Sen. Charles E. Schumer was the featured speaker Nov. 20 at a cold outdoor news conference at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, announcing a $91 million makeover of the customs inspection plaza.
Some of the TV crews were slow setting up their gear, so Schumer offered some entertainment: a story about being born on Thanksgiving Day in Manhattan, Nov. 23, 1950.
Schumer's mother went into labor about 5 a.m., and by 8:30 a.m., his father had taken her to French Hospital at 29th Street and Seventh Avenue, operated by a French order of nuns.
"Now it's with the spouse in the birth room and it's all touchy-feely and all that, but in those days they sent the men down to a room where they paced the floor, smoked cigars and waited for the blessed event," Schumer said.
"My dad's kind of a free spirit, and he knows he's at 29th Street and Seventh Avenue, four blocks from Macy's. What's there? Thanksgiving Day parade. So he goes out, he figures he'll go watch the parade for a while. He stays the whole three hours for the parade, bumps into a friend of his and they decide they'll go into a local pub to celebrate the blessed event. So I was born at 11 a.m. My dad showed up at 4:30, creating the first fight my mom and dad had over me.
"But the good news of the story, praise God: he's 95, she's 90, and next April 3, God willing, they'll celebrate their 70th anniversary, so that fight didn't do too much damage."