New Castle News

November 26, 2013

Gary Church: Here are 10 (printable) things you should know about me

Gary Church
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — There’s a fun thing going around on Facebook: someone tags you to reveal 10 things about yourself.

I've waited and waited, but not one of my 500 friends have asked me to join in.

Should anyone ever ask, I have prepared a list of unknown facts about yours truly, that should end up in the Smithsonian Institute.

1. Back in 1970, while coming home from a gig in New Waterford, Ohio, just before rounding the bend by Tony's Lounge, I hit two deer.

One passed away, and the other one ran into the woods. To this day, every time I pass that spot, I mention the incident to whomever is in the car with me. I'm just hoping they put up a plaque, as a memorial to the deer and my front fender.

2. My feet don't stink. I owe this to clean living and never doing any kind of exercise at all.

3. When I was in George Washington Junior High School, I use to imitate Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, some of my classmates remember this, and bring it up occasionally at the reunions.

4. My wife and I had our first fight as a married couple the day after our wedding. We were driving down a street in Washington D. C. I handed her a map and asked her for directions on how to get to the street that our motel was on. She couldn't tell me. I was not aware that she was map reading challenged. I was under pressure driving in Washington traffic, and got upset with her. Fortunately, we both got over it when we got to the motel.

5. I had my tonsils out when I was 6 years old, at the New Castle Hospital (St. Francis). When I was coming out of my anesthesia, I sang "Oh My Papa," to the nurse. I never heard if she liked my rendition. I guess I should have recorded it.

6. On Friday Aug. 1, 1960, I received my driver’s permit in the mail. The following Tuesday, Aug. 5, I passed my driver’s test at the Armory.  That Saturday, Aug. 9, I drove the car to the West Side playground dance, and met my first girlfriend. These dates are still celebrated each year with lively festivities and fine dining.

7. When I was 12, I spotted a rabbit in my neighbor’s yard. While chasing the rabbit, I slid in the wet grass and severely cut my knee on a cement block. They told me at the emergency room that I had cut my tendons and would have to stitch them back together. For this reason, I had to walk backward for the next week, so I would not be in pain and cry. While going up the steps, someone had to push my leg in after each step. There were multiple parties on my front porch during this time, when all the kids came over to see my boo boo.

8. My first blind date was with a pretty girl named Betsy Sullivan. She has no recollection of that date, although I try to constantly remind her of it.

9. In case you haven't heard, President Reagan's son, Mike, is my first cousin. His mother and my mother were sisters. He has stayed at my house. He also introduced my daughter and I to the crowd at a speech he gave in Pittsburgh. He even pointed us out to Peggy Finnegan and David Johnson of Channel 11 News. I'm sure they were impressed.

10. I was 59 years old before I found out that people would read what I wrote. Had I known that sooner, I could have gotten a job in an air conditioned office, and put my feet on the desk, instead of putting my feet on the desk at a hot and humid greenhouse. Now that I'm old and have become a writer, I can't get my feet up that high.

Unfortunately, these are the only things that happened in my life that I can put in print. Maybe someday I'll write the uncensored stories. They're a lot more interesting!