April 21, 2002

Joseph P. Gullickson: History Buff and Proud Dad

Some firefighters so crave the thrill of the job that they dread retirement. Lt. Joseph P. Gullickson was not among them.

He treasured the camaraderie at Ladder Company 101 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and welcomed the challenges of the work, ascending to the rank of lieutenant at age 31 and, until Sept. 11, studying for the captain's test.

But Lieutenant Gullickson, 37, was concerned about his safety, particularly now that Amanda, almost 4, and Isabel, 20 months, were in the picture. Lately, he had been increasingly devoted to the lawn sprinkler company that he and his brother Ralph inherited from their father. When the company finished a major project at the American Museum of Natural History last year, Lieutenant Gullickson was elated.

At home in Staten Island, he would nestle into the blue satin Daddy Chair with the gold polka dots, cuddling with the girls and devouring American history books.

After dinner, the lieutenant and his wife, Naoemi, who shared his love of "The Honeymooners" and Barry White and had caught his fever for Frank Sinatra, would seat the girls in strollers and amble through the neighborhood.