|Mayor Koch at Shea, April 1989|
I think Ed Koch was my first celebrity sighting. It was 1989 and my father, uncle, cousin and I had driven up to Shea Stadium for the Mayor’s Cup game between the Mets and Yankees to end spring training. Our seats were in the upper deck, but we arrived early enough to walk around the loge section. As we made our way along the left-field line, I heard people cheering and then noticed a small cluster of men in suits in the orange seats.
When one turned toward the cheers and raised his hands in acknowledgment, I realized it was the mayor. Though we were from the Jersey Shore, all our network television broadcasts originated in New York City, so the nightly newscasts covered the Big Apple, and Koch was a familiar face to me. I had my Kodak Disc camera with me and managed to press the shutter at the precise moment when he raised his hands to the fans. I suppose it was my first perfectly timed photograph, too.
It looks pleasant enough for an April Sunday morning, but I think it turned blustery that day, the wind whipping around the upper deck and sending us all home with pink, wind-burned faces. I have no idea where the mayor sat or how long he stayed, but his two-handed wave to the fans has stayed with me all these years.