Late New York City Mayor Ed Koch has long been characterized by his warmth and mercurial nature. Perhaps nothing so symbolizes this legendary combination than the news that longtime friends and colleagues of Koch received remnants of Hizzoner’s horse figurine collection in the mail, weeks after his death and without any warning.
The horses all stand about a foot high and hail from countries around the globe — though both [Koch associates George] Artz and [John] LoCicero admit to not knowing which nation their horses are from.
Koch’s former chief of staff, Diane Coffey, said Koch often spoke admiringly of horses as “majestic and powerful” animals. She said that two days before he died, Koch told his sister that he wanted his lunch pals to have the figurines.
This story seems to fit perfectly in step with the slightly indulgent, but ultimately endearing Koch that New Yorkers knew so well. Just weeks ago, old interviews filled with less-than-pleasant statements about his former political rivals were released by LaGuardia College, which followed some videos Koch intended to release following his death where he settled some old political scores.
It sounds like Koch’s old friends were touched, if not bemused by the gesture. For those put off the randomness, to this I’m sure Koch would probably say: Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.