Playing Hooky With Jimmy Carter

My daughters skipped school yesterday & I ignored my laptop so that we could meet President Jimmy Carter at his book signing at The King’s English in Salt Lake City.

We waited in a line that stretched three blocks from the bookstore, but only two and half blocks from Starbucks. The hours went fast as we chatted with fellow Jimmy fans. Plus, the bookstore handed out patriotic taffy to the crowd. Local businesses handed out coupons–I can now get my dogs washed while eating a bucket of discounted bagels. And, of course, campaign volunteers took advantage of a captive audience. I will now be spending an hour making get-out-the vote calls on Monday.

All our local newscasters milled about with their satellite trucks and cameras. My daughters swear that the backs of their heads made it into one of the interviews as they waited in line for hot chocolate.

We finally got closer…

And it was over in a flash. Jimmy Carter signs fast! But he made eye contact and spoke to everyone in line. To my youngest he said, “here you go, sweetheart.” So cool. The other cool thing: he sat right next to my YA novels on the bookstore shelves! I like to think that maybe as he finished signing, he thought: I must learn more about these Big Noses And Other Natural Disasters. Or maybe he thought, I lust in my heart for that girl on the Swoon At Your Own Risk cover.

What’s not so cool. We could only take one photo–after we signed. So everyone has pictures of the people behind them in line. Some people traded email addressed to swap, but I lost sight of my line pal.

Afterwards we lunched at Caputo’s Deli. And maybe we didn’t rush right back to school, but stopped at the Red Balloon toy store. And we might have been spotted trying out a new cupcake place…

After all, it’s not every day that you get to meet one of the guys on your presidential placemat!