For once, he may have not been the oldest man in the room.
When I was preparing to sit down with soon-to-be 100-year-old Donald Taylor, I was told that it might be nice if I took a familiar face with me when I went over to his farmhouse in Wadhams.
So, on that suggestion, I took the oldest guy I know(at least, until then) - my grandfather, Lawrence Bliss.
It was quite the experience to listen to Gramp and Don sit and talk. I would ask a question, Don would answer it, and the two of them would recount the days of their youth growing up in the area and everything that happened here.
Their stories were not that different, even though Don does have an eight-year jump on my grandfather (Don is 100 Saturday, Gramp is 92 in October). They talked a lot about the dances that used to be held at the Wadhams Grange Hall; the music, which was often played by Taylor and others; the price of things, as Don explained that he remembered going to get four gallons of gas and paying one dollar for it (there's a 180 for you); and other things.
Both men also lit up when it came to the topic of hunting. Both live for the woods, and both have bagged their fair share of game. But my grandfather almost cried when he saw the two racks - 13- and eight-point - that Taylor brought out, by hand, to display. I think they almost made him jealous.
When we left, though, there was a small spikehorn rack.
"That's more my style," my grandfather joked.
Speaking of people named Lawrence Bliss, an interview I did this week also reminded me of a night I spent with my uncle at Airborne Raceway.
He came one night when I was in my early teens and picked me up at my grandparents, but I didn't know why.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org