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February 28, 2014

Gary Church: Mexican food, amazing bass and a private chat with Jen — can it get any better?

NEW CASTLE — Did you ever have one of those weekends that you hated to see end?

It all started Friday, when after 10 years of driving the same old car, I got a new one.

I got a RAV4.

It's my first SUV, although it is considered a crossover.

With my well-rounded body, I needed something I could squeeze into without using Vaseline.

On Saturday night, I met some friends at El Canelo, and we had a blast.

People kept coming over to the table and chatting. We ended up staying there for two hours.

Just for the record, garden writers get more hugs than editorial page writers.

Sunday morning, I filled in for Norm the bass player at First Baptist. After playing with some of the best musicians around, I might have gotten a little teary eyed after the service, realizing what an opportunity I had just had.

When you're an old geezer, and you figure your bass playing days are over, just to sit in with these young guys was amazing.

I figured that was enough excitement for the weekend, and sat down at the computer to check my Facebook page.

I am friends with Doug Oster, a garden writer in Pittsburgh who also appears on television.

Didn't he have a photo of him with Jennifer Antkowiak of KDKA?

Back in olden days, I use to do hard, manual labor. On my drive home, I would listen to Fred Honsberger on the radio. He had a five-minute show called “The Short Show,” where he chatted with Jennifer and Ken Rice.

I loved it, and Jennifer was so calming and witty, making my drive home really relaxing.

I would walk into the house, still laughing at them.

When she quit the station, I quit listening.

She started working in New Castle, not far from me. I was always hopeful I would run into her, to tell her how much I enjoyed her on “The Short Show,” but it never happened.

When I saw her picture with Doug, I posted that I had always wanted to meet Jen.

Didn't she post underneath it, that she would like to meet me sometime. We even chatted back and forth a little bit, privately.

I can't take anymore excitement this week.

Next week will probably be the pits, but right now, I'm flying high.


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