Sarah Palin Came to Town!

 

(If you’re wondering why this wasn’t posted yesterday, it’s because it took me forever to add in the pictures — not because I was crafting the commentary to perfection!)

 

I don’t know if I will vote for Sarah Palin if she runs for president.  There are lots of factors that would figure into that decision.

But, I am a fan of hers as a person just because she seems to be a down-to-earth woman who appears to handle things that happen in her life in the same common sense, ethical way people I know and admire would.

So, while I found it intriguing that she was coming to town and that she would be signing books at the super store that I shop at almost every day, I didn’t really think I wanted to fight the crowds to try to get her autograph.

On the day of her book signing, Hubby and I were going to go to the gym early.  But, I also needed to go to the grocery store.  So, after I got ready to go to the gym, I told Hubby I wanted to run to the grocery first, before it got crazy around noon when Sarah would be there.

But then a funny thing happened as I was gathering things to take to the grocery with me, hoodie, purse, cloth bags . . . umbrella . . . umbrella chair . . . another coat . . . extra battery for my camera!  Hey, wait a minute.  Somewhere deep in the back of my mind, I must have been thinking about maybe getting in line to get her autograph when I got there.  (Sometimes your sub-conscious can really surprise you!)

So I, in turn, surprised Hubby by telling him I was thinking about staying, depending on how long the line was, and what my prospects would be to actually get an autograph.  I would call him if I stayed.

When I got there I found out several things in quick succession — the line was inside the warm, well-lit store (much of it cleverly wound through the Christmas decorating aisles), not out in the cold, dark parking lot as I had expected; there were a little over 200 people already in line (she was promising to sign books for 1,000 people) so I would be sure to get my book signed; and no chairs were allowed (rats).  It was all very calm and orderly — not at all chaotic as I had imagined.

So, I took my chair back to the car and then got in line.  It was 6:30 a.m.  She would start signing books at noon and would continue until 3 p.m. or when she had signed for 1,000 people (you were allowed to have two books apiece).

    One of the pluses for the store was that you had to have a receipt for each book to be signed that showed it had been purchased at that store.

     I was very impressed with how organized the store was about handling over 1,000 people.

   As I followed the arrows to the end of the line, this was how a typical already-filled aisle looked.  It looks like these people had figured out what my new friend John, who was in the Stationery aisle with me said, “Don’t bunch up, it will be cooler.” 

   When I noticed this aisle as I passed and stopped to take their picture, I told them that I wanted a picture of the “smart” aisle because they were the first ones I saw who had “made themselves at home” and sat down.  The other aisles, including those of us in Stationery, soon got smarter too and followed suit.

   By the way, I’m glad I got there when I did, because after the allotted space in the store was full, the line continued out into the garden shop.  Still under cover, but much less comfortable.  I bet they drank alot more of that hot coffee that is being served on the lower right than those of us in the store did.

   Inside, we had the opposite problem — it got a little warm and stuffy.  So, we were delighted when this man who is running for congress came down the aisle passing out half-sheet size cardboard flyers asking for our support.  I don’t know if we’ll vote for him, but I know we sure appreciated his hand-out.  It made a perfect fan!

     What a wonderful group of people I fell in with in the Stationery aisle! We talked and laughed, and heckled employees who repeatedly came to get masking tape or felt tips or poster board for signs.  The time passed quickly.

   June and Deb came together.  June runs a dog obedience school and Deb is a very successful show-er (I had to hyphenate that because otherwise you might think she showered show dogs to get them clean before an event!) of Yorkshire Terriers.  That pendant Deb’s wearing is an award for success in dog showing.  June told me that Deb is the only person in this area (maybe in this state?) who has that very coveted award for people who show dogs.

   New friends Laura and Deb.  I was sitting closest to the two of them, so I chatted with them the most.

