Friday, September 2, 2016

Drop the Needle and Pray

Seven days, seven candles 
In my window light your way.
Your favorite record's on the turntable
I drop the needle and pray.

One might not necessarily expect a man whose living is earned as an auditor for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to be a de facto tenured professor at the College of Musical Knowledge.  Unless, of course, the man of whom we speak was Tyrone May of Rahway, New Jersey.  

Mr. May, 44, took the train each morning from Rahway into Lower Manhattan and his office in the South Tower of the World Trade Center.  He was at work on September 11, 2001 and died in the collapse of the South Tower that morning.  When he left his apartment in Rahway on what turned out to be the final morning of his life, he had asked his wife, Marva, to keep an eye out for a fax.  

Each December, Mr. May would rent out a club somewhere in New York City and throw an enormous party for a few hundred friends and family members.  Apparently, in early September 2001, he had found the location for that year's shindig and had already booked a date.  On that Tuesday morning, as he left his home, he told his wife that the agency that was designing the tickets for his event was going to be faxing him some information and he wanted her to hold onto it for him when it arrived. 

Mr. May never saw the fax that the agency sent to his home in Rahway.  But they did send it.  And when it arrived, Marva did what she had told her husband she would do.  She kept it.  Not because she needed it for a get-together that would never now take place but, because, on a day where someone she loved had been stolen from her, she wanted to hold fast to anything tangible connected to him.  She did so for her own sake as well as for the sake of the couple's young son, Tyrone, Jr., who was just two years old when his dad died.  

Tyrone May


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