Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sarah Palin – Going Rogue

Since Sarah Palin is on another book signing tour; this is a good time talk about my previous encounter.
Last December, I bought my copy of Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue. I got it a week in advance of the autographing. This gave me a ticket to stand in line for the event. People did camp out the night before but I wasn’t interested in doing that since I had a ticket in my grubby little hands.  I know the ticket didn’t guarantee a signature but I was fairly certain I would get my book signed.
I got there about 3 hours early.  The bookstore already had a line wrapped around the insides of the building and 500 more people were queued up outside in the chilly air. I was with the group outside freezing my bottom off standing in the shade and the breeze. 
The bookstore was a 2 story independent building in an upscale shopping mall. Across the street from our line was a 5 story parking garage. In front of us were a few vacant stores.  If you looked closely you saw a lot of maintenance men standing in the windows of the empty stores. They weren’t doing anything. Just watching – for the whole time I was there. Were they security?
When the bus carrying Sarah Palin and her entourage arrived, every level of the parking garage had a motorcycle police officer looking down onto the crowd.  Sarah got off the bus and walked past the crowd in a bright red suit. The crowd went wild.
It didn’t take too long to get inside and close to the signing table.  Before you rounded the last corner of the bookstore, you needed to check your bags. Again, no cameras or phones were allowed.
Security was everywhere but so were a few reporters and the official photographer. You handed your books to an employee and you got a chance to say a few words to Sarah and then you had your photo taken (not posed). Then you walked to the side and were handed your books back.
The process was quick and painless.
She really is very pretty in person and has a great smile. I need to remember to suck my gut and smile when the pictures are taken. I always seem to be so grim and intense in photos.
I did decide I wanted another copy of the book and went to stand in line again outside.  Unfortunately they closed the line just as I was about to get back into the store. 
Before I left, I checked out the tour bus she was using to travel.  On the dashboard, in front of the driver were some moose antlers. I took a few photos and then went back to the parking garage to get my car.
I paused and took a few photos from the 3rd level of the garage. I saw where a herd of police officers were massing by the bus. I figured that signaled it was close her departure time. I paused and took a few photos. 
Out of nowhere a middle aged man came up to me and asked if I had a cigarette.  Such an odd occurrence.  I turned back to the bus and I took another photo and just waited to see if Sarah was coming out. The oddness of the cigarette encounter stayed with me and I looked around for the guy. He wasn’t anywhere.  I think he was part of the security detail and was checking on me. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Sarah Pain left the building and posed with the Police officers. A great photo op.
But I was laughing. There was a lot of hoopla with security when she came in, motor cycle cops in the parking garage, bags being checked, and a police escort.  When she left  - the parking garage was empty; the maintenance men in the empty stores were gone.
I’m not sure what to make of it but it was as odd as the man asking me for a cigarette.

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