Costco & Sarah Palin

Well, it finally happened. Sarah Palin touched ground in Utah, if only for a few hours.   I arrived at Costco, books in hand, around 7 a.m.  There were already around 100 people waiting, and I eagerly joined the queue .   The mood was one of excitement and camaraderie.   We were all there to see a woman we genuinely admired, and were immediately drawn together in friendly chat about what brought us to Costco on such an early morning.

A side note here.  As many of you know, I work for Costco at the West Bountiful location, however the Salt Lake store was where I was originally hired, and it was like old home week for me.  Everywhere I turned, there was another employee I had previously worked with, including Lucas and Reuel, who were standing in line with me.  It was great to see so many people I liked, but had not seen in years.   What a wonderful start to my day.

As I waited in line, I started talking with a nice guy named Todd.  Of course, the subject matter covered politics and tea parties.  Todd was telling me about his friend who wanted to get more involved, but was not finding people to work with.  I gave Todd my email address, and told him to have his friend contact me.  Said friend showed up shortly thereafter, and turned out to be Troy Ripplinger, who I had previously been in contact with, via email and cell phone.  What a funny coincidence!  We discussed a great project Troy is working on, one that I will be sharing with you, as it  comes online.

Meanwhile, Costco was working hard to keep the crowd happy and comfortable, with hot chocolate, churros and chocolate chip cookies.   In spite of what should have caused the crowd to sink into a lovely sugar crash and chocolate induced coma, the crowd maintained it’s high level of enthusiasm and excitement for the upcoming event.   Costco employees cheerfully walked people to purchase additional books, and take potty breaks.   Excellent crowd control for all these “rowdy” conservatives.

Tickets were distributed, and my number was 110.  My new lucky number!  It had previously been announced that 1000 tickets would be passed out, but the publishing company would only guarantee that 500 people would get to actually meet Sarah.  It was good to receive a ticket numbered under 500.  Another reason for celebration!

Kris Kimball, who I have worked with on different coalitions and events, found me and we spoke for a bit and shared our excitement over meeting Sarah.  I saw a lot of different people there I know from my political activism, and it was good to be with so many like minded individuals.   The wait for Sarah to arrive, was an extremely pleasant experience!

Sarah finally did arrive, and to her credit, she arrived early!   Cheers from the crowd!  And we were moving forward, at a fairly nice pace.   The publishing company had the process down to a science!  Books were collected, personal items such as purses, coats, cell phones and cameras, were deposited into bins, to be collected post Sarah.  And we were herded into the main arena, where Sarah was signing books.   Todd Palin was sitting with Sarah at the table where she was busily signing away.  What a charming couple.

As we approached the table, Sarah made eye contact and asked the name of each person, before shaking their hand, and thanking them for coming.  She was warm, friendly and completely genuine, as was Todd.  Definitely made you feel like she was so happy to see you.  (Side note:  Glenn Beck’s book signing I attended in Layton a year ago, was a similar experience; Laura Ingraham wasn’t quite as nice when I attended one for her, but I love her anyway.  Laura isn’t known for her warm fuzziness!).

As we moved onto the table where we were to pick up our books, Sarah’s parents were greeting people as well.  What an adorable, lovely couple.  It is easy to see where Sarah got her warm and friendly demeanor!  I got my books, and as I left, was asked to make a couple of statements for the Utah Historical Society.  They were collecting people’s comments and feelings on the whole experience.

I ran into Cherilyn Eagar (many of you know, I am working on her senatorial campaign).  We spoke for a bit, and then had a nice conversation with Sarah’s parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, and Sarah’s aunt.  Turns out Cherilyn has friends in common with them, up in Wasilla.   Sarah’s parents and aunt let us take pictures with them.  They were such warm people.  While we were standing there, a Salt Lake Tribune reporter approached them and asked if he could interview them.  Of course, they graciously agreed.  As he started asking his questions, Sally stopped him, and left.  I watched to see her approaching a down syndrome teenager, there with his parents.  Sally gave him a big hug, and spoke at length with him and his parents.  It was so touching to see her enthusiasm in meeting them.  After visiting with them for several minutes, she returned to the Trib reporter.

