There are three Kellys among the 343 – which should probably not being surprising. Richard Kelly, Jr., the senior man at Ladder Co. 11, had just completed his 24th year with the FDNY.
Music was a passion. He had collected hundreds of CDs and his personal instrument was the very memorable “boom-bah,” something like a pogo stick with cymbals, a cow bell and other percussive instruments attached. It reflected his fun-loving spirit, as did the fake buck teeth he wore to every St. Patrick’s Day parade, making viewers on the sidelines laugh when they saw him. His wife remembers that “Ricky would always say that we could have fun in a paper bag.”