Even at 94

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2016

There’s one thing about Andy Damiani — even at 94 — that just about nobody could disagree with: The man just never quits.

How many of us can imagine, when we’re 94 and hobbling along with a cane, continuing to ply the sidewalks of our city, always making new friends and encouraging the old friends we meet along the way. That’s Andy Damiani.

But the man who is widely known as Mr. Downtown for his love of the central, historic business core of Suffolk isn’t just a shuffling social butterfly. Damiani continues to work to improve the community he loves — even at 94.

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His most recent project, turning the once-bare interior walls of his downtown mall into an art gallery, is evidence of Damiani’s continuing commitment to Suffolk — even at 94.

With an investment of $17,000 for the purchase and framing of professional photos depicting many of the sights of Suffolk, along with a bit of paint, Damiani has transformed what had just been a hallway connecting the several businesses that lease space from him at 140 W. Washington St. into a true art gallery.

And, true to his passion, Damiani made sure this wasn’t just any art, but art that reflects the character of the city he embraced as his own when he moved here decades ago.

Even at 94, Damiani’s love of this city shines in the things he does to bring attention to it. Even at 94, his plans are big ones — plans for book signings and shows and other events, plans to continue investing into his properties and into this city.

It would be hard to find a better example of civic-mindedness than Andy Damiani — even at 94.