Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush signed their books and met hundreds of fans, many of whom started lining up hours ahead of time in the early morning drizzle, today at the Buckhead Borders.
Despite the weather the event started on time and went very smoothly. Security was very tight, and guests went through a metal detector and had their bags searched. (A K-9 detective sniffed over the press early on to make sure we were all OK).
Former President Bush signed his book, “Decision Points,” while Mrs. Bush signed “Spoken From the Heart.” Both chatted amiably with the people who had stood in line yesterday to purchase the books and again this morning to have them signed.
“Good morning! Happy holidays! Good to see you!” Mrs. Bush said as guests filed by to have their books signed.
One woman got choked up at the sight of the former president.
“Aw, come on,” President Bush said. “If you cry, I’ll cry.”
Lisa Craft, an HR consultant from Atlanta, declared as she approached the former first couple, “I’m going to kiss him!”
We found this inadvisable, given all the heat packing the room. But she did!
“Do you see? I kissed them both!” Craft said afterward. “He said, ‘you’re a sweet girl.’”
She didn’t get much face time with the former commander in chief, though.
“There’s so much I wanted to say. I wanted to tell him what a wonderful example he set as a God-fearing man who put the country first,” Craft said. Then inspiration struck. “Do you think they’d let me take a picture with him? I bet you if I asked the president he would say, sure.”
We said that also sounded inadvisable.
“Let’s just try. I tend to get away with a lot,” the crafty Craft said. But we persuaded her to take a photo with a stack of books instead.
Georgia State University marketing instructor Linda Willis said she didn’t mind the frosty wait today and yesterday. Only people who braved yesterday’s cold to buy the books in advance and receive a wristband got in today.
“They shook our hands and spoke. It was a pleasure to meet them,” said Willis, who unlike Craft kept her hands off the former prez and his wife. “Being able to see a president and first lady in person was a privilege. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”