   John had driven over two hours to get there and was a very well read, interesting man who sat next to us.  He told me how and why the Federal Reserve Bank (which I didn’t know is not part of the federal government) and the Internal Revenue Service were started.  But when he got into too much detail, I had to tell him that I’m ADD and couldn’t absorb all that detail without zoning out, so he gave me just an overview.  I’m not sure but Laura may be ADD too, because in this picture she looks like she may have zoned out from too much detail also.  But, seriously, John was very nice and seemed to understand to “wrap it up” when we began suffering from information overload.

   On one of our several trips to the restroom (sometimes just for a chance to stretch our legs from sitting on the floor rather than from necessity), we met the first woman in line!  She had missed the book signing in Grand Rapids the day before so had driven down here.  She had been there 14 hours! 

   This was a reporter from Entertainment Tonight.  I’m told the man she was interviewing was the organizer of the tea parties in this area.

   A reporter from Inside Edition was there too. 

   He realllly wanted to interview Laura.  He asked her twice.  But each time, my new friend insisted that she didn’t want to do it — that he should interview her — pointing at me.  Hmmm. I guess she’d already figured out that, like our friend John, I’m hardly ever at a loss for words.

   So, the reporter interviewed me (with Laura standing behind me — for moral support, I’m sure.)  I have no idea if my sound bite made it on the air, but I’m guessing not, because he reallly wanted to interview Laura!

  When I first saw this little girl as she was just quietly staring at these two little foil Christmas trees.  It looked like she might be dreaming about what would be under her Christmas tree.  But, before I could get the picture she discovered me.  Even though I didn’t get the shot I wanted, I still love her sweet little face.

   At 10 o’clock they came down the aisles checking your receipt, telling you to have your book open to the page where she would sign, and putting on wristbands.  The store really did do everything they could to let  people know for sure whether they were going to get to meet her or not.  Unfortunately, there was apparently a difference in the count (I think because of some  dignataries who were inserted at the front of the line at the last minute) between the number of wristbands and the count being done by Sarah’s staff person as people went in to meet her.  One of my sisters-in-law told me that she knew a woman who was right at the end of the 1,000 but thought she was safe, and ended up not being within the 1,000.  I hope that Sarah signed a few more than the 1,000, but then when do you stop?  A dilemma for her people who try to keep her on schedule, I’m sure.

   The store had employees circulating up and down the aisles with coffee, water and cookies often.

   At noon the line stood up and started moving.

   There were lots of media people  and their equipment.

   When Sarah got there she stood at a table inside this blue enclosure.  The line went in at the other end and came out on this end.  Before we went in, we had to put anything we were carrying , except books to be signed, on the table you can see in front of the enclosure.  Then there were people standing behind the table moving things down the table so that when you came out this end, your stuff was at this end ready to be picked up!  Low tech, but very efficient.

No pictures were allowed inside (a problem taken care of since our cameras would have been in the “stuff” we had to lay on the table outside). 

When I arrived in front of Sarah, after she signed my book, she smiled and shook my hand while looking me directly in the eye.  I liked that.  I told her I wondered what she thought of Dennis Miller’s proposed 7-year plan for her that I had heard him talk about on Fox News that morning (i.e., allow herself to be drafted as the Independent candidate in 3 years, even though she probably wouldn’t win, and then run again four years later, and have a chance of being the first Independent candidate to be elected president), but she said she hadn’t heard it.  I didn’t think I should take the time to explain it to her, so I just said, “I’m sure he’ll tell you all about it when you’re on his show tomorrow”.  She said she was going to go on the internet and see what he was suggesting ahead of time.  I’m sure some of her experience with media last year has made her want to be verrrry prepared now, even when it is sympathetic media.

  While we were standing in line close to getting in to see her, a woman walked up to Laura and handed her this post card that shows a crop drawing of Sarah on a farm in Ohio.  The woman said she wasn’t going to get in so she asked Laura to give it to Sarah.  I asked Laura afterwards what Sarah said when she gave it to her.  She said she took it and thanked her for it, but she said she had already seen it.  In the picture here it’s a little easier to read the words.  I’m pretty sure it says Sarah America.  

  And, finally, you’ll just have to take my word for it that that is her signature.  But, when you consider how many thousands of books she’s signing a day right now, I give her lots of credit for it looking this good!

