Sara Kirschenbaum
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Inches from President Carter

Posted Thursday, Apr 03rd, 2014 at 12:39am

So I heard President Carter was going to be in town signing copies of his latest book: A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power. This was the incentive I needed to hurry up and finish the 100th letter, publish an early copy of the book of the letters, and rush my new website into production.

President Carter came to the awesome Powell's Bookstore on March 30. I was there in line, two hours early. I tried to park my car (100th letter) where the President could see it but I only found 15-minute parking and had to move it.

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Of course the question comes to mind...what to wear when meeting a former President. I was sorry to find that the most formal things I owned were purple boots!

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There were a few police around, but I was surprised how informal the whole thing was.

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No metal detectors, and no bag searches.

We were given numbers. President Carter was going to sign 1600 books in two hours!

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I got # 359 + 360.

I had secretly brought two advance copies of my book of my letters. And I hoped to ask President Carter if he could get the second one onto President Obama's desk.

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But when it was time to meet the President they wisked us along so fast. It was like being on a souped up moving sidewalk. First they took the books you wanted signed and passed them along to people next to the President. Then as I reached into my bag to pull out the two books I had for Carter they scolded, "No Gifts!"

But I didn't come all this way to give up! So I took them out and considered handing them to the President. Instead I handed them to one of the Powell's helpers who handed them to a secret service agent.

As I passed President Carter, a surprising thing came out of my mouth. I said, "Bless you."

Which struck me as a little condescending. Who did I think I was, the Pope???

Anyway, after the super fast line passed, we were allowed to take pictures. I took this.

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It wasn't until the next day that I saw my books and cards there, on the ground, just a little way from his feet!

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Bless you!

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