Paul Martini: Maxims, but No Wristwatch

Lt. Paul Martini had his cherished mottoes, and he stuck to them.

One was, "Don't sweat the small things." He was always saying that, whenever anyone got frazzled over something minor. His other favorite was, "If it's not broken, don't fix it." Take going to the dentist. He didn't abide by the notion of visiting the dentist every six months. If he didn't have a toothache, why bother: "If it's not broken, don't fix it."

Then again, he was pretty fastidious about his teeth. "I swear he would spend an hour in the bathroom," said his wife, Lisa. "I'd say, 'When are you going to be done?' "

Lieutenant Martini, 37, was with Engine Company 201, and lived with his wife and daughter, Lindsay, 6, in Staten Island.

He liked to call people "mook," which was his euphemism for "idiot." If someone messed up, he would say, "Oh, you're such a mook." Except many people didn't know what he meant.

Once, sitting around the firehouse, the talk turned to another firefighter going through a tough divorce. Asked what he thought, Lieutenant Martini said: "Oh, Lisa and I have it all figured out. We would split everything 50-50. Lisa would get the inside of the house, and I would get the outside."