Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How I Met Sarah Palin...(And I Thought This Was Just Going To Be Another Daytona 500 Trip)

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.
Friday in Daytona Beach was a cold and rainy day.  The wristbands to gain entrance into the book signing were going to be distributed at 9 AM, so we bundled up with umbrellas in hand and arrived an hour and a half early to get in line.  They were distributing 900 wristbands and we were not going to miss out on getting ours.  We were not disappointed.  I left with my wristband and a sense of excitement at my good fortune to have an opportunity to meet this great American.
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.
A fun trip to the Daytona 500 turned into a really exciting and memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.  I don't know if Sarah Palin will (or should) run for President, but I do know that she is a patriot and a great asset in our fight to maintain our freedom and liberty.

Here I am with Sarah Palin at the book signing.
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  1. How absolutely wonderful for you!

    As soon as I heard she had been there I wondered if you had an encounter of any kind.

    I'm so glad you mentioned that she looked you directly in the eye - that is huge!

    About getting teary-eyed... you are not alone. I saw Ronald Reagan speak in 1985 on a field trip with my government (civics) class. I still get a bit emotional sometimes just thinking about the fact that I was even able to have that experience, because opportunities like these are so rare.

    And what a race... I'm very happy for Jamie Mac.. couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!

  2. How fun!! I am glad that you enjoyed yourself.

    I too went & got a book signed. Don't feel bad, I waited in the snow for almost four hours.

    For me, the shine has worn off, I will not support her in a primary run. But I agree with you, she is an inspirational woman. Being a special needs mom, I am thankful to have her voice out there.

  3. Hi Sol:

    It was a great race. Of course, I was rooting for Tony, but he had a lousy car. And even though I had both Harvick and Biffle in the pool, I was really glad to see McMurray win. He sure deserves some good luck. Boy, was I happy when that race ended. We were freezing up there in the stands.

    As for Sarah Palin, it was the highlight of the trip for me. You were really lucky to have a chance to see Ronald Reagan speak in person. What a wonderful memory for you to cherish.

  4. jacg:
    I remembered that you went to a book signing in the snow and even mentioned it to my hubby. I'm sure glad there wasn't any snow in Daytona Beach last Friday morning.
    As for Sarah Palin...like I said in the post...I really don't know what's in the cards for her, but whatever it is, she is an inspiration to us all. And being a spokes person for special needs children is just one more reason to respect her.
    Have a great time at CPAC.

  5. TCL, What a great story about your adventures. Sarah Palin is a great American, no matter where her future leads her.

    My stance on Sarah is that I'd like to give her another look-see as a candidate in another 15 or so years.

  6. Hi Opie:
    She is a great American. As for being President...who knows? I guess we'll have to wait and see. Obama was elected President with absolutely NO executive experience whatsoever. Governor Palin was the only one of the 4 who had executive experience and people seem to overlook that fact.
    Whoever the GOP runs for President, they better be good, because we can not endure another 4 years of Obama.

  7. I know how you feel, I had a similar experience meeting Glenn Beck at a signing at Borders in the Gulf Coast Town Center...

    I gave Glenn one of my "Will Work for Freedom" T-Shirts... He got a kick out of it, but I think it's a little too casual for him to wear it on the show...

    The similarity comes from the fact that as brief an encounter as you actually have, Glenn looked me in the eye, shook my hand, said "God bless you" and acknowledged for that one moment I was the focus of his attention...

    Pretty Cool...

  8. I'm not sure I'm going going to vote for her, but I do like her. She would be a huge improvement over the last four Presidents. Lucky you!

  9. Well written post, Lady. I'm sure that this episode will have even more impact once President Palin is sworn in.


  10. Wow! What a nice surprise, and what a nice meeting!

    I just finished her book, and I'm so impressed with her and her politics!

  11. Born Again American:
    You said, Glenn looked me in the eye, shook my hand, said "God bless you" and acknowledged for that one moment I was the focus of his attention....
    That says it all. Compare that with President Obama. The only focus of his attention is HIMSELF.

  12. Hi Trestin:
    I don't know if she'll ever run for higher office. She may be more effective as a voice for Americans. Only time will tell.

  13. Linda:
    I was really happy that I am in the process of reading the book and had it with me. Sometimes things just work out.


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