Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday, September 11th, 2006:
Remembering Ginger

What I think:

How, you may ask, can one "remember" someone whom one had never known?

While researching the life of Theresa "Ginger" Risco, I felt that, even though I'd never met her, I kinda started to get to know her through some of the heartfelt tributes I read about her. And she had the extremely charismatic character of someone I definitely would love to have known.

It appears that Ginger, who was given the nickname because of her bright red hair, was one heck of a go-getter. In the largely male-dominated world of finance, her passions for learning and perfection, along with her tell-it-like-it-is and don't-take-crap-from-anyone attitude, served her well and got her far.

But she was also described as being an incredibly fun and cheerful person, as well as being "the glue of the family", according to her brother, John Caggiano. At Mother's Day, Ginger would apparently send her brothers reminders to make sure that they wouldn't forget to buy gifts for their mother.

So what did she do for a living? Theresa Risco worked her way up from a secretary to Senior Vice-President at Fred Alger Management. According to her boss, Fred M. Alger, writing in a letter to her husband, "She was the best our firm had to offer, the best on Wall Street."

I'd say that's pretty impressive, wouldn't you?

From her husband of nine-and-a-half years, professor Bill Nelson, we learn that her thirst for knowledge was unquenchable, which made it very difficult to teach her something new. Every answer was greeted by another question from her.

"She never just accepted something, she was constantly probing for more information. She always felt she had to know everything," said Nelson. "She had great admiration for thinkers."

Ginger's determination to succeed also meant that she had actually held down three jobs while taking classes at different schools in New York, eventually ending up at Columbia University. How's that for multi-tasking? I have trouble chewing gum and walking at the same time.

But there was even more to Ginger than this. She was also a very cool chick in the Seventies. She actually hung out with the Grateful Dead in Haight-Asbury. Talk about street-cred.

Ginger was also extremely fit (is there no end to this woman's talents and achievements?). Check this out: she ran the New York Marathon, and walked home before her family even considered going out to meet her at the finish line.

One thing I love about people is a good sense of humour (US/CAN: humor). Ginger had this too. Apparently, in 1992, she wore a badge on her stylish designer suit that read "I'm for Hillary's husband."

So, what do I think about Theresa Risco? Let's see:

Intelligence? Check.
Ambition? Check.
No-nonsense attitude? Check.
Family values? Check.
Physical fitness? Check.
Sense of humour? Check.
Coolness factor? 100%.

Need I say more?

Ginger, this tribute on this day is for you, from a British-Canadian admirer living in Helsingborg, Sweden.

And to Mr Nelson, and everyone in Ginger's family, my thoughts are with you on the fifth anniversary of your tragic and pointless loss.

That's what I think.

Note: Get to know more about Ginger. Have a look at this article in the Columbia Spectator, which was a key source of information.


Blogger Jem said...

Thats a great tribute to're right, she sounds totally cool! Thanks :)

5:26 pm  
Blogger Kirsten said... really did a great job on your tribute...but I knew you would...thank you for bringing her to life for me...she sounds like she was an amazing person...thanks for remembering her...

5:35 pm  
Blogger Tug said...

An awesome tribute Mark...we know that you will never let us down.

Welcome back my friend.

5:50 pm  
Blogger Mark Base said...

Thank you Jem, Kirsten, and my beloved Tug!

6:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ginger sounds like she was a very special lady. Great tribute.

9:03 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great rememberance.

I know what you mean, I felt like I was getting to know my guy too through the words of thosemany who cared for him.

9:12 pm  
Blogger Raggedy said...

Wonderful Tribute!
Thank you.
These are sad and hard to read....
I am honored to be a part of this project.
Mine is posted also...

The 2996 link is down. I have a new link on my site to view the participants.

Bless you…

9:26 pm  
Blogger Biker Betty said...

Wonderful tribute. The 2,996 is a wonderful tribute to all that lost their lives in this tragic event. I did a tribute to a Battalion Chief firefighter.

