February 10, 2002

Patrick Lyons: A Gentle Enthusiast

Here's Patrick Lyons as a kindergartner, walking up the street in North Massapequa, N.Y., ringing doorbells and singing Christmas carols to make a little money. And here he is again, flinging off his clothes to streak past the babysitter after his older brothers promised him a dollar if he'd do it. And here he is, age 34, getting up at 3 a.m. to go fishing, selling everything he catches except for the crabs he steams and leaves on his mother's kitchen table as a gift. "I would see crab footprints on my stove, and I would know that he had been there," said Pat Lyons, who called her youngest son "my little entrepreneur."

He became a firefighter like his father, a retired lieutenant, and loved his work at Squad 252 in Brooklyn. He took books with him on his honeymoon in 1997 so he could study for the lieutenant's exam. As a backup, he started a limousine business that grew magically from one car to six.

All the while he is cheering for the Miami Dolphins and loving football in all its forms. He plays quarterback for the fire department team and flag football for Suffolk County. Here he is watching Monday Night Football at home in South Setauket while he and his wife, Irene, get the nursery ready for the baby they're expecting. The phone rings and it's the fire department, asking if he can work overtime the next day, Sept. 11.

On Oct. 7, Patrick Mate Lyons came into the world, with his father's eyes and eyebrows and a squeal that his mother calls "this little dolphin noise." He has a sunny nature that she credits to his father, too. "I really think my husband is making this baby a happy baby for me," she said. "He taught me so many things about life. He loved having fun."


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