Thursday, November 26, 2009

Governor Palin's Book Signing in Rochester, NY

As some of you know, I attended Sarah Palin's book signing in Rochester, New York on Saturday (11/21). Let me tell you--it was definitely an adventure!

I was still away at school when I found out that Sarah would be coming to New York for her Going Rogue Book Tour. I was very excited! I was even more excited that I would be home in Buffalo the day before Sarah visited Rochester because Rochester is only an hour away from my home. So knowing that I was going to have to get to Rochester the night before the signing, I left Cortland, NY (school) at 2pm on Friday (11/20), arrived home in Buffalo at 5:30pm, had dinner with the family, and then headed to Rochester with my sister Katelyn at around 1:30am Saturday morning. During the car ride down to Borders Books & Music in Henrietta, the three things that ran through my mind were 1) I had been in a car for most of the day 2) I would be awake for more than 48 hours and 3) I was going to be able to see my inspiration once again--Sarah Palin.

My sister and I arrived at Borders at 2:30am. I was shocked to see so many people lined up this early to see Sarah! So we quickly scoped out a parking spot, parked, and then headed to the back of the line where about 200 Sarah Supporters stood in front of us. Once we claimed our spot in line, my sister pulled out some blankets, I wiped out the pillows, and then we immediately walked to find some type of caffeine whether it was coffee or soda. The caffeine hunt didn't take long since there were plenty of places to purchase it--Wegmans, Tim Hortons, and Panera. So we got our large coffees and headed back to meet and greet the people who were camping out around us.

From 3am until it was time to head inside Borders, Katelyn and I bonded with the many people who surrounded us. Most of them were much older then the both of us (my sister 17 and me 20) but our ages were what stirred up a lot of conversation. People were impressed and thrilled to see young Sarah Palin supporters and several people asked why we supported her. Since my sister was still a new comer to politics and to what Sarah stood for and believed in, I took the lead when it came to telling people what I love about Sarah Palin and why I support her. I even did an interview with a local news station and later, while standing in line, I did another interview with a news reporter from my home town. After doing a bunch of talking and two interviews, my sister asked me, "aren't you tired of talking?" My answer to her was, no! Every chance I get to talk about Governor Palin, I feel honored and it's so easy to talk about her to others because I know and admire so much about her! So it's always a joy when speaking about Sarah Palin.

So the sun rose and 9am came around much quicker than I expected! Our over night crew made it into Borders and received wristbands. At this point, not only were we psyched that we all had been given a chance to see Sarah Palin; we were also thrilled that we had a few hours to rest and get something other than coffee in our stomachs!

11am rolled around and my sister and I decided that we were just going to hang out in Borders for a while. We met up with Ron Devito, the author of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's Accomplishments and "Vidsweet", who is another Sarah Supporter and makes video tributes for Palin and other political figures. The four of us planted ourselves at a table for several hours, reading "Going Rogue", checking email, and making phone calls to family and friends, letting them know that we were still alive! While sitting in Borders, I also met a member of Governor Palin's staff, Russell. Russell worked during the election for the McCain-Palin Campaign. As we were talking, we came to realize that we went to school together! What a small world!

We heard that Sarah Palin would be arriving earlier than expected, so the line began to form around 4pm instead of 4:30pm. My sister and I found the people we were with earlier Saturday morning and secured our spot in line. The crowed started yelling--Sarah, Sarah, Sarah...and then we all decided to sing the National Anthem. At around 6pm, a group of protesters showed up. I just laughed and wondered why they decided to show up now. Where were they at 3am!?! And the funny thing was that they were protesting Governor Palin's views on gay marriage, which are the same as Obama's! They were still there screaming and shouting but the large crowd of Sarah Supporters began to yell "Sarah Palin chants" again to over power them.

FINALLY, it was our turn to head inside. On top of the excitement of seeing Governor Palin again, I was so happy to be inside where it was cozy and warm! As we walked passed the Borders employees who checked our wristbands, I could see the table where Sarah Palin was sitting at, and as I walked a little further, I looked, and there she was! As others saw her, their hearts began to beat faster and they became much more nervous than they were when they were standing outside. This was not the case for me because I had met Sarah Palin before. Instead of becoming nervous, I got excited and the biggest smile grew on my face because I was so happy to see her again.

The line wrapped around shelves and shelves of books. When the line came to a halt, people took pictures to capture the moment. I was mesmerized by the music playing. It was country music and I knew right away that Governor Palin picked that music to play while she signed books!

While enjoying the great country music that was playing, my sister and I inched closer and closer to the book signing table. I stopped to take a picture with Adrienne, the author and editor of Motivation Truth and Jason Recher, a member of Sarah Palin's staff. Then it was our turn to see Governor Palin. I let my sister go before me because I wanted to see the happiness that formed in her eyes when she spoke with Sarah Palin, because that's what happens when you meet her. A feeling of such happiness and joy runs through your body when you first meet Governor Palin. She makes you feel so special and important. It's almost like your the only person who exists at that very moment. Governor Palin shook my sisters hand, asked her name, complimented on her shirt that said, "Going Rogue with Sarah!", she asked how old she was and what she planned to do after she graduates in June. My sister walked away from Sarah Palin with the biggest smile on her face. I had never seen her smile like that before!

