Monday, February 4, 2013

Remembering Ed Koch

In a time that feels long ago, but only a subway ride away, I had the dream job of my life. Through a contact of my college room-mate I joined Mayor Ed Koch's personal staff. I served as Deputy Director of Scheduling and a year later I became the Director of Scheduling. I've always been interested in politics and I had some scheduling experience and I had the energy of the young, and so began a great experience.

The days were long and demanding. I wasn't always sure that I was doing a good job. People around me were handling huge challenges -- restoring New York's fiscal integrity, rebuilding its housing stock and making the streets safe -- and I felt a great responsibility to do things quickly and well. The Mayor had a sign on his desk, "If you say it can't be done, you're right; you can't do it." I was nervous about meeting the Mayor and working for him, but that soon dissolved. He was as down to earth as could be, and he quickly became Ed.

The long days held many wonderful experiences. There were receptions for Anwar Sadat, Mother Theresa and President Reagan. One of my favorite days was a reception celebrating Sir Laurence Olivier's birthday at Gracie Mansion, the Mayor's residence.

Yes, that's the much younger Buttercup and Sir Olivier

Besides the exciting events I am grateful for working with an extraordinary group of people. The foundation of the New York we live in today is built on the work that went on then rebuilding the city.   

New York's 105th Mayor died last Friday and was buried this afternoon. The funeral was this morning and the eulogies ranged from President Bill Clinton to Ed's Grand-niece and Grand-nephew. It was warm, touching and a beautiful tribute. Ed's life was a life well-lived. 

Thanks, Ed. Working for you made so many dreams come true. I am always grateful. 


18 comments:

Deanna said...

what an adventure that must have been.

Mevely317 said...

Ah, I was thinking of you today and hoped you were able to attend the services.
I imagine His Honor really enjoyed working alongside you, as well!

Melinda said...

I am sure it was quite interesting working with Mr. Koch.

Your cards arrived today! Thank you so much!

M:)

Pondside said...

I've just read the little piece in the back of the recent Vanity Fair on Mr Koch.

Denise D Hammond, CGFM-Retired said...

What a wonderful post. How very touching. You must have been thrilled to experience such a time.

Annmarie Pipa said...

how interesting!!

Jacquelineand.... said...

What an extraordinary experience, thank you for sharing it with us! (And what a beautiful young lady in a purple dress, speaking with Sir Laurence.)

I always looked up to Mayor Koch...his forthrightness, courage and humour have been seldom matched and never exceeded.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It's hard to say good buy to folks like him that touch our lives in so many ways. You do have some wonderful memories. Not everyone manages to find their dream job. You are blessed.

Donna said...

Wow! ... is all I have to say.

Paula said...

What an interesting experience! May Mayor Koch, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Lauren Davenport said...

I love the picture of you - lovely! It sounds like a wonderful job that you really enjoyed, what a great memory for you.

Ms Sparrow said...

He was a good man who gave his all to his city.

Nellie said...

What a very special experience you had to work with Mr. Koch. Love that picture of you when you were younger.

Susie said...

Buttercup, You are a celebrity yourself. Meeting the great Olivier and Ed Koch. I remember when Risky Scaggs had a video out and Mr. Koch was in it. You were right about him being down to earth, loved that guy. xoxo,Susie

Ronda said...

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

Theresa said...

RIP Mayor Ed Koch! What a wonderful memory of working on a VERY important job! I know you were awesome at it! Sweet picture:) Have a blessed evening dear friend, HUGS!

Lynda said...

WOW - - you have done some amazing work in government! Your contributions impacted many. You may not ever really know how far-reaching until heavenly eternity. Being mayor of NYC seems like it would sometimes be as hard as being the President of the US.

Simply Debbie said...

What a beautiful life you have lived.
You are gorgeous in the purple dress
and...
Your beautiful journey will continue even when you retire
hugs