NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie was holding a news conference on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, talking about all the great things he was going to do for the beleaguered city, when he spied a familiar figure among the reporters.
He braced himself. He knew what was coming.
At 6-5, Pinky Kravitz stood out in any crowd. He also stood out because, as Christie and anybody else who ever had dealings with the veteran radio personality knew, Pinky was relentless if he had a cause to pursue.
And Pinky had a cause, which Christie well knew from previous encounters with the pesky radio man.
What, Pinky wanted to know, was Christie going to do about the high dunes along the Boardwalk, which prevented strollers from seeing the ocean?
Of course, the veteran politician gave a veteran politician's reply: He was aware of the problem and it would be looked into.
Was Pinky satisfied with the answer? Of course not. And both he and the governor knew that Pinky wasn't through with the issue and it would come up again.
The dunes are still there, of course, still blocking the view of the sea from the Boardwalk, but as always, Pinky wanted to make one more attempt to make life better for his beloved city, his joy and frustration since he began broadcasting from there in 1958.
Seymour "Pinky" Kravitz, known by his many fans as "Mr. Atlantic City," died Saturday at age 88 of complications from heart surgery and a stroke.
His son Greg Kravitz said he doesn't think his father is done yet.
"Generations from now, people with problems will be asking, 'What would Pinky do?' "
Pinky spent 57 consecutive years as the host of "Pinky's Corner" on WOND (1400-AM). He never took a day off, and it wasn't until his open-heart surgery in May that he was forced to retire.
He wrote a "Pinky's Corner" column for the Press of Atlantic City from 2010 until early this year, and hosted a talk show on the former Channel 40, the NBC-TV affiliate that closed last year.
In all those venues, Pinky's passion was for the betterment of the city. It often meant confronting public figures and politicians with his intractable drive and intelligence.
"Pinky was the type of person who would not take no for an answer," said David Spatz, a longtime Atlantic City writer and broadcaster, now news director at WOND-AM. "The surest way to get something done was to say no to Pinky. That would inspire him to push harder.
"Everything he did was for the betterment of Atlantic City. He was not afraid to get into people's faces and call them out on things."
It was Spatz who told the story of Pinky's confrontation with Gov. Christie. Pinky also fought for better lighting, video surveillance cameras to fight crime, and other issues.
"There were always financial or political reasons why something couldn't be done," Spatz said. "Pinky didn't want to hear that."
"There was never a cause that Pinky didn't throw himself into 100 percent," said Dave Coskey, former vice president of the 76ers and now president of Longport Media, which includes WOND in its stable.
"He was a special person. There was never a time in the 30 years I knew him when I asked for help that he didn't jump right in."
A 1944 graduate of Atlantic City High School, Pinky spent time in the Merchant Marine and went to New York University on a basketball scholarship. He was a public-school teacher from 1950 to 1978. He taught fourth grade at the Richmond Avenue School, phys-ed at the former Central Junior High and history at Atlantic City High School.
Greg Kravitz said his father couldn't go anywhere without being recognized and greeted.
"When he was in the hospital, a man stuck his head around the corner and said, 'Pinky, you were my gym teacher. My mother went to school with you.'
"A nurse told him she had a problem with him. He held a spelling bee and she failed because she couldn't spell encyclopedia. Dad said, 'Well, you should have learned it by now.' "
Greg saw firsthand how his father could get things done. Greg drove regularly over a stretch of Boston Avenue that was in serious need of repair.
"I told my dad about it, and a few weeks later I found the street was closed off and they were paving it," Greg said.
Pinky did his broadcasts from various venues around Atlantic City, most recently from the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Other venues ranged from restaurants to a bowling alley.
Pinky was a pioneer in call-in radio. Originally, he would take phone calls and tell his listeners about them. But later technology allowed him to put his callers directly on the air.
Pinky was active in charities, including one he started after his daughter Cherri, an Atlantic City public-school teacher, died of cancer in 2006.
The Cherri Kravitz Memorial Fund raises money to send needy Atlantic City High School students to college. He sold bobblehead dolls of himself to raise money for the fund.
Besides his son, Pinky is survived by his wife, the former Janet Stettos; another son, Jeff, and four grandchildren.
Services: Were being arranged.
Contributions may be made to the Cherri Kravitz Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 2628, Ventnor, N.J. 08406.