Heyyah, friends. Once again on this anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, I present this tribute to Mike Tanner, with respect and with love.
If you look into the comments section, you will see two comments from Mr. Tanner's widow, Michele.
I would ask each of you to treat her with the due respect which this lady deserves, should you decide to e-mail her.
(( Republished from 2 years ago ))
TEN YEARS AGO, September 11, 2001 was a crisp, mild Tuesday.
The early morning weather that morning in Secaucus, New Jersey was clear and unusually cool, around 57° at 5:45 am, when Michael Anthony Tanner made his wife's coffee.
"I couldn't get out of bed unless I had coffee," wife Michele Tanner would remember. "He would get up at 5:30, and he left at 6, but at 5 till, he would have that coffee underneath my nose, every day of my married life."
This Post is Dedicated to The Extraordinary Life of Michael Anthony Tanner, Secaucus, New Jersey, an investment trader with Cantor Fitzgerald, working in the North World Trade Tower in lower Manhattan, New York.
More Specially, To His Eternal Memory And Legacy.
Michael "Tiny" Tanner, 44.
Tanner was called "Tiny" by his friends and co-workers, as he was taller than 6-foot-2, and weighed over 250 pounds. And he had a large capacity for kindness. Men as big as "Tiny" Mike Tanner often need to be extra-kind, to offset their impressive size. Michele just called her loving husband 'Mike'.
Mike worked for the Investment and Stock Trading firm, Cantor Fitzgerald. CantFitz, whose slogan is "At the end of the day, what did you achieve?", back in 2001, was located on floors 101-105 of the north World Trade Center.
More on his office space, in just a moment.
Meanwhile, Let's get to know Michael Anthony Tanner.
This past March 24th, 2009, his wife wrote:
Wish you were here to see your beautiful, intelligent, spirited, kind hearted daughters. You would be so proud.Your mom misses you so much. I miss you so much. Not good at feelings so Happy Birthday in Heaven. say hi to dad and Teddy. Michele"
A friend of Mike's wrote: "... I'll always remember the Herman Munster shots (monster home runs) you used to hit. You were a good man."
See, Mike Tanner of Secaucus, New Jersey was a star athlete in his youth, before he was a star Investment/Securities trader as an adult. He lettered in Football, all four years he attended Cornell University in Ithica, New York, as Quarterback of the Cornell Big Red. ~!
Of a college football team. Dang. Wow.
Even of an Ivy League team, that says a great deal about the student athlete, Mike Tanner.
Well after all, he had been an All-State footballer in New Jersey in 1975, leading his H.S. team to that state's Parochial B state title. QB Tanner then led his Cornell University Big Red Machine to an 8-19 record in 1976-77, and 1979. (note- as a freshman at CU~!)
Among his proudest moments was leading Cornell to a nail-biting, upset win over arch rival Harvard U., 17 to 7, in '77. Two years later, in Tiny's final year, he led the Big Red in a whuppin' of Harvard, 41-14!
"Mike had a cannon for an arm, and he was a hard runner who was built more like an offensive guard than a quarterback," said Don Fanelli, class of '76, and long-time friend of Tanner's from both high school and college, and a Chi Psi fraternity brother.
Remember Mike's nickname, "Tiny"??
That Never Referred to Mike's Heart. Because on September 10th, 2001, 'Tiny' phoned Don Fanelli, offering him two tickets to a N.Y. Yankees game for the next night, Tuesday the 11th, in celebration of Fanelli's wife's birthday.
"We were supposed to meet Tuesday evening. You know the rest." Fanelli said. "Despite his many personal successes, Mike retained an affinity for the underdog -- and loved the Mets and the Jets." Tiny's brother in law, Frank D'Amelio, would say later, "He gave away a lot that no one knew about. He had a heart of pure gold. He would think nothing of handing a friend $5,000 and telling them not to worry about it."
Sorry, I got ahead of myself. Michael Anthony Tanner's life is a best seller storybook, including the heartwarming, devoted love affair of his life, Michele, his longtime girlfriend, then all Too-short a time wife.
As if Mike Tanner's life wasn't already the stuff which little boys' fantasies were made of, being a state High School football quarterback star, being the University's starting football quarterback, and hitting "Herman Munster sized" Home runs, he married his High School sweetheart, too.
Mike met Michele when he was 20, she 18. They dated and then went their separate ways, but that spark between them continued to smoulder it seems, because the two always knew they would eventually wind up back together.
Ten years later, Mike and Michele realized that what they had was true love, so they made it official: Michele and Tiny Tanner.
Mr/Mrs. Michael A. Tanner. circa 2001, Secaucus, New Jersey had enjoyed a 15-year marriage and produced two extraordinary daughters, Shasha and Gianna Tanner. Mike coached basketball and softball for Sasha, 14, and was teaching Gianna, 4, football drills in the house. "The football would go flying towards this humongous chandelier, and I'd put my hands to my eyes and say, `Just be careful!'", Michele recalled, in 2002.
We already have learned that Mike offered his buddy Don, Yankees tickets the night before the awful, Islamic terrorism attacks, and so sadly, his death.
That Yankees game with Cleveland would not be played for almost another three weeks, as baseball became the most meaningless thing in the world suddenly.
We know that maybe, Mike brewed coffee for Michele in their kitchen, maybe 4 hours before his murder, along with 2,995 other Americans
that damned morning;
he and everyone else awoke that morning, never expecting, never dreaming what nightmare would transpire 4 hours later:
Then, on Mike Tanner's last, innocent morning, likewise the last moments of America's normalcy, Tiny Tanner proved yet again, to be a Giant hero to his co-workers. From reports of fellow employees' families, the hero Tanner, having already seen the first hijacked airliner crash into the South Tower only minutes before, took charge on his floor of the north WTC, directing other people down the stairway before himself. Until the terrifying end there, in stunned shock at a second airplane attack, and then realizing his own fate, at being among the first Americans to know that suddenly, violently, We had been attacked, and were now at war.
Michael Anthony Tanner, "Tiny".
With A Humongous Heart of Gold.
B. March 24, 1957.
D. September 11, 2001.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET.