New Castle News

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June 28, 2013

Gary Church: I've got my press pass...still waiting on the super powers

NEW CASTLE —

I think I may have watched too much Saturday Morning TV as a young boy.
 
I was a faithful Captain Midnight fan and even sent away for his secret decoder.
 
You get the idea that when you get it you have special powers.
 
This feeling has carried over a little bit into my adult life.
 
Since writing for the News, I thought I might have super powers if I had a press pass.
 
Just think, I would be able to gain admittance to events at the White House, get backstage at a Rolling Stones concert, or interview the Steelers.
 
No one at the New Castle News office ever asked me if I wanted one.
 
Finally I got brave and asked one of the higher ups for the magical card.
 
He said, "Sure."
 
 It has a smiling photo of me wearing my Weingartner work shirt, but at least I finally got one.
 
That was six years ago.
 
In all of those six years, not one person has ever asked to see my press pass.
 
No White House invitations, no Steeler passes, not even a back stage pass at a Merle Haggard concert.
 
It was a few weeks ago, that all of that changed, when I went to an accident.
 
The road was closed and was guarded by a volunteer fireman.
 
I told him I was from the News and needed to get to the scene.
 
He then asked the big question, "Do you have any identification?"
 
I almost broke out in tears.
 
When I got out of the car, I shook his hand and congratulated him on being the first one in 6 years to ask to see my press pass.
 
I felt a hug at that time just wasn't appropriate.
 
He then said, "Joe (who does the local TV videos) is already at the scene."
 
I asked if he wanted to see Joe's ID, but he said that he has known Joe for a long time, and just let him pass.
 
I then took the long walk down the hill, to the accident scene.
 
After being there for an hour, I realized I had to walk back up the long hill.
 
At my age and the condition of my knees, I knew that wasn't going to happen.
 
I decided I needed to hitch a ride up the hill.
 
With press pass in hand, I bummed a ride up the hill, from the first guy leaving the scene.
 
I didn't care if it just happened to be the Coroner, I was thankful to get a ride.
 
 It was also nice to be sitting in the front seat, instead of laying in the back.
 
It may be another 6 years until I use my press pass again, but I'll have it with me just in case.
 
Probably the next guy will look at the photo and see all the hair I once had and say, "That's not you!"
 
Maybe I should start carrying my 'get out of jail free card,' just in case.

 

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