I came into the world in between snowstorms with a Double Lottaburger with Cheese in my belly. My dad had braved the winter weather the night before for that and a couple of tamales. In the morning, my mom thought she was having a case of heartburn… until it dawned on her the “heartburn” was coming about every five minutes. My dad worked selling industrial flooring for Jennison-Wright out of his office in Northfield. At the time, there was no quick way to get from Northfield to Schaumburg (there still isn’t). However, upon getting the news, he made the 90-minute trek in less than 45 minutes.
As they were packing up the car, the phone rang. It was my Grandma Ramsey who wanted to know if it was time yet. She called every day to find out if this was the proverbial It. My mom had seen what happened between my Aunt Sue and Grandma when my two cousins were born. She decided to lie. No, not yet, she said (as my dad was packing her up to go to the hospital). It was around 11:00. Less than four hours later, I was born. My mom called my grandma to give her the good news… and she didn’t believe it! My mom had to get a nurse on the line to confirm the story.
My dad had no idea what to expect as a new father. Back then, you had to dress like you were going to land on the moon in order to see your newborn. My dad got gloved, masked, covered in a smock and was finally allowed in. My mom asked, isn’t he beautiful? My dad looked at me. My head was misshapen (most first-born children share this problem) and my hands and feet were black from an ink pad. He decided to lie… and agree.