Friday, February 01, 2013

How'm I doin'?

I remember seeing Ed Koch in person only once. (I imagine I saw him a bunch more times than that, especially in the Israel Parade, but I don't recall them.) I was walking down Fifth Avenue- this was years after he left office- and he was coming out of one the high-end men's shops. A couple of construction worker types were standing on sidewalk and saw him. "Ayyyyy! Ed Koch!" one yelled in thick New Yawkese. He smiled and waved at them. No, he didn't ask them how he was doing, as far as I know, because that would have been too perfect.

"Ehhh...The Vatican think's he's cuckoo. I think he's cuckoo."

"I have the body of a Greek god."

James and Joel, who had a show on the same radio station as him, used to play the above quotes of his, among others, as bumpers. No, they don't have to make sense to be funny.

Gonzo: "Mr. Mayor! Mr. Mayor, I'm looking for a frog who can sing and dance!"

"If he can balance the budget, I'll hire him!"

And a worthy sentiment: "The people have rejected me and they must be punished." And punished we were.

I can't say he was that great a mayor- certainly not as good as Rudy, of course- but he had personality. And that, as we know, goes a long way. My father remembers him as the East Side's congressman. (My father taught at Ramaz.) And his military record should be pointed out. The rest...well, on balance, pretty good, for a Democrat. I shall refrain from quoting R' Kahane.

Oh, and the bridge naming? A lot more deserved than RFK, I'll tell you that.

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