Can you believe it? Ed Koch died.
The former mayor, NY state rep and NYC councilman had lots of health problems and went out at 88. His perennial…and sincere…question to constituents was, “How am I doing?” He wanted to know and would either try to fix shortcomings or argue with you about the nature of the problems. Great guy.
This morning, I only found a small printed pic I took in 1979 of him. We met numerous times and I interviewed him several, and he interviewed me once. Somewhere I have prints of good shots without the print dot pattern, but this is a fair representation. This was from an article I wrote as a staffer on American Management Association’s AMA Forum, the magazine I ran within the magazine were I worked, Management Review. The mayor squeezed some hot-shot execs to volunteer by bringing their biz expertise to making NYC more efficient. Of course it worked.
He was my mayor for most of my years in the city, but I remember him more for a time before that.
One rainy, cold, windy morning I was headed to a 14th Street subway entrance on my way to work when I met him for the first time. He was not physically imposing, maybe less so in his dark raincoat and standing under an apartment building marquee.
As is my wont, I was looking at people and he zeroed in on me. “Hi. I’m Ed Koch, your state representative,” he said. He asked whether I had concerns, anything I wanted to change. Well, I did, though decades later I can’t recall what they were.
What amazed me was that he pulled out a notepad and pen. He wrote down my issues, even repeating them to make sure he had understood.
He had a convert right there. I told people and talked him up. He was a savvy pol.