I don’t know what year Mrs. Carter’s visit to Middle Village took place, but I do know that I posted it on our former website, in February 2003. Here’s a copy of the newspaper article telling about her visit, made available to us, courtesy of Alan Feinne.
Here, for your convenience is a transcript of the article.
A VISITOR FEELS RIGHT AT HOME
“I’ve never been in Queens before.
But I’m glad to say that Queens
seems like my kind of people. When
I’m handed a fingerbowl, I try to
drink It. This seems like home to me.”
By Alison Mitchell
Miss Lillian was sitting in a storefront on Queens Boulevard, trading wisecracks with the press, when a reporter asked how she liked Queens. The President’s 80-year-old mother looked puzzled.. “Queens?” she asked. “Is this Queens?”
Assured that it was, she beamed. “Ive been to all parts of New York City,” she said, “and I think I like this best. It looks the most like my kind of people ”
Mrs. Carter made a three-hour tour through Elmhurst and Middle Village yesterday to boost Democrat Geraldine Ferraro’s bid for Congress against Republican Assemb. Alfred DelliBovi and Liberal Theodore Garrison. Wherever Miss Lillian campaigned, onlookers first gaped in surprise and then smiled and tried edging closer to see, kiss or touch her.
Anthony Baldo of Woodhaven and Rose LaSalle of Elmhurst, who had been shopping on Queens Boulevard, stepped tentatively into Ferraro headquarters when they heard that Mrs. Carter was there. “Is that her? Is that her?” they asked, pointing at the diminutive white-haired woman in the green pants suit. “She’s wonderful,” Ms. LaSalla said. “She really looks like Miss Lillian, I’m surprised she’s in our neighborhood.”
Mrs. Carter had some quips for onlookers on the subjects of the New York scene and the city’s mayor. When told that the mayor said she had cleaned everyone out in a poker game on the flight home from the funeral of Pope John Paul 1, she said: “Mayor Koch is the biggest liar I ever saw. He exaggerated about all the winnings. When I checked up, I found I had lost a quarter.”
About an earlier visit to the city’s latest “in” disco, Studio 54, she said: “I didn’t know whether I was in hell or where.”
While Miss Lillian rested inside the campaign headquarters, DelliBovi showed up outside. For try to drink it. This seems like home to me.” several minutes, he spoke from a soundtruck and exhibited what he said was a petition to demand performance from her son the President. “We are sick and tired of his politics,” the candidate said. The Republican-Conservative also reiterated an earlier charge that Mrs. Ferraro had accepted $129,000 in illegal campaign donations from her family. The federal agency that review such charges has refused to comment, and Ferraro’s staffers denied them. “I think he’s running scared,” said one.
Mrs. Carter also made a quick stop at the pediatrics ward of St. John’s Hospital in Elmhurst yesterday, and then spoke at the Italian Charities Senior Citizens Center. As she walked into the center’s cafeteria, about 200 women greeted her with a hand-clapping chorus of “Dixie.” The President’s mother clapped along, then surveyed the crowd and said, “Oh Lord, I don’t see any senior citizens. I’m older than any of you.”
She told them: “Never give up. Never say, ‘I’m 60, it’s time to retire.’ Since I’ve been 80, I’ve felt 80 is the beginning of life.” Oooohs and applause resounded.
Mrs. Carter added, “I’ve never been in Queens before. But I’m glad to say that Queens seems like my kind of people. When I’m handed a fingerbowl, I try to drink it. This seems like home to me.”
Louise Esposito 71, of Woodside, nodded her approval of Miss Lillian. “She’s cute for her age, “she said. “I wish I could look that way.”
Mrs. Carter’s last stop before her return to Georgia was the Congregation Ahavath Achim Sons of Israel in Middle Village, where several hundred people were attending services on
Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. Donning a white satin skull cap, she pronounced the group a “distinguished bunch.”
Laurie Goldberg of Middle Village, who was bursting with the news that the President’s mother had kissed her 2-year-old son, Mare, said: “She’s a remarkable lady. I just don’t know how she got to a Middle Village temple.”