TRAVEL HERE: TOUCHED BY ANGELS AND GREATNESS
I’m not much of a groupie. I might buy a book by someone famous, but I probably won’t buy the t-shirt. In fact, I’m a lot more impressed by important people who are already dead and still relevant, than I am the latest and greatest of the moment, but I met some superstars recently.
This week I was invited to a book launch, something I really enjoy. I dream of the day I’ll be the author signing the books, but this wasn’t your average book launch. Not only were the authors celebrities, but the party was on Beverly Drive. If you know Dallas, you know that’s quite an address. When I looked up the agent hosting the party, I realized she was the one who discovered Stephen Covey, the 7 Habits guy. OK, now I was really impressed.
Arriving at Jan Miller’s Beverly Drive address we discovered valets parking cars and Jan herself greeting people at the front door. Her home is gorgeous and on this particular evening, it was very crowded. Regulars to Jan’s soirees said it was the biggest crowd they’d ever seen.
I bought one of the books we were there to launch and found a safe alcove for some serious people watching. Uniformed wait staff passed champagne and canapes. Burly security guards confined the crowd in the appropriate areas. Dallas in all of it’s glory paraded before us. I met everyone from Jan Miller’s accountant to Larry Hagman’s nutritionist, not to mention a radio personality or two.
When the crowd reached fever pitch, Jan stood on her grand staircase and welcomed everyone into her home. Then she told us we were about to get a treat. Grammy award winner Bebe Winans was in the house and was going to sing for us. I’ve been to a lot of book launches and readings, but nothing of that magnitude ever occurred as lagniappe.
But the main event was just starting, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett were introduced. You probably remember Roma best from Touched by and Angel, but her husband is the hottest thing in Hollywood right now. The Voice, The Apprentice, Shark Tank and Survivor, are a few of the shows he’s produced. And somehow, he got The History Channel to present the mini-series The Bible – talk about a miracle.
Now, I expected them to be nice. I’d seen them on interviews and they were there to sell books, so why wouldn’t they be nice, but I didn’t expect them to be SO nice. They are so excited about The Bible project and the book, A Story of GOD and All of Us. They’re also quite humble – they give the main character in the book full credit for everything.
Then the lines began for the book signing. I’d learned many book signings ago, either be among the first or among the last, because standing in line is not much fun. I was not in position to be among the first of the autograph seekers and I’d been standing since the party started, so I moved to one of the chairs that had been vacated. I wasn’t the only one who chose to wait until later, because the two lines stayed about the same length for a very long time.
Finally, I decided I’d better make my move. The line was still there, but it was finally shrinking. I’d been to launches and readings where the opportunity to get your book signed was closed before everyone had had their chance. I didn’t want that to happen in this case.
The lines moved very slowly. Mark and Roma were not just signing books. They were warmly greeting every person and having a conversation with them. This is not your average Hollywood couple. I have no idea how they had the stamina to do this. I was literally among the last few people in line and Mark greeted me as warmly as if I were the very first and with as much genuine interest as if I were someone important. It wasn’t me trying to strike up a conversation with him. He wanted to know if I was enjoying the series. I even had my picture made with him.
Then I was turned over to Roma who hugged me! I told her I admired what they were doing and prayed for their success and protection. She grabbed me by both my hands and talked excitedly about their challenges and expressed her appreciation of my prayers. Such warmth, when all that was required was a “thank you for coming.” Then I was photographed with Roma.