.....May 8, 2011

~ For the newspaper story, (courtesy of Nicholas Georgianis RIP and Chapter revised on 3/26/2016,) click on this link ~

After being pulled from near the explosion area, fire boats proceeded to douse Bouchard Barge 35 with cool water, at it was also loaded with gasoline and fire officials feared it too would explode.

Video and audio clips

SO ENJOY YOURSELF ...!!!!... AS WE NEVER KNOW WHAT THE NEXT MOMENT IN LIFE HAS IN STORE FOR US......This video was apparently a security devise and I asume was projecting from New Jersey, across the Raraton Bay where the explosion took place on Staten Island at the Port Mobile barge.....As you will see when viewing it, it is an actual happening beginning at 10:00 A.M. on February xx, 2003, the same date as Elizabeth's Birthday.....


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nickmon4321 on Dec 18, 2016 said:

~ Last week On Sunday of December 11, 2016 we were invited to celebrate my sister Angela's 85th Birthday in Ron and Liz's home with many of my family relatives ~ It was wonderful to meet again with all my relatives that I had not seen since Paul and his wife's wedding that was quite a while ago ~

During this Birthday celebration my wife stepped out of the house for a cigarette break that she will soon regret for the rest of her life as she would once again take a fall that would again break her hip ~ She fell at the end of a hill in front of the house that would not only break her hip but also bruse her eye that would turn into a 'black eye' ~ She spent about 10 minutes in the cold and snow that was now coming down as she was unable to get herself up ~ Ron was the first to reach her when I too went outside to see where she was ~ My wife was placed in a chair and carried to the top of the hill and bought back into the house ~

It was decided to call 911 for an ambulance that arrived within minutes of the call ~ She was placed in the ambulance and off to the hospital they went ~ Minutes later Max would have me follow him in his car as I was not familiar with the way to the Huntington Hospital ~ Since Paul and his wife and Liz were both living in the Huntington Township they were able to visit my wife at the hospital ~

By Thursday afternoon the surgeon had placed another rod in her hip on the other side where the break took place ~ By the next day she was using a walker and was released from the hospital by Friday afternoon ~ The wonderful staff waved good bye as she was taken by wheelchair to my car outside by the Emergency entrance where I had left it when first arriving ~

We soon drove out of the Huntington Township with the help of 'Sury' on the phone GPS System ~ We arrived back at our home in Staten Island and with the help of my Daughter Donna and Grandson Eric we were back in the house ~

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Anonymous on Dec 18, 2016 said:

sorry , I hope and pray for a speedy recovery


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nickmon4321 on Dec 20, 2016 said:

~ Thank you for your concerns Dora and friend, classmate from Long Island City High School since we both graduated in 1953 ~

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Anonymous on Dec 21, 2016 said:

We are so sorry to hear the terrible news !! We wish Liz a speedy recovery and a Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year to all of you ❤️

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nickmon4321 on Dec 22, 2016 said:

~ Thank You Anonymous and to you and yours too !!! ~ Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ~ I will pass your very kind words to my wife Liz ~ Now if only I knew your identity lol ~ Hmmm

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nickmon4321 on Nov 10, 2017 said:

on May 24, 2017 Nick said: ~ So that I have a memory of who I sent this chapter to I am going to keep the name and date of each recipient in this comment, but if any one wishes that I not mention their name in this area just let me know and it shall be removed without any hard feelings ~

~ Francine Drucker - Old Hollywood - 7/30/17 ~ Rachel Werner - Clove Lake Park friend - 9/24/17 ~ Post on Vintage Old Photos - 11/10/17 ~

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