Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Meeting With President Carter Thwarted

     I heard an interview on my local NPR station, WCPN 90.3 Ideastream, with former President Jimmy Carter last week. Mr. Carter called in to the Sound of Ideas to promote his most recent book, White House Diary, and his upcoming book signing appearance at Joseph Beth Booksellers at Legacy Village. The next day I made the trip to Legacy Village to buy the book and get the required line-voucher that guaranteed my opportunity to meet the former President. Days later, my friend Sarah made the same trip, and we eagerly awaited our exciting meeting, sure that he would sense our enthusiasm for politics and our great respect for him, which would lead him to befriend us both, ask for our help and advice for achieving world peace, and catapult The Itch right up there with The Huffington Post and the Daily Kos! (I know, a little grandiose for a book signing that prohibited dedicated autographs, posed photographs, or even bringing a camera in, but the man was a President, surely he has a sixth sense for talent when he sees it!). But, sadly, it wasn't meant to be.
The unsigned books.
     Sarah and I got there at about 11:30 am for the appearance that was advertised at 1:00 pm but we were told when we bought the books would likely start at about noon. Since it was raining all day, we were grateful that the line was entirely contained within the store, and we were not far from the front. So, we waited. And waited. No Mr. Carter.
    Shortly  after one I checked my email and saw a Politico breaking news notice. The time stamp was 12:50 pm. I read it and learned that Mr. Carter was indeed in Cleveland, but instead of coming to Joseph Beth Booksellers, was at MetroHealth Medical Center being treated for an unknown illness. The attached article indicated he was met by medics as his flight landed at the airport and taken right away to the hospital. About ten minutes after my discovery, the staff at Joseph Beth announced that there was a delay, but the event was not yet canceled. About half hour after that, it was canceled. As a consolation, we were all given 10% off coupons on our total purchase at the bookstore, excluding Vera Bradley products, naturally.
     Sarah and I left the store, broken-hearted and with shattered dreams, and had to settle on lunch at Stir Crazy, a walk through the Apple store, and the word of the staff at the bookstore that the event would be rescheduled.
My friend and Itch fan, Sarah, standing
where we would have met Mr. Carter.
      The day was not a total bust.We enjoyed meeting and talking to several people in line near us, most interestingly a former Secret Service Agent who was on Mr. Carter's protection detail during his presidency. And I got to have a nice lunch.

     I hope Mr. Carter's illness is short-lived and he fully recovers soon. He is a great man and has done his best, more than his fair share, to make our country and the world a better place. Although I was disappointed that I didn't get the opportunity to meet him today, I won't be disappointed if he is unable to reschedule the event, as long as it means he is protecting his health and well being so he can continue his work in a meaningful way. 
     Get well soon, Mr. President!



Anonymous said...

It was a disappointment that we did not get to meet our friend, President Carter. I hope he is feeling better and maybe we will get another chance to meet him. It did turn out to be a good day though. We met some interesting new friends and I had a few informative lessons about congress today! Thanks Itch!!

Cliff said...

I had a sneaky suspicion you might have been one of the fans waiting for him to arrive. I am disappointed for you. I hope when it is rescheduled that you are able to attend.