Mayor Tom Menino’s co-author for the book “Mayor for a New America” was Jack Beatty, who discussed the time he spent with Menino.
“He’d say, “you know, Jack, all these kids need is a break,” said Beatty, who is an author and news analyst on radio.
He was a man of compassion, of great dignity, and deep loyalty. Beatty said Menino always came back to one thought: making Boston better for the people.
“Look back in your own life and the teacher that you had that changed everything. That’s all I wanted for these kids. These are good kids, Jack, they just need break.”
For Menino, he said his luckiest break wasn’t becoming acting mayor in 1993, but meeting his wife Angela.
Which is why, Beatty said, after the mayor had already fought a list of illnesses, to then be diagnosed with cancer three months after stepping down from office was cruel.
Beatty reflected on what Menino might have been most proud of. He pointed to a moment during the 2013 Gay Pride parade.
“She said, beginning to cry, I’d helped her feel that Boston was her home. She wiped her tears, squeezed my hand, and rejoined the parade,” Beatty read from the book. “Moments like this, that I think made him feel justified,” he said.
He was justified that for two decades, it was more than being the urban architect. As the New York Times put it, “he leaves office having presided over and facilitated one of the most succesful urban renaissance stories in modern American history.”
Beatty said in the end, Menino did so much, but would always feel like he could have done more for the people of Boston.