New Castle News

News Bloggers

July 12, 2013

Gary Church: Do I love New York? About as much as selling insurance

NEW CASTLE — At age 22, I decided to quit playing in the dirt and make a big career change.

That's when I became an insurance man for Metropolitan Life.

I thought, "How hard can it be, driving around and collecting people's insurance premiums?"

Back in the good old days, Metropolitan sent you to New York City for two weeks of training.

This trip was going to include a lot of firsts for me. For starters: I had never been to New York City, and I had never flown.

My manager, Lyle Koenig, gave me simple instructions for when I got off the plane at LaGuardia Airport.

He said a limo would take me to a central cab place. When you get in the cab, tell the driver you are going to the Gramercy Park Hotel.

Perhaps he should not have used the word limo.

In my mind, that was a long black car with a chauffer standing outside, opening the door for you to get in.

I looked for the limo at the airport, and it was nowhere to be found.

Not sure what to do, I waited for him to show, just in case he got caught in traffic.

During that wait, busload after busload left the airport.

After waiting quite a while, I realized all those buses leaving the airport were the limos he was talking about.

I finally boarded one, and made it to the hotel.

Two weeks of not seeing one blade of grass can make you a little homesick.

When my training was over, I left the hotel a little early to LaGuardia, so I would not miss my flight.

When I presented my ticket, the attendant told me I was at the wrong airport.

How did I know New York had more than one airport.

I had to jump in a cab and go to the airport in New Jersey.

I was one happy man when I saw New Castle again.

Later on, I learned that Metropolitan Life wanted you to actually sell insurance, not just collect money.

After two years, I realized that selling was not my strong point and went back to the dirt business.

But I can say when they show Times Square on New Year’s Eve, I was there once — for about 30 seconds.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Bloggers
  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: One man's collection of old 8-track tapes is another man's treasure

    This past weekend, my daughter and I traveled the rolling countryside of Western Pennsylvania. We visited a number of farmer’s markets, flea markets, and garage sales. We were in search of nothing in particular, but hoped for some good cucumbers and possibly a great deal on sweetcorn.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: I tried to keep my cool, but if anyone didn't like my contribution to the party, I might have a meltdown
    Sometimes you get invited to an employee only luncheon. I recently went to one of these at the News office. There is only one rule, everyone must bring something. This is a little difficult for me, because I don't know how to cook anything.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Question-mark-scratch-head.jpg Tim Kolodziej: We’re swimming in information — and uncertainty

    “Who can you believe anymore?” I wish I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me that question. Let’s face it, there are no longer two sides to every story. In some cases, there are hundreds, if not thousands.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: "The Bachelorette" semi-live blog

    Here we go folks: “The Bachelorette” finale is under way and of course we’re being inundated with sweeping helicopter shots of beaches and exotic locations while Chris Harrison is telling us how dramatic this upcoming episode will be. Classic opening for “The Bachelorette,” as always.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Readers (a few anyway) respond on Alvarez

    Last week I asked readers to share their thoughts on what the Pirates should do with the struggling Pedro Alvarez and we’ll get to that in a minute. For some background, Alvarez has two years left on his deal and makes a modest salary of 4.25 million this season (modest in terms of baseball salaries as paying me 4.25 million dollars for anything would be gladly accepted). His salary will likely increase the next two seasons through arbitration. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: As you may have noticed, I'm not Lisa
    Surprise, surprise, surprise! The big cheese called me, and asked if I would mind if my blogs appeared on Monday, instead of on Tuesday. I had no problem with that.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: Time flies when you're growing up

    Where does the time go? Just a moment ago, it was Monday, and now here we sit at the opposite end of another week. Seems like a matter of seconds and this month has slipped off into oblivion. I swear I only blinked and spring had been stripped from our hands. I don't dare close my eyes for another moment’s rest or my whole life may disappear.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: Grab your sisters and your mothers, it's an ice cream 'convent'-ion
    To keep my nice figure, I like to go to Forbush's at least once a week. This is also my entertainment for the night.  We sit there for an hour or so, watching people. Last week, a group arrived that I had never seen before.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • johnnyswim.jpg Tim Kolodziej: What is your definition of The Dream?

    Johnnyswim. I know, I know. Me neither. I had no idea what that word meant until a couple of months ago, when a friend of mine on Twitter was absolutely gushing about a great concert he had just seen.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: Does "House of Cards" crumble or stand?

    The old Couch Potato has been methodically working my way through the hit Netflix series, “House of Cards,” over the past few weeks and let me just say, it’s pretty good. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

Before this weekend's release of the new Marvel film, which previous 'guardians of the galaxy' were your favorite?

The Federation/Star Fleet
The Green Lantern Corps
Jedi Knights
Earth Alliance (Babylon 5)
Space Ghost, Jan, Jace and Blip
     View Results