First baby bounces into 1999 |

First baby bounces into 1999

Rick Chandler

Zachary Paul Cushing came into this world with a brand new scarf and hat from London Fog and a complimentary breakfast from Ernie’s Coffee Shop, and how many of us can say that?

“All of this attention we’ve been getting kind of took me by surprise, but it’s really, really nice,” said Martha Whitcher, proud mother of South Lake Tahoe’s first baby of 1999. “I’ve had about 10 different people in my room today to look at the gift basket we got.”

Hey, what about the kid? Hello? New Year’s baby over here? Yo!

Don’t worry Zach, you’ll get plenty of attention at home from dad – James Cushing – and four siblings.

And even though he missed Christmas by seven days, Zachary was still able to cash in. As the first baby of the new year, he received a gift basket from assorted Tahoe merchants that included items such as stuffed animals, gift certificates, diapers, clothing and toys. There was a $50 savings account from El Dorado Savings Bank, a 14-carat gold baby ring from Simpson’s Jewelers and free movie rentals at Tahoe Paradise Video.

Oh, and a complimentary manicure from Heaven Scent Hair and Nails.

OK, some of the gifts might be for mom – and she’s entitled to a little R&R. Martha is already the mother of a 1-year-old, Nicole, and has three other children, ages 13, 15 and 21.

“One boy at the beginning, three girls in the middle and one more boy at the end,” said mom, who seemed to be tipping us off that Zach should get used to being the youngest in the family.

“Just think, I had almost forgotten (what having a baby) was like, then I had two in the past two years.”

Now, let’s take a look at the statistics. Zachary was born at 10:32 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 1, weighing in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces and measuring 20 inches. He was delivered by Dr. Paul Rork at Barton Memorial Hospital, and mother and son are doing fine.

“Everyone at the hospital was great, they make it so nice for you,” said Martha, whose family has lived in South Lake Tahoe for 10 years. “They do everything for you here.”

No, every baby born at Barton Memorial is not showered with gifts. But this fortuitous circumstance came at a good time for the Cushings – dad James was involved in a motorcycle accident about a year ago, and only recently was able to return to his job as a casino gaming technician. Mom runs a cleaning business.

Barton Memorial also played host to the birth of yet another New Year’s baby later that evening.

Following closely on the heels of Zachary Cushing was Luis Ramirez Jr., who was born to Luis and Shauna Ramirez at 7:12 p.m. on Friday. Baby Luis checked in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces, and mother and son are also healthy.

“He looks just like daddy,” said Shauna, who was still at the hospital as of Saturday afternoon. Dad is a maintenance supervisor, and the couple have lived in South Lake Tahoe for eight years. Luis Jr. is their first child.

Back to Front Page

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.