New Castle News

July 20, 2012

Gary Church: How do I feel about my first ticket in 40 years? Fine.

Gary Church
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — It was one of those perfect Saturday mornings. My wife and I were having our coffee on the back patio when she said, "Let's go look at some garage sales."

Since her wish is my command, I gathered up the dog and the classified section of the New Castle News and we all went yard sale hunting.

I never get out of the car — she does. My job is to study the yard sale listings, and figure out which one to go to next.

As we traveled up Highland Avenue, our next stop was on Maitland Lane. I had to make the big decision to either go down Coaltown Hill (Mercer Road) or veer left to Old Plank Road.

I decided on Coaltown Hill.

With the dog in my lap, the paper in hand, the radio playing some ’60s tunes, and my wife yakking about something, we drove down the hill.

The very last thing I had in mind was that Trooper Price was sitting at the bottom of the hill with his radar gun, but he was.

Although I have traveled that hill before, I never paid any attention to the speed limit. I like to drive down the hill as a launch pad for going up the other side.

It saves gas.

When I saw the lights flashing in my mirror, I knew I was in trouble.

It has been 40 years since I was last pulled over.

He asked for my license and insurance card, which I gave him.

He then inquired, "Do you know that you were speeding?"

I asked, "What is the speed limit?"

He said, "35 miles per hour and you were going 51."

I don't think I could WALK down Coaltown hill that slow.

He gave me a ticket and said I have the right for a court hearing.

I scheduled a court hearing because I heard sometimes the cops don't show up and the case is dismissed.

When I walked in, Trooper Price had shown up. He greeted me.

I told him I was hoping he was too busy to come to the hearing, but he wasn't.

Yes, since I had no defense, I was found guilty and paid my fine.

Wouldn't you think, since it was my wife's idea in the first place to go yard sale hopping, she would chip in on the fine?

She never opened her purse, and I never went to another yard sale.