After completing another interview with the excellent Erie County Historian Doug Kohler, we get several more pieces of video critical to our storytelling before heading back to Albany. We stop at the Dairy Queen Grill and Chill in a nearby suburb and run into Fred Jackson, the star running back for the Bills!
Friday morning we have two interviews scheduled. First up is one of Albany’s most acclaimed writers. Paul Grondahl, a writer for the Times Union, is the author of I Rose Like A Rocket, an early biography about Roosevelt. As expected, he was extremely descriptive about TR’s adventures both at the Capitol and during those dramatic days in September of 1901.
We interviewed Paul in the Red Room inside the Capitol. This is the room you’ve undoubtedly seen on TV where Governor Cuomo and his predecessors hold most of their press conferences. We then moved down to the building’s largest room, the Assembly Chamber. We sat down with Albany’s unofficial historian Jack McEneny, a former longtime assemblyman. He gave good background on TR and told us a remarkable story. Before heading off to fight in WWI, McEneny’s father got a pep talk from none other than Theodore Roosevelt. McEneny’s father, along with most Americans, had never actually heard the man’s voice. He and his fellow soldiers started to look at each other and giggle at the famous American’s very high-pitched voice. Not exactly what they were expecting from America’s former president and war hero.