Next was me. I walked up to Governor Palin and put my hand out to greet her. She shook my hand and told me she remembered meeting me in Auburn, NY! She asked how I was doing and from there the conversation grew. I choose not to share the words that were exchanged between Sarah Palin and I because what I shared with her was personal, but the short moment that we shared together will remain forever in my heart. One thing I will share with you is that before I walked away, Governor Palin thanked me for getting my sister into politics and for educating her about who Sarah really is. I was confused as to how she knew Katelyn and I were sisters. I later found out that my sister told Sarah Palin that I was the person who educated her about who Governor Palin really is. And as Katelyn said that, she pointed to me.

After speaking with the Governor, my sister and I had the privilege of staying in Borders to meet some of Sarah Palin's family. We spoke with one of Governor Palin's aunts who was also holding baby Trig at the time. I said hello to Trig and he grabbed my thumb and held it for a few seconds and then let go. Her aunt couldn't thank us enough for supporting Sarah! After speaking with Governor Palin's aunt, we spoke with her parents, Chuck and Sally Heath. They are probably two of the most kind, loving, and caring people I have ever met. First off, Mr Heath told me, "I absolutely love your sweatshirt!" Then Mr and Mrs Heath asked us about school, our family and why we supported their daughter. After we told them, they both gave us a warm hug and said thank you, thank you, thank you! And before they walked away, Mr and Mrs Heath came back and told us that it was nice to meet two beautiful, nice, and intelligent girls.

The day quickly came to an end and all the energy that had been running through our bodies all day long began to wear off. That's when we started to realize how tired and sore we were! We decided that getting a bit to eat and off our feet was wonderful idea!

So as Adrienne, Ron, "Vidsweet", Katelyn and I were about to leave Borders, a man walked straight through the main doors and said, "Sorry, I missed you, Sarah!" and threw an egg at the display of the Governor's books and left. None of us really knew how to react because we couldn't believe that something like this happened. Katelyn and Adrienne looked around to see where the egg had splattered while the rest of us glanced to see where this man went. Once we realized he was gone, I made sure everyone else was ok. I noticed that Adrienne had gotten some of the egg all over her clothes. So Adrienne went in the back to change while the rest of us tried to replay what had just happened in our heads. Ron had gone outside to see if he could spot the "egg-man" and when he came back inside, he informed us that the police had caught him.

When Adrienne came back from changing her clothes, I filled her in on the news that we had found out. Immediately, Adrienne walked outside to where the police was holding the egg-man. We followed because we wanted to hear his reason as to why he did what he did. So when Adrienne asked him what his deal was, he answered back saying that his intent was to hit Sarah with the egg, but he was too late! He also apologized for hitting Adrienne and wanted her address so that he could pay for dry cleaning. Don't worry--Adrienne didn't give the egg-man her address. As Adrienne said, "Don't even ask a dumb question. Y'all know I did not give that man my address!." This man was a complete nut case and the reason he wanted to egg Sarah arose from something that he watched on TV. So he let his emotions get to him and came to Borders with hopes of hurting the governor! How crazy is that!

I am blaming the media on this one! They have done everything in their power to make Sarah Palin seem like she's this horrible person, but the reality is that, these so-called journalists are the horrible people! Instead of reporting the facts, instead of reporting the truth, they are reporting all of these false rumors and lies, and these rumors and lies are what fill up many Americans heads! This needs to change!

Adrienne had the option of pressing charges, but it would have been so inconvenient since she would of had to stay later and fill out paper work and then come back for a court date (she lives four hours from Rochester). So the egg-man was left with the police and several copies of Sarah Palin's book, "Going Rogue". I thought since the egg-man would have to pay for over ten copies of Sarah's book, maybe he could read one of them and find out who Sarah Palin is unfiltered instead of through the media!

While talking over dinner, we all mentioned that the egg-man incident could have been much worse than it really was. This man could have walked into Borders with something much more dangerous than an egg! So we were very grateful! We were also very happy that Governor Palin had left before the egg-man arrived at Borders. If he had shown up while Sarah was still signing books, well, lets just say it would have been one big mess! So after the incident, I made sure I prayed, thanking God for keeping us, all the other Sarah Supporters, and most of all, Sarah Palin safe!

Katelyn and I headed home after dinner, or I guess you can say breakfast, since it was already 12am, on Sunday morning! On the ride home, I had to keep telling myself to stay awake, but once I started to go back over the past couple of days, keeping my eyes open wasn't a problem. This weekend was absolutely amazing and nothing could change that--not even the egg-man!

I met so many wonderful people who love and support Governor Palin like I do! I was able to see Sarah Palin once again. Getting to see and talk to Sarah is always an honor and I cannot wait to see her again--hopefully in Alaska! I am so glad to have met some of Sarah Palin's family. They are such kind and loving people and you can see how proud they are of Sarah and how thankful they are of all her supporters.

One of the best things that happened this weekend was seeing a side of my sister that I had never seen before. She opened up to so many people and listened to their life stories and why they loved Sarah Palin. This allowed her to open her heart and mind to the wonderful person Sarah Palin is. Katelyn read "Going Rogue" and cannot stop talking about how much she loved reading it. She now understands why so many Americans support Sarah Palin and she is now one of us Palinistas!

This weekend was a long weekend and a cold weekend. But all that time, waiting outside in the cold and surviving on coffee was worth the time we were given to spend with Governor Palin--my inspiration! So thank you God and thank you Sarah.



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