My week as Mayor of Lincoln Park. This is the photo and caption that appeared on the front page of the old Lincoln Park Herald, back in January of 1971. I was grateful to Mr. Marino, who was Editor-in-Chief of the weekly town paper, for putting the photo on the front page.
My Week As Mayor Of Lincoln Park
By Richard Mabey Jr.
One of the greatest honors that I had bestowed upon me during my youth, was the opportunity to serve as “Youth Mayor” for Lincoln Park for one full week. This was not a joke! I worked with the great Mayor William A. Dixon for one full week.
Both, my high school history teacher and my guidance counselor, wrote notes recommending that I be allowed to take a few days off from school, in order to fulfill my role as Youth Mayor of Lincoln Park. The school principal had no problem with me taking the days off. I did have to write a report, for my U. S. History class on what it was like to be Mayor for a week.
Mayor Dixon was a great man. He was a very smart man. I learned so very much from him; about town government, how to deal with different people, and how to be a good leader. I was very honored to work with Mayor Dixon.
Basically, I had been elected to become “Youth Mayor” by the scouts of all four Boy Scouts in Lincoln Park; Troops 70, 76, 170 and 216. This was no small potatoes.
At the big Monday night Town Council Meeting, my mom, dad and my sister Patti came to see me take on the role of Mayor. It was a really big deal for me! My girlfriend, Penny also came to the meeting with her mom. I was a nervous wreck throughout the entire meeting, but I did my absolute best to hide my anxieties. I tried so hard to be the cool guy. But, inside I was shaking like a leaf.
Mr. Marino, the Editor-in-Chief of the old Lincoln Park Herald, came to the Town Council Meeting and took our picture. Each scout, who was elected to a town position, sat in the respective Councilman’s seat at the executive dais. Mr. Marino was very kind to put the picture on the front page of his newspaper.
I still look back at that moment in time with great fondness. Over forty years have come and gone since that monumental honor was bestowed upon me. Still, I remember it so well. I know that my girlfriend Penny was very impressed with my leadership role.
After the Town Council Meeting was over, my dad told me that he was proud of me. My mom told me that I did a great job. Even my sister Patti told me that I did a fantastic job leading the meeting.
Sometimes some of my buddies would give me grief because I stayed in scouting through high school. But guess what? It was worth being made of fun by my fair weathered friends. I learned more about local government that week than if I had taken a full course on the subject at an Ivy League University!
Life isn’t always a bowl of cherries. But from time to time, if you believe in yourself enough, you get to do something incredibly special. And, being given the high honor of being “Youth Mayor of Lincoln Park” was a very high honor for me. In memory, I still cherish it.