They had saved credentials for me, but they'd left them at the Will Call window. So I had to talk my way into the parking lot.
There were several people working together when I got there. I talked to them, particularly one woman, for several minutes, and they were nice. But they wouldn't let me in. I couldn't prove to them that I wasn't just trying to get into the game free.
I had made up a credential that I wore at high-school games; it said MEDIA, Surry Messenger, Tom Gillispie. But, as the woman pointed out, anyone could have printed up credentials like that.
She said I needed to prove that I was a newspaper man. In desperation, I pointed out that I had a North Carolina Press Association sticker on my front windshield and a Winston-Salem Journal sticker on the back window (I had worked for the Journal before I took the Messenger job.).
Before I could even finish my sentence, she looked at my windshield and waved me forward. "Let him in," she told the others.
More blog entries by Tom Gillispie
• Advice for be and would-be novelists
Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie
Entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)