*** UPDATES BELOW THIS POST ***
Kristinn Taylor is standing in line at the Barnes & Noble Bookseller store in Orlando along with some 1,000 others who are hoping to get a wristband. Why?
Because Sarah Palin is coming to town.
Kristinn, Free Republic media spokesman, says he arrived at the site at 7:45 a.m. to find that there were already 600 people snaked around the front, side and back of the building. Also across a street between two buildings and back up the block, around the front of another set of stores, down that street, and in front of the local … well, you get the idea. It’s a line that snakes a total of seven blocks long.
“After they opened the doors at 9 a.m. we finally turned the corner to the front of the building, and have half a block to go,” Kristinn said.
“The people in line are roughly 50-50 male-female. Chris Matthews will be disappointed to learn that there are minorities in line also waiting to meet Sarah Palin. The crowd is in a good mood and of course, we’re not leaving piles of trash, and in all other ways are well mannered. And as usual with a gathering of conservatives, law enforcement presence is at a minimum. The women in line for this book signing are much more attractive than the women I saw at the Hillary Clinton booksigning some years ago that the Freepers protested at.”
Mercifully the late autumn Florida weather is cooperating.
“It’s in the 70’s and cloudy with a light breeze, so we’re not getting baked,” said the fair haired, fair skinned Freeper.
Earlier this morning Kristinn says “There was a real good Sarah Palin impersonator here . A dead ringer.”
He says they’ve not been told by book store personnel how many wrist bracelets will be distributed.
“The assistant manager said that yesterday Palin’s tour staff authorized the Orlando store to issue “stand-by” bracelets which means that after those with the lettered bracelets are done, if Palin is up to it she’ll start signing books for those in the stand-by line. But no guarantees. Yesterday, according to a Ft. Bragg Public Affairs Officer, Palin took care of 4,000 people. Another 500 disappointed fans were turned away.
“They were told that Palin has gotten into a good rythym and been able to pick up her pace signing books. The bookstore manager said that in a meeting last week about the stop, stand by bracelets weren’t even an option.”
Earlier today at a Jacksonville book signing, Kristinn says it was reported that 500 bracelets were issued for that book signing.
Palin’s next stop today is at The Villages (site of Glenn Beck’s visit last Saturday), and then it will be on to Orlando with an estimated time of arrival at 7:30 p.m. tonight.
Orlando is the last stop of the first portion of her book tour before Sarah takes a break for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Kristinn says media coverage has been good. “All the Orlando TV stations have been here, and Central Florida News 13 is still on site, conducting interviews.”
So as I leave him, Kristinn is in line. Still…
UPDATE @ 1pm
Kristinn on the phone with me now. Says he was able to get a “stand by” bracelet, and there are still 400 or so behind him who are also receiving stand-by bracelets. The regular bracelets are orange with a alphabetical letter. Stand by bracelets are lime green. “This wrist band does not guarantee you entry”, it reads.
The stand-by’s have formed their own line, and are waiting patiently. He’s been there five hours… and counting.
The store is set up for the book signing, and signage is up for wristband holders organized by alphabetical lettering on the bracelet.
Kristinn is hoping it doesn’t rain, but in the event it does, he’s prepared with an umbrella.
UPDATE at 2:36 p.m.
The B&N district manager has been out to give folks updates. He’s offering hope to the masses that Palin will sign books for some of the stand-by people. “But no guarantees.”
Most of the yellow banded Palin birdwatchers have broken away for lunch or to do other things, and some of them are now drifting back to the bookstore area. Most will return in time for the 7:30 booksigning.
Freeper ExcursionGuy84 is there in the stand by line too.
Kristinn says a couple weirdos showed up, one in a car who drove by and asked why everyone was waiting. “There were 16 of us in line, 12 women. One of them answered ‘Sarah Palin, booksigning’. The weirdo responded with ‘Why are you waiting in line to see that c***’.” Kristinn told him to move on.