Interview with Jane Byrne

OK. The chair has gone back.


His chair went back against the wall, as I said. And all of a sudden he put his head down under the desk. And he said from down below, "Excuse me, I'm tying my shoelace." And I thought, boy, have I blown this. I have come in here, I have insulted the Mayor of Chicago. He's down tying his shoelace. I'm standing, wanting to leave. He comes up and he keeps his head this way, away from me for a minute. And then he turns back and the tears are running down his face. And I said, "Oh. You did like the man." And with that, after the argument and misunderstanding I think that was probably the day that whatever it was that we were going to do was decided, because I don't think a lot of people would have gone in there. And I suppose if I were, had been older or more mature or something I would never have dared do it. But it's how I truly felt. And I think people didn't do that for him. And I think he was used to, yes ma'am, no ma'am, I'm sorry, et cetera. And perhaps a respect was there. And at least I had the understanding. OK, there's a lot of defense--defensiveness here. There's a lot of um, ah, p--feelings somehow that the machine is a terrible thing. And so he's going to defend it, but he knows it and he understands it. But basically he was a decent man. That's how I viewed it.