Friday, July 19, 2013

Mr. Ambassador

Norristown is the ONLY town in the US to have an official ambassador. His name's Hank Cisco.

I met Hank when he was Officer Cisco, the policeman who'd come to my elementary school every year to present a program on traffic safety. Every year he'd lead us in the song "Never cross when the light is red," to the tune of London Bridge Is Falling Down. (Second verse, "Always cross when the light is green.")

There wasn't a kid in the Norristown schools in those years that didn't fall in love with this man.

He was a police officer for 24 years, and a county detective for 13 years. At other times in his life, he was also an amateur and professional boxer, trainer and referee. He brought this experience to Norristown PAL and started the PAL Boxing Program.

Although he was born in Brooklyn, he was raised in Norristown and stayed here. His four children and his grandchildren are all Norristown natives.

After retiring from the force and the boxing world, Hank became Ambassador of Norristown. The photo shows him kicking off our Bicentennial festivities last year on March 31 (anniversary of the day the town was incorporated).

Sure, "Ambassador" is only a ceremonial position, but it's the most important job in town right now. Hank is our biggest cheerleader. He's never stopped believing in this town, and understands better than anyone what we have going for us. But lately, he seems to be cheering on his own, while all the naysayers online (most of whom don't live in town) are making our reputation worse.

Time to get behind Hank and help spread his message.

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