I met him first at a picnic for City workers at Frenchy’s Field. I drove over on my lunch hour and didn’t know anyone there. As I stood in line for my burger, I was drawn into a friendly conversation with the guy working the barbeque. He asked where I worked and when I told him I was a Children’s Librarian at Southside he told me that he frequently brings his grandchildren to the Library and that he really appreciates our work and our beautiful facility. It wasn’t until he slid a perfectly grilled burger onto my plate that I realized I had just had my first conversation with the Mayor of Santa Fe!
The next time I met him was during a Teen Book Club meeting, after school on a Thursday. Our Teen Coordinator had met the Mayor earlier that day at a literacy roundtable, so when he turned up at the Library with the grandkids in the afternoon, she reintroduced herself. Mayor Coss agreed to drop by the Teen meeting to meet our kids. They were discussing the work of Edgar Allan Poe.
Our staff person quickly introduced the Mayor to the teens. He asked what they were reading. He then regaled them with a funny story of his own experience reading Poe and listened to their opinions about the author. Everyone at the table was laughing and enjoying the short visit. After he left, one of the teens said, “Who was that guy?” We reiterated that he was the Mayor of our City! We reminded them that they had seen his image recently, on the cover of the Halloween edition of the Santa Fe Reporter, in which he appeared in costume and makeup as a zombie!
Later that day our security guard told me that he had had a conversation with the Mayor as well. The guard wanted to discuss some issues about the City’s bus service, which he has been using for nearly eight years. The Mayor was on his way out the door but he took the time to speak to the guard briefly, giving him his card, asking the guard to contact him with his concern in more detail, and assuring him that he would pass the information on to the correct person. This is the kind of friendly public service that we all aspire to here in the City of Santa Fe.
By LW @ Southside
Photo by PCH @ Main