I have loved Julie Andrews ever since I can remember. The first time I heard something she sang was when I was about 5 and we were rehearsing a number for my dance recital...the song Do-Re-Mi from the Sound of Music. As I grew older I learned all of the songs from The Sound of Music, thanks to my grandmother, who loved the movie. My sister can also confirm that The Sound of Music soundtrack was one of the few tapes we were allowed to play in their car when we took vacations. Although I cannot quite understand why it took me so long to actually see the movie in full. Usually when we watched it I was only allowed to see up to "So Long Farewell" and then it was off to bed with me like the rest of the VonTrapp Children.
As I grew older I of course finally saw the end of The Sound of Music, and also Mary Poppins. When the Princess Diaries I was more excited to see Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse than the actual storyline. It still is one of my favorite movies that I can just put on and lose myself in.
So that brings me to last month. I follow a few former Borders Managers and Asst Managers. Some of which have gotten other jobs with in the book industry. Imagine my reaction when one of them posted that Julie Andrews would be doing a book signing at Fairfield University Bookstore in Fairfield, CT. I didn't know what to do! I posted on facebook asking my friends if I should even consider going. I mean it's an hour and a half away from me, and I didn't even have details yet. The answer was a resounding YES!
So a couple days after the announcement the details came through. Tickets would be available if you purchased one of her children's books. They would start giving out tickets February 1st at opening. So I questioned myself again...did I really want to drive to Fairfield twice in 1 week. I decided to leave it up to fate. If I ended up with a closing shift or off on February 1st I would do it. As luck had it, I didn't have to work until 2 on Feb 1st so my mom and I took the trek (so that we could get a book and line ticket for my sister as well). Apparently all the tickets were taken within 2 hours of the store being open!
So today was the day! My sister Jennifer and I arrived at the bookstore around 1:45, an hour prior to lineup. We had our tickets and because we were early ended up being placed 20 and 21st in line. Around 2:30 they started queuing us up. Honestly the only complaint we had was that we were queued too early. The signing started later than scheduled and because we were queued in a tight space (and not really moving) our backs started to hurt.
An impromptu sing-a-long took place while we were waiting to go to the signing area. Imagine a whole bunch of strangers belting out Do-Re-Mi for Julie Andrews (who was already in place) to hear. Amazing and fun! Around 3:15 or so the first 25 people were brought up to the signing area. The girls in front of Jennifer and I posed an interesting question, "What do you say to Julie Andrews." I pondered it the entire time we were queued and upstairs. The line moved rather quickly and soon I was waiting to actually meet her, I heard her say "hello" to the girls ahead of me and I really couldn't believe it. She seriously sounds the way you hear her in movies.
Finally it was my turn. I went up to her table and just stared at her, she really is a beautiful woman. She asked how I was and I said "Good." I then blurted out "I have loved you since I was 5 years old" She replied "Oh how nice!" She then asked if the book I had was for me and I said "No it's for my 10 month old daughter." She then said "I hope she grows to love it." I told her "I will ensure that she does."
Then it was time for me to go. Yes there were no photographs, or any personalization, but it was because her schedule was so tight. I am so very blessed that I got to see someone who I have idolized for a very long time, that I truly didn't care about it!
I do have to give kudos to the staff at Fairfield University Bookstore, who put on a great event. They had their cafe staff running back and forth to the queue to get people drinks if they wanted them. Their bookstore staff were very personable and friendly to all the people who showed up!
A big thanks to Craig Kennedy whom without I would have NEVER found out about the event!!!!
By the way it is quite surreal going to this bookstore, it was fomerly a Borders so all the fixtures, sign holders, shelf talkers etc. are Borders things. It made me sad in a way.....
Here I am in line with my book (and post-it with my place number)
Here is the autograph!
Sister's chiming in! haha!
I do have to say that even though her schedule was so tight and there were no photographs or personalization of the books, she did take the time to speak for just a few moments with everyone. Even when she was done signing my book she continued to talk with me and I was not being ushered away - which I thought was great. In a way that is almost more personal than her signing a book to a particular person.
It was a great experience. And a big thanks to my mom who went along for the first trip so that I could have a place in line as well.
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