Monday, November 24, 2008

Tulsa Huckabee Book-Signing Event

Huck's Army soldier, Just Grace, gives an interesting account of how the Tulsa Huckabee book-signing went:

This morning at 2:30 AM, my husband and I rolled out of bed to the alarm clock, having slept very poorly for a couple (maybe) of hours. You know how it is when you are super-excited. You worry the alarm won't go off. And then some emergency always happens, which for us was a faucet leaking and soaking my cookbooks and the kitchen floor.

We live north of Wichita and faced a three and a half hour drive to get to Mike Huckabee's book-signing in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This was the closest we could find - that or Kansas City. What we Huckabee faithfuls won't do! We came within about 9 miles of running out of gas on the way, and then we took the wrong street in Tulsa, but we finally got there.

My husband had showed nearly-the-ultimate sign of love for his wife, whom he thinks sometimes is a Huckanut, spending far too many hours on the internet commenting on HuckPAC or Huck's Army! He offered what I did not dare to suggest -- to make an early morning ride in the dark to Tulsa to stand for over an hour in a long line snaking around the Barnes and Nobles aisles, just to have a few seconds meeting Mike and getting his book signed.

We got to the store at 6:30 AM and found a long line of waiting supporters already stringing across the parking lot by the door. But everyone had smiles. No one seemed to mind the 27 degree weather and brisk breeze. It seemed we were all eager to find out who the person in line behind us was. We met Mr. Ford and his daughter from Little Rock. She had driven as many hours as we had, only the night before. They were so nice, and he was a contributor to Mike's campaign who sometimes comments on HuckPac. They offered to take some pictures with our camera. I got their picture. We are now "friends"!

Finally we got inside the doors, and everywhere there were Barnes and Nobles people or Team Huck members in their navy colored zipper jackets, directing us to the check-out counters to buy books and then to take our place in the lines.

Four minutes after the hour of seven AM a cheer broke out in the front of the store, and we knew Gov. Huckabee had arrived. The store manager came on the speaker and welcomed us. They were pretty thrilled with the crowds. He told us the only time they had gotten crowds like this was for the Glenn Beck book and the Joel Osteen book. "So Mike is quite a celebrity," he said (or something like that). The snaking line began to move pretty quickly. Next came the announcer for 1170 Talk Radio, who said a few words.

I was getting very excited/nervous as we got nearer. I remembered I had not combed my hair that morning. Oh no! I couldn't leave my spot in the line to go spruce up. Did I look OK? Mr. Ford and daughter said "It looks fine." You'd think I was going to meet the Queen, I was so nervous.

We lost the Fords and met some new friends in line. Tracy from Tulsa. Chris with the bass guitar strapped over his shoulders, hoping to get it autographed. I asked Chris, "Are you a Huck fan?" "Well, I'm a supporter of his." Not quite as fanatic as me, I took it. Nor as nervous. Ordinarily I think it is pretty funny when people get this ga-ga over a celebrity.

Then there was another Tulsa man in an "I love Huckabee" t-shirt, who was a full-fledged Huckabee supporter and had "burned the shoe leather" during the campaign. Mike would love him. He made hundreds of calls, and put up tons of yard signs, as well as going door to door. When the Tulsa elections were over, he yanked all the Huckabee signs from yards, and the police actually gave him all their collected Huckabee signs to take to Texas before their primary. I don't remember his name. But I thought it would be fun to remember these dear Huckabee friends ("We are like a big happy family") so I had them sign their names in the back of my Doing the Right Thing book. And I took their picture. "You sure do like to take pictures," someone said. My dear, patient husband didn't say much, but read the book.

When we got close to where Gov. Huckabee was signing, I saw his wife Janet nearby and so I sneaked a few more photos, nearly knocking over the stacks of books on a table, and getting in the traffic lane coming the other way. "Get over," my husband reminded me. "I'm so nervous," I told him. I put my camera back in my purse and knocked open the battery door, and nearly lost the batteries. We were getting closer.

"Would you take a picture of my husband and me when we get our book signed"? I asked Tracy. I could tell it would have to be quick work of the prepared. "Sure," she said. Then, there we were by the counter, and the HuckTeam helper said, "Keep the line moving." Gov. Huckabee stuck out his hand to shake mine. I looked into his smiling eyes and managed, "Hello, Governor. I'm (gulp) 'grace-praying' on HuckPac and I have a prayer card here for you. Should I give it to Janet?" He said yes, and it was on to the next person. I grabbed the book he had laid down on the counter, thinking it was mine. My hands were shaking, and there was Janet, so beautiful and cool. I shook her hand and asked if we could take a picture with her. "I'm so nervous," I foolishly said again. "Oh, you're fine," she said. Well, Tracy still had my camera, so I turned back to the line and grabbed it from her hand at the same moment she was shaking Gov. Huckabee's hand. Tracy, if you read this...sorry! Well, I got my picture with Janet, and yes, my hair was a mess.

After this, we went out of the store and there was THE BUS, so beautiful with Mike Huckabee and the yellow and blue background. We met up with Mr. Ford again, and he graciously took some photos of us in front of the bus. Then we got to go inside. A friendly, fun bus driver stood inside the door, saying he didn't know whose bus this was. I pointed to "Huck" on his coat, and he said with a grin, "Oh him, he's not bad." My husband likes to joke and asked, "Have you gotten any speeding tickets?" "No," the bus driver said, "I just get in behind the Obama bus. They let him go as fast as he wants." So we got a few pictures in the bus and were on our way.

Down the road a few miles, I first looked at the photos on my digital camera. Not too bad. Hair kind of messy. And then I finally relaxed and looked at my book. There in the front was what supposedly was Mike Huckabee's name. I looked in the back for the signatures of my new friends. Where were they???

I had picked up someone else's book!

So, whoever you are out there that has my book, this is the explanation for the strange signatures in the back.

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