Happy Friday everyone! I’m looking forward to this weekend as I don’t have a lot on my plate so that I can just relax. After Thanksgiving, work is expected to get busy fast. That being said, it will not be the busiest I have ever been. No, when I think about times that I was super busy, I tend to ponder those times when I have been working on a campaign while teaching and more. One of those times was the fall of 2012. I was teaching then and working pretty much on a full-time basis for the Obama campaign as well. To say that I was exhausted would be an understatement. Yet, when the chance to go to a book talk and signing with John Taylor came up, I could not pass it up.
In my case, this book talk and signing was taking place during the week in Chicago. Normally, if I was planning on driving to Chicago, I would stay over night somewhere as Chicago is, at least, two and a half hours away without traffic. That being said, I knew that I couldn’t do that for this event. I had multiple days off from work coming up in order to participate in the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) effort that takes place the last four days of an electoral campaign. This book talk was happening the week before GOTV. So, if I was going to go, I would have to suck it up and drive there and back the same night. I would also know that I would be getting little sleep that night, adding to the lack of sleep I had already been getting. All the signs were there to tell me NOT to go but it was John Taylor. What would you do in my situation? You would suck it up and drive there and back, getting little, little sleep, right?
Looking back, almost 10 years ago, I remember the evening being pretty awesome. It started with John reading a little from the book, answering questions from the moderator and the audience. I think we had the chance to eat while we listened. Luckily, I was at a great table with a bunch of Midwest Duranies I had met at various events. Then, after the talk was over, we all lined up to get our books personally autographed. From what I remember, John planned to sign everyone’s book so no one was worried about getting the autograph. We all just had to be patient. As we stood in line, I fielded lots of calls from volunteers and campaign people about Get Out the Vote. I kept shaking my head as I answered the phone while trying to maintain my part in conversations with others. While it was not how I wished it was, I knew that I had to do what I had committed to do.
Once you got close to John, you were handed a post-it note to write your name on it and anything else you had hoped he would write in your copy of the book. In my case, I actually had two copies with me, one for me and one for Rhonda who could not attend an event herself. I didn’t know if he would be willing to sign a second book for me but I figured that I would try. The other thing I had with me was a Daily Duranie wristband. For awhile there, Rhonda and I got wristbands made to advertise this blog and website. I figured that I could hand him one, if I got up the courage. After all, I didn’t want to put him in an awkward situation.
When I got up to John, I handed him both books and asked him to sign both. He readily agreed, which was so kind of him. He noted that my version of the book was the UK version, which had a different cover. I explained that since it was released there first, I had to get one there as I could not wait. So, in my copy, he drew the union jack flag and in Rhonda’s, which was a US version, he drew an American flag. It was a cute extra. I also was brave enough to hand him a wristband. As I stood there, I noticed that he had received gifts from others and those gifts were to his side. I assumed the wristband would join the pile. Interestingly enough, at the end of the night, I had to pass back through the signing table to grab my coat. (So typical of me to put my coat in the wrong place!) Anyway, as I passed him, I glanced at him and noticed that he was actually wearing the wristband! That was unexpectedly awesome!
This fact caused me to have a big smile on my face the entire drive home. It made my exhaustion the next day at work worth it. I could not even complain when I got sick from exhaustion the following weekend during Get Out the Vote. It was all very much worth it.