As you may already know if you saw the previous post...we attended our annual trip to the Daytona 500 races. It was a great time as we met up with friends we don't see very often from CA to NJ to PA. The trip is a social event along with some great racing. We attend races every day from Thursday through Sunday. This year, Friday night's truck race was canceled due to bad weather and held on Saturday evening after the Nationwide Race. The temperatures in Daytona Beach this trip were much colder than normal, so we opted out of the truck race and went to a nice dinner instead. Sitting in winter coats, hats and gloves is not normal for February in Daytona Beach (rare, but it has happened before). Sunday was the big Daytona 500 race. It started around 1 PM. The race was terrific but there was a hole in the track that proved to be a hazard to the drivers. It took 2 tries and a couple of hours to fix it. What should have ended before dark, turned into a night race under the lights. Thank goodness we had our winter garb to help keep us "somewhat" warm. By the end of the night, we were freezing. The only thing missing was snow!
The winner of the Daytona 500 was Jamie McMurray.
Congratulations to Jamie and his team!
My annual trip to Daytona Beach for the races held an unexpected and great experience for me that had nothing to do with racing.
On a trip to the Volusia Mall in Daytona Beach on our first day of the trip, I overheard a conversation between 3 "salespersons" (is that PC enough for you?) at the JC Penney store. They were discussing Sarah Palin, saying she was going to be at the Daytona 500 and that she was also holding a book signing at the Books-A-Million store right next door. Eavesdropping isn't very nice, but I could not let this one go, so I went over and asked about what I thought I had heard. Sure enough, it was all true (I also found out that Governor Palin was giving a speech to the Chamber of Commerce while in town). I just happened to have my copy of Going Rogue with me, so how could I miss out on this opportunity to get it signed? We headed over to Books-A-Million to find out what we had to do to get into the book signing.
Waiting in the rain for wristbands on Friday morning.
The line on Monday morning. It went along the front of Books-A-Million, past JC Penney and around the corner.
The book signing was to start at 12 PM on Monday, so we arrived by the recommended time and got into line. It was a much nicer day than Friday, so standing in this huge line for an hour and 45 minutes wasn't so bad. We met some very nice people and the time went by pretty quickly. Someone had the idea of writing little notes on our hands (just like Sarah did), to show Sarah as a sign of support when we had our turn to meet her. No cameras were allowed at the signing table, so I was happy to see that there was a photographer taking photos of each person with Sarah as she signed the books. I am looking forward to checking the website in about a week to see if our photos are there.
People in line with "hand notes" for Sarah. (I am not in photo.) Of course I asked for permission to use their photo, and they asked for the blog address. I sure hope they drop me a comment on the post!
Sarah fans with their signed books.
Meeting Governor Palin...
As I was standing in the weaving line through the store to get to the signing table, I mentioned to TCGuy that I was welling up with tears. I know, now you think I'm a star-struck nut case. But I don't think so. As a matter of fact, when we got about 4 or 5 people away from the table, the lady behind me said she was getting teary eyed. I think being consumed by politics, as I am with this blog, and realizing how fragile our wonderful America is at this point in history, meeting someone like Sarah Palin is very inspiring...and not in the "hopey/changey/dopey Obama-maniac" kind of way. This woman has put herself out there because of her love of country, and whether or not she ever decides to run for higher office, I believe she is a person who will help lead the way to a better America by just speaking her mind and supporting good candidates.
TCGuy was ahead of me in the line, so he met Governor Palin first. She commented on his Tea Party t-shirt "I like your shirt", asked his name, shook his hand and thanked him. The books were not being personalized, so she did not have to ask anyone for a name, but she asked anyway. Then it was my turn. I flashed my "GO SARAH" hand note to the camera and Sarah laughed, looked me straight in the eye, asked my name, shook my hand and thanked me. I told her "God bless you and thank you for all you're doing".
She smiled, looked every person straight in the eye, asked for their name and thanked them personally. What could have felt like an assembly line (which it basically was), turned into a personal experience just with those simple actions on her part. And yes, she is a beautiful lady in person.
So, now TCGuy and I have our signed copies of Going Rogue and can say we met Sarah Palin in person and shook hand her hand (along with 898 other people, ha, ha). A chance we may never get again, so I am really happy that I eavesdropped on that conversation in JC Penney's.