We just came from the funeral service in East Harlem for State Senator Olga Mendez-and the turn out in the hot little church was tremendous. Dignitaries from the governor and the mayor on down came to pay their respects; although we were disappointed to not see former Governor Pataki at the church.
What was most gratifying, aside from all of Olga's viejas who came to honor their senator, was the stirring eulogy given by Gerson Borerro; he had us on the verge of both laughter and tears on a number of occasions-a sure sign of an effective valedictory. We didn't know that Gerson had such stem winding ability-we may have to see if he's booked for sometime later in the century if we need him.
Olga would have gotten a kick, we think, from the presence of so many elected officials that she couldn't stomach, even on a good day. Their attendance at her funeral was Olga's last laugh-and Borerro certainly made some of them a bit uncomfortable.
For us, we are just so sad to see her go-and we'll miss that voice of hers more than anything. Even when she would infuriate us-and she was really good at that some times-we could never be mad at Olga, it just wasn't possible. Still, we're happy that she got the send off she deserved-as well as the last laugh.