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Emminger tells tall tales at State of Tonawanda speech

This is the time of year when town supervisors and mayors give speeches about all the wonderful things happening in their communities – and they display their senses of humor.

Tonawanda Supervisor Joe Emminger continued this time-honored tradition last week.

The 6-foot, 6-inch tall Emminger began his address by saying people ask him if he's always been tall.

"And there's a simple answer to that: Yes. And how do I know that answer? Remember when you were in kindergarten and you slept on a rug? I was a two-rugger," he quipped.

Later, he talked about the bright future he sees for the former Huntley generating station and Tonawanda Coke properties.

"It was only four short years ago, when I gave my first State of the Town address, that people were out there saying to me, 'You're dreaming.' 'The sky is falling.' 'The town is in deep financial trouble.' And those comments were from my family."

Later still, he thanked his wife, Colleen, and his children and daughter-in-law for all their support.

"Two members of my family are not here. And those are my granddaughters (Isabel and Agatha). Those two are probably doing right now what some of you are doing: Taking a nap."

Finally, he asked retiring Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore, up to the lectern. (He surprised Schimminger by giving him the first of what will be an annual economic development award named in Schimminger's honor.)

Robin (who is under 6 feet): "You know I don't like to stand next to you."

Joe: "I know you don't. And that's the truth. You will never see a picture of Robin and me standing next to each other."

Robin: "We have a little routine. I say, 'Joe, sit down.' Or, 'Joe, kind of hunch over.'"

Joe: "That's been working so far."

Robin: "So far, till now."

Joe: "Are you on your tip toes?"

Robin: "I am."

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