September 11, 2012

Jeffrey Coale - 2996 Tribute

September 11, 2012

9/11 Memorial Site Visit

In March of this year my daughter and I took a trip to NYC and visited the 9/11 Memorial Site and found Jeffrey's name. The Memorial is really beautiful and I encourage those who may be visiting New York to definitely make a trip.


September 11, 2007

I kept meaning to post up my 2996 tribute from last year, but of course forgot this morning. Then I received this comment from Jeffrey Coale's sister, Leslie, which just absolutely made my day:

I am Jeffrey's sister. Thank you so much for sharing his life with so many people. It seems that the world has forgotten the tragedy of 6 years ago. I am heartened by your blog and the comments posted in response. Thank you.


Original Post:

Intro borrowed from Kami, who said it so eloquently:

Back in July, Dale got an idea to have one blogger each cover each of the victims of 9/11. (No matter how you feel about what happened that day, these people were indeed victims.) He set out to get 2,996 bloggers to cover all of the victims, and he exceeded his goal. I am honored to be a part of his project.


Imagine having this view as your workplace.
That’s what Jeffrey Coale saw each day when he went to work as Assistant Wine Master at Windows on the World, the restaurant that occupied the 107th floor of the North Tower, One World Trade Center. A job where he had taken a huge reduction in income in order to further his dream of owning a restaurant.
He lost his life on September 11th at the age of 31.
Jeffrey’s dream to own a restaurant began in college. He took training in cooking and restaurant management. Those skills help, as does money. And so he went at it methodically: working for a number of years as a very successful government bond trader, while at night, he attended classes at the French Culinary Institute.
After some time he quit trading and took a job as an apprentice chef at the Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo. Next, he returned to New York to work at the Alain Ducasse restaurant. Wanting to refine his understanding of the wine side of the business, he then took a job as an assistant wine master at Windows on the World.
"He left really good money to make $10 an hour at Windows," said Leslie Brown, his sister. "But Jeff never settled for something. He followed his passion."
On visits to his parents' home, he would sometimes cook a special meal.

"He would send me out for all these special ingredients," his mother Joan said, "and he would make fun of my old pots and pans and utensils." Her son had become such an expert chef, she said, that "I would cook family favorites for him sometimes, and I'd get nervous and burn things."
From A Tribute to my Brother by his sister Leslie Coale Brown

”He had a generous heart, a kind soul and a creative intelligence. He has friends around the world. And if you were Jeff’s friend you were special. While he was never mean, Jeff didn’t waste his time with people who weren’t genuine. Jeff rarely did anything he didn’t want to do; I think this is why he was able to experience so much in life, because he was not motivated by guilt or peer pressure. He didn’t waste time feeling bad.”

“And the only sense I can make of why Jeffrey’s life would be called so short is because of the effect it will have on so many people. He touched many lives and my hope is that now because of knowing and losing Jeff your lives will be different. Maybe someone here now won’t be afraid to dream big, maybe someone will realize how short life is and start living it differently. Maybe you will change jobs, or appreciate your family more. Each of us has a responsibility to live life with a little more passion and joy in honor of a life cut short. Try to be the person Jeff knew you were capable of being.”
His mother, Joan Coale had given her son a special gift of her own shortly before Jeffrey’s death: her mother's diamond ring. It was intended for his companion, Margaret Rosenblatt, with whom he lived in Greenwich Village. "He was waiting for a special time to give it to her."
Earlier this year, a number of former Windows on the World staff opened Colors, a co-operative restaurant in Manhattan that serves as a tribute to their fallen colleagues and whose menu reflects the diversity of the former Windows' staff.
Having Jeffrey Coale’s name assigned to me was quite moving and apropos on a number of levels. This project of researching his life reiterated my feelings to truly urge everyone to follow their passions and dreams. Oftentimes life can be short and you really must make the most of it.
Within weeks of Jeffrey’s death several surviving coworkers had followed his ‘lead’ and left unsatisfying relationships and/or jobs. I only hope that those who read this and may be in similar positions will gather some strength from this.