Story Posted By: Sally Cohen-Alameno-Wife
Relationship to the deceased:
Andrew Alameno loved the guys on his desk at Cantor Fitzgerald. "They were not like a frat house," said his wife, Sally Cohen Alameno. "But they were." They would get together in Westhampton in the summer with their families. At Christmas, they brought their young children into the office to eat candy and throw around a football. No one got any work done during those visits, Mrs. Alameno said. Years ago, Mr. Alameno saw Sally Cohen walking down Washington Street in Hoboken nearly every night for months. She was heading home from her step aerobics class wearing a University of Miami sweatshirt, and he was lifting weights in his apartment. One night, he saw her in a bar. He sent a friend to ask her if she owned a University of Miami sweatshirt. The next day, he asked her out. They have two children: Joe, 5, and Nina, 2. Mr. Alameno, 37, was home in Westfield, N.J. every night by 6 p.m., in time for dinner with the kids. He joked about retiring to North Carolina and becoming a golf pro. He had begun teaching Joe how to play. "My husband had a hobby of making golf clubs in the basement," Mrs. Alameno said. "He made Joe a set of his own clubs. They're fit for a 5-year-old. It'd make you cry to look at them.". The sun was rising in a clear blue sky and America was still at peace when Andrew Alameno of Westfield said goodbye to his wife, Sally, and their two children on the morning of Sept. 11. He headed for his job as a money market trader at the World Trade Center. Sally Alameno said she had no idea she would never see her husband again. The news that her world was turning upside down came to her within minutes after the first hijacked plane struck the North Tower of the trade center. "Someone called me on my cell phone as I was driving my son home from kindergarten and told me what happened," she said. "I raced home and turned on the television." What she and millions of other television viewers saw were flames licking out of the upper floors of the North Tower. Mr. Alameno, 37, worked as a trader for Cantor Fitzgerald Securities, a firm on the 105th floor of the tower, above the inferno. After the collapse of the buildings, Sally Alameno's brother was in Manhattan and went through all the crisis centers and filed a missing person report, until the family gradually gave up hope. Sally Alameno said her husband's chief hobbies were his two children, Joseph, 5, and Nina, 2, and his regular golf outings. But she said what distinguished him most as a man was how much he was loved by others. "He was the most wonderful father," Sally said, "and loved by everyone. I can't believe how many people have come by here and been in touch with us." She said the family had lived in Westfield since 1997. Her husband was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Mount Saint Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Md. Besides his wife and two children, he is survived by his parents, Carmen and Grace of Wildwood Crest; a brother, Carmen of Norristown, Pa.; and three sisters, Mary Jennings of Mountainside, Susan Haury of Cape May Courthouse, and Donna Harnitchek, of Elkins Park, Pa. Andy was one of the good guys. The really good guys. He grew up in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, and never left the beach too far behind. He was a lifeguard who loved Elvis, a scratch golfer, a natural athlete who scored home runs when the desk played softball. He was a devoted son and a loving brother, brother-in law and crazy “Uncle Andy” to thirteen nieces and nephews. He was always loyal to his Philadelphia Eagles no matter how long he lived in New York Giants land. Andy was, simply, a great friend. He was completely comfortable in his own skin. A lot of people move to New York City and reinvent themselves. Andy liked who he was and never tried to be something he wasn’t. And it worked – everyone loved Andy. We had a wonderful life. Andy was a family man. He probably should have entertained more after work, but he wanted to come home to be with us. Imagine Andy on his bike, with our son Joe on the back, me with our daughter Nina, chasing down the ice cream man through the streets of Westfield. Think of Andy driving his beloved Miata with those ever-present sunglasses and baseball cap on, Joe in the booster seat next to him, sunglasses and a baseball cap on, just like daddy. This summer he was teaching Joe how to play golf and was so proud of his little boy’s swing. He would take Nina for long walks with her doll stroller and invariably end up carrying Nina and the stroller all the way home. He adored us and we adored him. He was never happier. How do you sum up a life? It’s far too early and far too sad. Andy lives on in his children, in my heart, and in the wonderful memories, we all have of a really, really good guy. If you knew Andy, please share your thoughts and memories here. It would be a gift to all of us. Thank you.