We then met the girls who were taking care of Trig Palin, while his parents were otherwise engaged.  He was purely adorable.   I love babies, and he was just so good natured and cute.  I asked if I  could take a picture of Trig, and was told “of course.”   She then asked if I would like to hold Trig.   He was so sweet.  And his caregiver used my cell phone to take a picture of the two of us.  I love that picture.  I will definitely have to get it printed up!  Put it next to my picture of me with Glenn Beck.

As we milled around outside the roped off area, a redheaded harridan angrily pushed her shopping cart past the crowd, screaming ‘You are all stupid for buying her book!”  Why are so many liberals so mean and bitter?  It was a completely classless display.   No conservative I know would behave similarly at a Nancy Pelosi book signing.  Just an observation…

One other odd thing.  There was a woman there who was a Sarah Palin “lookalike.”  It was kind of weird.  She had styled her hair like Sarah’s, but her glasses were not quite there.  Although there was a passing resemblance, she was no Sarah Palin.   It did seem like the press was getting a kick out of interviewing her though, so good for her.   But it was just plain strange.

As the crowd was starting to dwindle, Cherilyn decided to get in line to get her book signed, and meet Sarah.  Since “friends don’t let friends stand in line alone,” I joined her for another trip through the line to shake Sarah’s hand.  As we stood in line, we started chatting with a man there named…… Todd.   Apparently Todd was the name of the day!  Todd2 (or as his parents call him, Todd Klein), was delightful to talk to.  He works for Novartis, a company that makes drugs, including chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment.   He was interesting to speak with.

After a second trip past Sarah, it was time for me to head back home.  Thanks for sharing my day with me, here in my very first blog.  Next time I hope to make it something with some actual relevance to someone other than myself…..


14 responses to this post.

  1. Congratulations on your first blog, Susan. Thanks for sharing your experience with Sarah. Wish I could have joined you!


  2. Posted by Lynn Merrill on December 10, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Excellently said. I enjoyed it all over again (although my line wasn’t quite that interesting.


  3. Posted by Zene on December 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Congratulations on a great blog. Wish I had been there too!


  4. Posted by fred on December 10, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Thanks for all you do.


  5. Thank you for blogging this! I’m SO jealous of your experience!!


  6. go girl on the liberal haffidan, those who do not know the facts use volume to express their points. twick thru the line, feet killing you? have a good one


  7. Posted by george gigante on December 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Hey Susan,great job on the new blog,and a very interesting read..:)


  8. Susan I’m so jealous, Bridget told me Sarah was coming to costco so I took the day off. I started watching the news and saw people camping out I thought what’s the use. I was going to go at 6am but thought I’d be to late. She is one of maybe 5 people I would stand in line to meet. I hope she runs for prisident in 2012. Great Job on your blog!


  9. Posted by E Timothy Schomburg on December 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Hey, Susan. Good for you.


  10. Posted by Sharrie on December 10, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Loved your first blog! Love Sarah Palin and sure support her. Would have enjoyed meeting her and her family, but southern Utah was too far to go in winter weather, even for such a good cause. I saw the little blurb that the SLC news gave her, wish it had been more. Keep up the good work!


  11. Looking good so far… you can add a couple pics from the 107.9 album.


  12. Posted by Tenna on December 11, 2009 at 12:15 am

    You have a gift for the written word. It was a very interesting blog! Good luck and keep up the good work.


  13. Susan! Hey, Nice to see you on the blogs! Are you coming to the “Code Red” event next Tuesday at the Capitol?

    David Kirkham


  14. Posted by Becky Dastrup on December 11, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Fabulous read! I wish I could have been there with you. I am proud of you, sister!


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