I remember it like it was yesterday, and, in all seriousness, it was one of the happiest days in my 30+ years in broadcasting.
It was the fall of 1996, and the first section of the Lackawanna Valley Industrial Highway, also known as the Casey Highway was opening.
The initial section to accept traffic was from Meredith Street in Childs to Carbondale. Bob Casey was the governor who made the project happen, and I spoke with him after the ribbon cutting. He called me by my first name. It might not seem like a big deal to you, but it was to me. It was validation. I had been around long enough so that someone big knew my name. At the time, there was no one bigger around here than former Governor Robert P. Casey. It made my day, and I was happier than words can describe. I will never forget the moment.
Flash forward to Tuesday morning. The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau was dropping off a big donation at the Ronald McDonald House in Scranton. The Ronald McDonald House is a place where families stay while their children are being treated in hospitals.
I took the photo you see above.
When a Newswatch 16 photographer and I arrived on Wheeler Avenue, Ronald McDonald came over to me and said "Hi, Andy." I nearly fell over.
It wasn't as big a thrill as having the former governor call me by my first name, but it was close. I'll be having a Big Mac and fries to celebrate.
The only thing that came remotely close was several years ago at the Greater Scranton Jaycees Santa Parade. Santa and I were talking about our Saturday morning broadcast. He's a viewer!
Watch the show that Santa watches, and I'll see you this weekend.