This year, Mr. Snowbird and I got hooked on a local author, Randy Wayne White. Randy used to be a fishing guide on Sanibel at Tarpon Bay Marina. When the government took over Tarpon Bay Marina to become part of Ding Darling, he became an author of the Doc Ford series. Doc is a marine biologist who lives at Dinkins Bay on Sanibel. Dinkins Bay just happens to be where Tarpon Bay Marina was. Randy chose today, March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, busiest week of the year on Sanibel for his book signing of his latest book, Black Widow. If you check out his site (which I linked above) it states that national publication date of his 15th book is March 18th,2008 and that it is illegal to sell the book before that time. Soooo, I guess my book and hundreds of others sold today are illegal!
The book signing was held at--where else--Doc Ford's Rum Bar and Grille on Sanibel. Randy is a part owner and apparently does a lot of his writing in one of the booths at Doc Fords. Anyway, the signing was supposed to be from 2-5 and from 9-? today. We got there right at 2:00 and couldn't even find a parking place. Many cars were even parked across the street in the church parking lot. Luckily someone was pulling out as we pulled in. Then when we walked into the restaurant, it was nuts!!! First of all we were to take a number but couldn't find the gal who was handing out numbers! Finally found her then we had to go to the bar to buy the book. (No one told us we could buy it in the other building where the signing was). They obviously had NO idea that there were going to be hundreds of people showing up not only to eat but for the signing. So, the poor gal at the bar selling books was also making drinks, taking orders etc. After we finally got out number--#105--we went out to stand on the walkway between the restaurant and the Rum Bar. And we stood and we stood and we stood. It seems that Randy was flying in and then had to drive from the airport to the island. Doc Ford's is pretty much in the center of the island and today what usually takes about 10 minutes was taking 45 minutes!! Did I mention it is the busiest week of the year? So Randy was about 45 minutes late. So, we stood and stood and stood some more. We stood in line from another volunteer from CROW who had been to all of his book signings and she said she had never experienced anything like this.
We finally got through the door of the Rum Bar at about 4:35 and managed to get up to the table at 5:00.
Here we are inside, finally. Look at all those people eating, drinking and enjoying the atmosphere while we stood and stood and stood!! Either they had lower numbers than we did or they didn't buy the book.
Of course they had all kinds of Doc Ford stuff for sale while we were in there waiting. Books, T shirts (which I had to get), coffee cups, shot glasses, etc.
Once we got to the table, we handed him a piece of paper (actually our #105) with what we wanted him to sign in the book. He actually wrote To Dear Chuck and Nancy, Randy Wayne White 3 17 8. So now everyone who ever sees my book will know it was purchased on the day before it was supposed to. :) Randy was very personable and took time to sign books, shirts (mine included) and to take pictures with people. I'm sure glad we had #105. I feel sorry for the person who had #192.
So, after we stood and stood and stood, I finally got to stand next to Randy Wayne White. Doesn't he look thrilled??? LOL
We decided that after waiting for 3 hours to get our book signed, we would sit down and enjoy a meal at Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar and Grille. So, we headed to the front desk and were told that it would be an hour wait!! Guess what? We ate at Matzaluna tonight instead.