On the way, there was a commercial that Kyle Petty would be at Airborne that night. He turned to me and said, "Guess what? We're going to the airport to pick Kyle up right now."
My uncle, who was in the BCI at the time, was to be his escort/guard for the evening, and he had brought me along for the ride.
There are a few things that I remember from that night. First, it took an awfully long time for the plane to arrive in the eyes of a young teenager who was not exactly the most patient person I know.
Secondly, I remember how the fans came up to meet the NASCARlegend, son of "King" Richard Petty, with a huge following of fans.
Thirdly, this was the first time I can remember asking a question that was journalistic. I remember all of the media people sitting around Petty and asking questions. I spoke up and asked what it was like to finish behind his father in an event.
The response was something like, "I thought maybe he'd go easy and let me win for a change."
The thing was, he didn't look down on me. He answered my question just like all of the other ones that were asked. I think someone even used it in a story.
So, maybe, this is where the whole reporter thing started.
Keith Lobdell is the Editor of the Valley News. He can be reached at email@example.com