10:09 pm  
Blogger Mark Base said...

Thanks, all.

Your tributes are truly inspiring as well.

10:22 pm  
Blogger kateandjona said...

Thank you for sharing a wonderfully written and very moving tribute!

Jonathon's Closet remembers Robert Levine.

2:48 am  
Blogger Ray said...

A fine tribute to Ginger, thanks for the memorial. You can see Mr. Eddie Dillard here if you wish, and Thnaks Gain.

3:50 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent job, Mark. I think Ginger would have approved too. My tribute to Alexander Robbins Steinman can be read here:

12:55 pm  
Blogger K T Cat said...

Great tribute! Stop by mine when you get a chance.

2:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did a heart touching and thorough tribute to Ginger, Mark. What a special lady she was! Thank you for introducing us to her.

May God Bless and comfort her family, today and always.


3:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog :)
I have actually been to helsingborg! I used to have a errr... 'friend' there and I went to visit him for a week once. Beautiful city! Even if my company at the time wasn't that great! :P

3:35 pm  
Blogger Babaloo said...

What a great tribute. Ginger sounds awesome and yeah, quite the go-getter. You did a really nice job capturing that. Thanks for introducing her to us.

3:43 pm  
Blogger Hilemanhouse said...

Wonderful tribute thanks for letting us get to know Ginger.

4:00 pm  
Blogger Diane Viere said...

What a great tribute! Thanks for letting us get a glimpse of what this great woman's life entailed. Taking part in the 2996 project has been heartwrenching....from researching, to writing, and now to reading the tributes....

I have posted a tribute honoring Sgt. Michael Curtin, a NYPD officer who willingly walked into collapsing buildings five years ago on rescue mission. His body was recovered from the rubble of Ground Zero, March of 2002. So many lives many heroes.


4:04 pm  
Blogger Heather @ said...

great tribute. thanks for sharing such a wonderful woman with us.

4:35 pm  
Blogger Geologychick said...

Thank you for stopping by and reading about Patricia. Thank you for your beautiful tribute to Ginger! Why can't the world be run by us? There would be no hate!

5:09 pm  
Blogger Annake said...

That was beautiful. What a wonderful tribute for such a fantastic person.

5:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful Tribute ... and yes a tragic and pointless loss of so many ...

8:05 pm  
Blogger Riss said...

This was an awesome tribute. You really celebrated how she lived and not how she died.

8:13 pm  
Blogger QueenBitch said...

Wow...what a woman. Beautiful tribute, and I wish I would have known her as well -- she sounds like a true inspiration.

8:40 pm  
Blogger Canadianna said...

Lovely tribute. She sounds like the sort of woman I'd like to be. (Like you, I'm the walk or chew gum type).

How much more could she have learned and shared . . . Thanks for sharing.

12:35 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! What a great tribute! Thank you!!

I honoured three men from the Toronto area (I live in Toronto).

4:45 am  
Blogger Jaymie said...

Good tribute.

Nice to see you back. Hopefully you don't disappear again.

6:35 pm  
Blogger RC said...

what an excellent tribute, thank you for sharing this tribute to Ginger.

--RC of

3:09 am  
Blogger The Amazing Trips said...

You did a great job remembering Ginger. There was humour, there was sadness, there was more humor and there is a sense of loss for yet another wonderful person, taken much too soon. Right now, I'm remembering Ginger, too.

Thanks for learning what you could, and sharing her story with all of us. I had the privilege of remembering Perry.

5:39 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

You've done a wonderful job here, I really feel that I would like to have known her. I will definitely remember Ginger.

11:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, wish Americans were more like you.

I linked your tribute at 2996 tribute to victims of 9/11 - Terrence E Adderley

5:49 am  
Anonymous Faucets said...

A nice article., thanks for sharing their stuff with us.Faucets

6:46 am  
Anonymous crystaljewellery said...

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10:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you , Ginger is my fathers cousins daughter . Thank you very much .

6:47 pm  

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