New Castle News

Gary Church

February 22, 2013

Gary Church: What would I forgo for Lent? Hmm, I give up

NEW CASTLE — As a child, I was the only Protestant in my Irish Catholic neighborhood.

The only thing I really knew about being a Catholic was you couldn't eat meat on Friday.

When I was teenager at George Washington, I heard the Mahoningtown kids say they were trying to get out of school to get ashes.

Those guys knew all the angles.

At home, we had a coal furnace and Dad always put the ashes on the sidewalk when it was icy.

I thought, because it was icy out the Mahoningtown kids were going to get ashes at church to spread on the school’s sidewalk.

I asked if I could go with them.

They said I couldn't because I wasn't a Catholic.

I didn't think that was very nice of them to give out ashes only to Catholics.

Since I always rode the rides free on Catholic Day at Cascade Park, I thought I could get free ashes, too.

Much later in life, I found out what they were talking about.

The other day I had the pleasure of going to a fish fry at a Roman Catholic church.

I really enjoy sitting at a table and having fellowship with people you wouldn't normally have dinner with.

One gentleman at the table told us his wife could not have any ice cream because she gave it up for Lent.

One nice thing about being a Protestant is we don't have to give anything up for Lent.

If I did, it would always be coconut.

Maybe this Lent I could give up telling jokes about my wife.

Probably not!

I think I'll just stick with the coconut thing.



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Gary Church
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