Ok, so it was for only a brief moment as I walked through the book signing line, but it was a very exciting moment!
Yesterday morning, I headed out bright and early for my drive to San Francisco. I arrived home really late on Wednesday night from my flight back from Denver, CO – so I was not planning on being the first person in line. For me, buying the book signing ticket was pure happenstance in the first place.
The book signing was from 8:30 – 10:30, and I hoped to arrive by 9:30. With commuter traffic, that meant being on the road by 7:00 a.m. When I purchased my ticket I posted a picture of it on my Facebook account, which prompted a FB friend to call the store and purchase one as well. We had not connected other than to know that we both had a ticket. With my busy weekend and three days in Boulder visiting my daughter, I was not positive how my timing would work out – so at best I was hoping to see her in San Francisco. Yes, driving together would have made a lot more sense. Cherie left town at 5:15 a.m. arriving in San Francisco to pick up her will call ticket before 7:00, then called me at 8:15 wondering where I was.
Still driving, stuck in traffic, will be there about 9:30.
Well by 9:15 I had checked my bag and started looking for her in line. By that point the line was moving, and Cherie was waving to me to come and join her. I was shaking my head no; I did not want to “cut” in front of the people who had patiently waited. Cherie had already traveled up past a set of guards. But then seeing me, a Secret Service man came over and called me through. Well, when the Secret Service comes and escorts you past the guard, you go! Cherie and I both had “D” tickets, and she had obviously been chatting with the Secret Service!
I must say the excitement amongst the line waiters was very high! Secret Service agents, police, and security guards were everywhere. We were escorted into the bookstore just a few at a time. No bags or personal belongings; and cameras/phones had to be put away in a pocket.
Hillary looked amazing – I hate to even go there – This woman, any woman, should not be judged by appearances. But that was my first impression and with only 30 seconds to speak – that’s about what you get. She was warm and friendly and surrounded my many, many people. Most of the ones standing close to her were young women, the next line of defense were the Secret Service.
Cherie had a message from her second graders to share with Hillary in the form of a knock, knock joke. It took Hillary a moment to catch on but when she did she genuinely laughed and said that was wonderful!
I mostly stood awestruck! Really, I was so excited and the adrenaline was way too high. I stumbled a heartfelt, “Thank you for all you have done and for the inspiration you have been to so many people.” In return I got a very sincere, “Well, thank you!” Then we were swooped out of the room by the secret service as quickly as we went in. As we stepped out past the first set of guards and a roped off area, I turned around and snapped a photo of Hillary speaking with a young girl. I got one quick photo in before we were again told to keep moving on by the Secret Service.
They sold 1000 tickets for the book signing, and everyone waiting in line was friendly, excited, and happy to be there. I was not the only one with the adrenaline running high.
I have not always been a Hillary fan. 22 years ago I was a stay at home mom with two small children when Hillary quipped, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.” I took a personal affront to this comment. However, I have grown, she has grown, and I have come to appreciate all the hard choices we make as mothers, wives, and professionals. Hillary is a powerful intelligent woman, and I am very much looking forward to reading her book about her years spent working as our Secretary of State.