Today, in Newark, a statue was unveiled. Big Steve reading to two little kids. It was a fitting tribute to a man who has never stopped believing in the people of Newark. Stephen N. Adubato, Sr., now 80, was honored by a slew of political dignitaries: Governor Chris Christie, Senator-elect Cory Booker, and former Governor, Jim McGreevey with speeches that almost all touched on the political acumen and perseverance of his larger-than-life character.
I met Steve when he barreled into my studio, unannounced, to tell me that I was going to take his photograph. Since that day, he has been back multiple times, always with a candidate or two in tow who he was supporting for City Council or the School Board or for the Charter School he founded. “I brought them to get the best portrait,” he would shout in his gravelly voice.
I had a chance to thank Big Steve for inviting me to this wonderful event. It also got me thinking about legacy. I admire this guy who fought hard, made enemies and friends, and single-mindedly brought his vision to fruition. This statue is a testimonial to that fortitude. May we all leave something behind that is so meaningful.