So, now for both of you who have read this epistle all the way to the end,  I am going to give away this signed copy of Sarah’s book.  Just leave a comment and when I get up early on Saturday, December 5, I’ll draw the winner!

This was fun and I’m glad I did it.  It will be interesting to watch how Sarah Palin’s career plays out. 

By the way, Hubby pointed out that if she becomes President someday, this book might  increase in value.  So, why invest in gold … when you can just leave a comment here, and win this book!

28 Responses to Sarah Palin Came to Town!

  1. Cheryl says:

    I was at that store the day before and was so tempted to buy the book…but with holidays coming I decided to wait. I did, for a fleeting moment, think about going to the signing but only to realize I had another appt. I think she is a super person as you said.
    Thanks for the post….enoyed it!! 🙂

  2. Linda says:

    Oh, how exciting that you got to meet her and get her to sign your book! And even more exciting (and generous) that you’re offering to give a signed copy away. I did think about going to the signing, but you know me and early. Two words hardly ever uttered in the same breath. Also, I, too, thought the line would be outside; and I was remembering that cold October day last year, when the four of us stood for hours in line outside to get in to see her at a political rally. That was pretty miserable; but I was glad, in the end, that we did it.

  3. Sandra says:

    Cheryl — I was impressed during the fraction of a second I got to talk to her. I’m glad I took the time.

    Linda — Yes, this was muuuuch more comfortable than that cold October day last year. AND, I actually got to shake hands with her this time. So, it turned out to be well worth the time.

  4. Hilary says:

    I felt like I was a kid at the Santa Claus parade. You gave excellent commentary and photos and could feel the excitement of waiting for Santa.. I mean Sarah. Very nicely done, my friend and how very generous of you to make this a giveaway. I hope you got two books signed. 🙂

  5. Sandra says:

    Hilary — All that was missing to make it like the Santa Claus parade was the step ladder! 🙂

    I did get two books, but then decided to give the other one to DD for her birthday. But, I’ve never been much of an autograph collector so that doesn’t bother me.

  6. Belinda says:

    Hi Sandra,
    I had a feeling that you would go to see Sarah. I had to work that day or I would have gone too. I did
    manage to purchase a couple of the books that have her signature on the sticker book plate this weekend.
    I am giving one to my aunt who is also a big fan of hers. Thanks for writing about your experience and for the pictures. Hope that you had a nice time in Chicago this past weekend and Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Sandra says:

    Thanks, Belinda. It was fun. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  8. Barb says:

    I had to work that day otherwise I would have been in line, also. I like Palin very much, and everything she stands for.
    I also like that fact that she said she
    finds that she can do a lot, just being
    ‘one’ voice.
    You did such a great job with your
    pictorial and describing everything, that
    it was the next best thing to being there.
    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Sandra says:

    Thank you, Barb. The reason I worked to include so many pictures is that I DID want readers to be able to feel like they were there! I’m glad you felt that way. 🙂

  10. Julie says:

    Loved this post Aunt Sandy! I’m so glad you were able to meet Sarah Palin! What a great experience for you and you looked like you really enjoyed your morning waiting in line! We came home a week too late to meet her!

    Happy Thanksgiving! 😀

  11. Vicki says:

    I really admire Sarah Palin! Would love a chance to have the book! Count me in! V.

  12. Sandra says:

    Julie — You’re home now? If you get a chance (maybe when you and your sisters are out on one of your walks) stop by. I’d love to see you all. I know you will all enjoy being together for Thanksgiving. 🙂 Love, Aunt Sandy

    Vicki — There it is. “Vicki” scribbled on a scrap torn off a piece of notebook paper, wadded up and thrown into one of Hubby’s old ball caps. It just doesn’t get any more “official” than that! 🙂

  13. Julie says:

    Yes we are here! We just got in last night. We are here until Sunday morning. If we get a chance we’ll stop by!

