Monday, April 20, 2009

Did I mention that I met Paula Poundstone?


Okay, perhaps "met" is too strong a word. It all happened like this -

After rushing around at to leave my house at O dark thirty, so I could arrive early and find a good seat, I found myself sitting still on the freeway, not once, but twice. Two different groups felt a need to stage freeway clogging accidents. Each problem was magnified by the presence of various emergency vehicles blocking one lane and, of course, hundreds of tow trucks blocking two more. So, instead of arriving early, I was late. The main parking lots were all full, so I had to search for parking and hustle from a surface lot a few blocks away. Needless to say, the prime seats were taken. But seats were available. I sat in a smallish area off to the side of the stage, not the best seats, but close enough so I could watch the people on the stage, rather than the giant monitors.

My butt was in the seat for approximately 2.5 seconds before the session began, not because I managed to arrive on time, but because our Mayor was also late - thanks Bill!

So I did hear the entire session. I learned that Capstone is a family owned business, Mayor White's wife is a Blue Bonnet Award-Nominated author, and a women's leadership group started the Texas public library system. Mayor White thanked the Houston librarians who quickly set up a day care system for city employees in the days following hurricane Ike. City employees were required to report for work long before the private sector.

Awards were handed out. I was amazed at the accomplishments read off for many of the librarians, support staff, and volunteers.

Finally, the master of ceremonies introduced Paula! The TLA board asked Paula to address the Texas librarians because Paula is a long-time supporter of public libraries and an author. Paula says it took her nine years to write There's Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say. Paula went on to entertain us until the master of ceremonies stepped in to announce that our time with Paula had come to an end. Paula was surprised, we were disappointed. Once Paula left the stage, the hall emptied quickly. Those of us in the overflow area were directed to a separate exit.

And that's where I met Paula!

I walked out the exit, turned the corner and found a librarian waving a camera in front of her. She wanted someone to take a picture. I volunteered, then noticed that the second person was Paula Poundstone.

Before I could speak, or focus the camera, Paula said, "just a minute." Then she shouted to someone at the other end of the hall. That woman has some lungs.

While Paula conducted her hall-length conversation, one of the librarians friends stepped up to take the picture. I handed of the camera as requested, and said "you're welcome" when thanked.

I glanced at Paula. I wanted to thank her for speaking to us. She was still talking to the person at the other end of the hall. I smiled and stepped away.


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1 comment:

conarnold said...

What fun! I can imagine that she has a great set of lungs when she shouts at sometone! Thanks for sharing your experience, Charlotte!