While it is not quite the anniversary of 9/11 yet, I think this blog memorial chain deserves more than one big day. So it will remain at the top of my blog until next week. New posts will be directly underneath (if I can figure that out).
Josh Michael Piver, 23 of Stonington, CT
1 World Trade Center
I know we all remember that morning of 9/11. My first thoughts went to my sister-in-law, a flight attendant. A quick phone call to her confirmed that she was home in AZ and safe. Then to my second cousin who worked for Oppenheimer Funds. Although she worked from Texas she was frequently in the NY office in the WTC. By afternoon I had received word that she was safe in Texas.
A few days later I spoke with my best friend Kristen. Her husband’s cousin, Joshua Piver, was at work on the 105th floor of 1 World Trade Center when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the north tower. This is his story.
Joshua M. Piver spent his summers on the water, working at a boat yard in his hometown of Stonington, Conn., and sailing and kayaking every chance he got. His mother, Susan, remembers she first took Josh down to the water when he was two weeks old.
“He loved to go to the beach,” she says. “We started the kids when they were babies going down to the point in Stonington Borough. They took lessons at the point 9 o’clock in the morning in the freezing cold water, but they went. They knew how to swim.
When he was older, “he had a kayak. And he used to go from Stonington harbor out to Watch Hill to ride the waves.”
Josh loved his friends, baseball, soccer and the party afterward.
As his grandfather, Edmund Piver put it, “He used to like to go partyin’. He knew where the girls were, and he knew where the beer was.”
“We got a Dalmatian,” Susan recalls. “He always wanted a Dalmatian. He’d walk it on the leash and say it was a chick magnet.” She laughs. “It would always attract all the girls.”
Throughout his years at Stonington High School , Josh was “a normal kid” who got into the usual scrapes with the law that kids that age get into.
“He was a good student,” Susan says. “He liked to have fun, but he did well in school. When he was playing soccer, once he got caught smoking out in the parking lot …”
His mother remembers getting a couple of calls from the local police, once when Josh got picked up for raising hell at the Wadawanuck Yacht Club, another time when he and a friend tried to buy liquor, “things like that.”
In high school and college his interests expanded to include funk and jazz — The Meters, Grover Washington Jr., Grant Green — and cooking.
“He was a gourmet cook,” his sister Erika says.
“When he was younger, he didn’t want anything but pizza, but when he got older, he didn’t want anything but the best gourmet food, from scratch,” says Susan. “He’d come home and he would do the cooking. He loved to be in the kitchen.”
Robert Scala, a friend who first got to know Josh some as a child when his family summered in Stonington , says that what made Josh so popular was that “he was just very caring. He listened to people. He really cared about people.”
“Josh’s life for me was like a really good song,” says Scala. “It was the kind of song that you were movin’ to and shakin’, and you’re glad to hear it and you don’t know what it is. And all of a sudden somebody cuts the music, and you don’t understand why.”
“He had plenty of patience,” says his friend Michele Marsina. And he was as “honest as you have never seen anyone before. I could trust him with my life. I wish I could have saved his.”
His friends remember Josh as someone who stayed calm in all sorts of situations. “I’m the only person who ever caused him to lose his temper, and that’s because I was trying to,” said David Wilson, who met him in the fourth grade and went through the University of Vermont with him. Socializing with Josh was always deflating, he added: “He was tall, extremely good-looking, and girls never talked to me when he was around.”
When Josh went to the University of Vermont in 1996, Ed says, “He was going to be an environmentalist. Then all of a sudden he decided he was going to make money. He was going to make a million. So he changed majors and he took up economics.”
“He liked math,” Susan says. “He liked economics. He did well in it. He found out that he really enjoyed it.”
Josh graduated from college in 2000 and, at the age of 22, landed a job on Wall Street, trading pollution credits for Cantor Fitzgerald.
His family visited him there, and they say Josh was in love with the new life he’d just begun.
“He told me, ‘Grandpa, it’s awesome,’ ” says Ed. “He told me a couple times, ‘It’s awesome.’ ”
If you happen to find yourself in Stonington, CT and take time to visit Stonington Point find the small grassy area along the east side with a granite bench that remembers Josh. Sit and enjoy the view of the water that he loved so much.
Young And Full Of Life’s Joy And Optimism – Joshua M. Piver by Kenton Robinson
For memorial comments made about Josh, click here.
For other tributes please visit the 2,996 site.