  14. carlahoag says:

    This was so interesting! You did a really good job of describing the waiting, the people in line and meeting her. Wow.
    A few questions:

    What did the reporter ask you and what did you reply?

    Why didn’t Laura want to be interviewed?

    What was it about her that made him especially want to interview Laura?

  15. Sandra says:

    Okay, Carla — here goes.

    He asked me why I admired Sarah. I said it was because she had handled problems so well that all of us would struggle with, like a pregnant teenage daughter, at a time when she had the additional pressure of being in the national spotlight, knowing that whatever she did would be disected, criticized and second guessed.

    I really don’t know why Laura didn’t want to be interviewed. But it didn’t look like she considered it even for a minute — she immediately diverted the attention my way. But, as I said, he did perservere and asked her a second time.

    Gosh, I don’t know why he preferred to interview that younger, prettier woman. I’ll have to think about that. 🙂

  16. Becky says:

    Excellent essay, Sandy. I’m think Sara Palin is great! I admire her courage to stand for what she believes, and I wish there were more politicians like her. Let me know if you get wind of a Tea Party locally.

    Thought about you the other day when I opened a new roll of plastic wrap and pushed those little thingys on the ends in. I can’t believe my mother did not pass that little tidbit along to me. Oh well, at least I’ll not spend my remaining years not being able to get a piece of plastic wrap off of the roll without a big hassel.

  17. Amy O says:

    You and DD meet the most interesting people, Famous and not. What a fun day!

  18. Sandra says:

    Becky — You and a million other people think that way about her! She is definitely popular.

    Don’t be too hard on your mom for not telling you about the punch things in the ends of the foil dispenser — I’m guessing they weren’t around back then.

    Amy — Yes, but if they are sumo wrestlers wearing loin clothes, I don’t have my PICTURE taken with them! 🙂

  19. June says:

    Great blog. Is that the right use of the word???? I told you while waiting in line I am technologically and otherwise ‘challenged’. I did enjoy the book signing and the people around me. Thanks for sharing the photos. It was very exciting to meet Sarah. I enjoyed her book and love the letter in the back of the book written by one of her fellow Alaskans. I will definitely go back to see her again if she is in town.

  20. Sandra says:

    June — Yes, that’s the right way to say it. 🙂

    It was fun, wasn’t it. Time well spent.

    I’m glad we got to meet. That was a fun group. 🙂

  21. Candy says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Sandy! This was a fabulous post! I am such a Sarah Palin fan, but I don’t know that I could have handled that long a wait. It’s great you got to meet her and very nice of you to put another book out there for us wait in line wimps to have a chance at!
    See you soon,
    Candy

  22. Sandra says:

    Hi, Candy — Hope you’re having a good time in Dallas. We just returned from the wonderful buffet at the Marriott. It was great, but always better when you went with us. 🙂

  23. Katharine says:

    Sandy, thanks for the “inside information” on the crowd control stuff! Frankly, I was more interested in that than thinking about a 20-second meeting with a famous person. (I’m fascinated with behind-the-scenes things. No offense to Sarah Palin!) At first, I was impressed with everything the store did to make the wait comfortable and organized. Free coffee and cookies? Wow! But then I remembered that only the books purchased at the store would be signed. Ohhhh… Thanks for a fun read!

  24. Sandra says:

    Katharine — I’m always interested in the behind-the-scene stuff too. I really was impressed with how organized it was, so I hope that the store got enough out of it to make it worth their while. If we’re going to have another famous person do a book signing in our area, maybe they’ll host it too! Where better (for ME) than 3 minutes from my house! 🙂

  25. Mary Bowlin says:

    Hi Sandy, I enjoyed reading your story about getting your signed copy from Sarah Palin. You are a great writer. I am anxious to read her book.

    Mary

  26. Sandra says:

    Well, Mary, maybe you’ll win the copy I’m giving away! 🙂

  27. Carla says:

    Sandy, I enjoyed the detailed description of this exciting event. I wanted to go……! I wanted to meet her so much! It was a hard day knowing I would not be there! Thank you for making me feel like I was there for a brief moment!

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