© 2013 JOHN H. ARMWOOD
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One of My Favorite Moments Debating With Mayor Ed Koch in 1979
I was there, I took the picture. I was a photographer for a small local newspaper called "The Black Press." As I recall the auditorium was almost at capacity and Koch was talking to people who were lining up to talk to him. The majority of the people were typical Staten Islanders that seemed to be thrilled to just talk with Koch. Koch was cordial and seemed to know he was playing to his audience and he did not spend much time with them. Then up came John.John sat down and introduced himself. Koch asked him something about his concerns. I began taking photos, I did not think that we would have much time. I don't recall the specifics of what they were talking about but I recall saying to myself that this has become a debate and John was "eating Koch's lunch." He was owning him. Koch was getting louder and trying to turn the debate into a monologue. This was a sure sign that Koch felt that he was not doing well. I bet he was not saying to himself, "how am I doing." John was talking with Koch longer than anyone. Finally John said something like , "it is obvious that we will not agree, thank you for your time." John than got up. Koch in his typical high pitch voiced sounded panicky as he said, "wait a minute, wait a minute, comeback, comeback." John thanked him again and left. I believe everyone within earshot including Koch new he was beaten. If you look at the man in the background he seems to being saying, "oh s--t I can't believe what I just witnessed."At the end and at the greeting line Koch attempted to engage John again. One thing I always knew, the one who talks the most during a disagreement is the one who is usually wrong or has lost the argument. - Charles Roland, (Charles Roland is a Psychiatric Social Worker and Photographer who lives and works on Staten Island)
© 2012 JOHN H. ARMWOOD
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