The Death of Dickie Riley
By matthew newton
Nearly two years ago, I wrote a short blog post that referenced photographer Peter B. Kaplan’s “Moon Over Manhattan” photograph (above) — which depicts a group of workers high atop the World Trade Center, installing a radio antenna. In the photograph, one of the men takes it upon himself to moon his coworkers. According to a commenter, that man’s name was Dickie Riley:
that guy mooning manhattan was a friend of mine that i met in Miami through other great friends. his name was Dickie Riley, one of the funniest and greatest i have ever met. he worked on The World Trade Center during its construction as a Union Steel Worker,and he was also involved in the demolition work many years later after the 9-11 attacks. unfortunatly Dickie passed away about two years ago,suffering from illnesses related to working in such toxic conditions at ground zero. he was a hell of a guy,one who i will miss dearly.
This comment has me curious. Could this man have been involved in the construction of the World Trade Center as well as the clean up following it’s collapse on September 11th? If so, that means Dickie Riley’s life and death — in a small way — were strangely tied to the creation and destruction of this building.
I want to know if that was indeed the man’s name (Dickie Riley), and more about the story behind this photograph. I’ve reached out to the photographer, and responded to the anonymous commenter. More to come, I hope.
[Photograph: “Moon Over Manhattan” by Peter B. Kaplan]
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