Steven L. Howell: A Short Ride Lasts 10 Years
They met 10 years ago on the Staten Island Ferry on a half-hour ride to Lower Manhattan. She was a secretary. He was a technician, the fellow who often got beeped when computers at Marsh USA went on the blink.
And although they married two summers ago, Steven L. Howell and Debra Upton still behaved like newlyweds. The weekend before Sept. 11, he surprised his wife with three days at Mount Airy Lodge, a Poconos resort famous for its heart-shaped tubs. The resort, which shut down in October, was on its last legs, but she took no notice. 'We loved being with each other,' Ms. Upton said.
On Sept. 11, the express bus from Staten Island dropped them off at 8:15. He reported to the 97th floor of 1 World Trade Center. She went to the 40th floor of 2 World Trade. They had been apart all of 15 minutes when she called to see how his day was going.
When the first plane hit, she said, she made it out, but he never had a chance. Lost, too, was his best friend, Martin Giovinazzo, who was hired by Marsh about a year ago.
Mr. Howell, 36, who left Ms. Upton with a roomful of Nascar collectibles, was helping support his father, so they were not sure they would have children. 'He was my kid,' his wife said.