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Wow, what a day!
I woke up this morning and decided what the heck...I'm 30 minutes away from a Gary Lowenthal signing and I'd be crazy if I didn't at least go and see what it was all about. My husband, daughters and I arrived right at 10:00 when the store opened. I had actually wanted to get there earlier but you know me and mornings...Anyway, there were quite a few people there but not as many as I expected. They had a nice system going. You were to go in the store first and make your purchase. Not a problem! In we went and I bought both Amy and Angie "Bethany Thistlebeary". They were very excited. Well, that was easy. I could've spent tons of $$ on furry friends but I had to control myself today.

We stood in line for about half an hour to pay for the bears. There were some people with boxes and boxes of resin and many of them with that wonderful red dot on them. They were spending much more then the $20 minimum...those lucky ducks! While waiting in line, one of the store owners came and gave each of my girls a free pin. These were only for kids...DRATS! They were very cute too. It was "Sabrina...Bippity Boppity Boo".

After paying for our purchase, I wasn't sure what to do with myself. Dave took my girls to various stores in the mall while I just "hung out". At this point, I still didn't know if I was going to be able to get a paw pass or not, but I at least wanted to see THB before I left. I enjoyed watching what all the ladies were buying and I also stood at the desk where they would let us know if they had any extra paw passes. The lady working at that desk, had Angie go get her a shopping basket and for doing that, Angie got to go in the store and pick out another free pin! She chose "Queen Bee" and I must say that it fits her to a tee!

Gary came out right at 11:00 sharp, and of course, the crowd went crazy! I saw all kinds of Boyds fanatics, all decked out in Boyds tees, the hats both with and without ears, pins...you name it...they had it on. I was more on the simple side of things and just wore a denim dress. Before he sat down to sign, he stood up and talked briefly about a couple of things, and I couldn't hear it all, but what I did hear and see was him showing us 4 new prototypes of what is and may be coming out next. I took a picture but it didn't turn out too well. I hope you can see it. He told us all to vote on it and tell if we love it, hate it, or just plain want him to slow down on making "stuff". I don't think he gave out names of these items but they were very cute for all you resin bearstone lovers. Also, one that isn't pictured, but is very cute and I'm sure will be a big hit was a little house where the roof comes off and you can see the little bears inside. Sooo cute! He also told us that when we get our turn and he asks us how we are, we need to say back to him "TERRRIFFIC, and how are you?" He said if you get up there and say "fine, how are you?" then you have to go back to the end of the line. Well, I guess everyone did okay and remembered because there wasn't anyone that had to start over in line that I was aware of.

Once he started to sign, things went pretty fast really. I still had an hour to wait to see if I could even have a paw pass. I just watched and listened to everyone. Everyone (mostly women, I must say) seemed to be having a very good time. That hour between 11 and 12 seemed to drag on forever. Would I be able to get a paw pass?? Oh please, oh please! Finally, it was 12 noon, and yes they had 19 paw passes that didn't get picked up. I was #6 on the reserve list so I GOT ONE!! I was very happy to say the least. I was #159 and at that point they were only at about #75...Ugh...more waiting! I told Dave to take my girls out to lunch. He did that with no arguments. I just stayed there and hung around some more. I did meet a fellow Utahn that I have emailed with in the past, so it was really fun to put a face with the name and email address. Her name was Caisa and I see her post at BNB occasionally. She lives in Provo, Utah.

As I was waiting, I was able to get a little closer and sit in a chair to finish out my wait! Ahhhh, now that felt good to sit down. They had all kinds of cookies, brownies, lemonade and water for us, so I had to take advantage of that. While watching, a woman came through with a giant goodie bouquet. It looked like it had giant balloons, cookies and I think a book inside. Anyway, this was Lisa Hatch, Marie Osmond's assistant! She took it up to Gary and gave it to him and welcomed him to Utah. She then said to the crowd that they need to get Gary on the Marie Osmond show. Again, the crowd cheered! I guess it was almost set for him to be on the show right about the time of his surgeries, but of course, had to be put off. Someone from the crowd yelled that he needed to be on the show for about a week straight...not just a day. He then said that he needs to replace Donnie. He said that he can't sing like Donnie, but he sure is funnier and better looking! I think the day will come that he will be on the Donnie and Marie show! We can hope anyway.

I was inching closer in line and was able to hear more what was being said. This was fun just watching him with everyone. I was very impressed how sweet and kind he was to all of the kids. Every little kid that went up with their mom or whoever, got to play a guessing game. He would have them pick a number between one and ten or one and fifty and if it was the number that he was thinking of then they got a free pin. It was so AMAZING that every child picked the number he was thinking of (giggle, giggle)

Now, I was really getting closer. They were at #144...Woo Hoo, only 15 more to go! Then there was this lady up there getting her things signed, and he announced "This is the lady to mug people!! She has the very first Bailey made!". WOW!! That is so cool. Can you imagine?? And to have it signed too!!

Okay, I was next! Finally! I handed my hubby the camera and had my girls come stand by me. I wanted them to come up with me and to be able to play that "guessing game"...LOL. Sure enough, they picked the # that Gary was thinking of and received another free pin! I told him that we grow 'em smart here in Utah! I also told him, and Sally you'll like this part, that I was a "Contest Lady" groupie!! Aren't you proud of me?? He said that he is a huge fan of the Contest Lady. Well, he signed Braxton and Milhous and now they both have a gen-yoo-ine G.M. Lowenthal tattoo on their footsies!

I'm glad that all of you encouraged me to go today. I was feeling very unsure about what I wanted to do. I'm not sure why I made such a big deal out of nothing, but it all worked out and I had a great time. My girls had fun and got bears and pins to boot! We all got to take home a really cute picture of one of the new mohairs, and I wish I could say for sure, but I think it is Arthur C. Bearington...but I'm not 100% sure on that. It was a cute poster though. I'm sure my hubby was bored stiff all day but he was so very supportive of me. He knew that I did not want to go alone so he went with me! If I ever have another chance to attend a signing, I will do so for sure. It was worth all the waiting and standing around that I did today. I'm hoping that I can make it to Rosemont next year and meet all of you there!

NOTE FROM SALLY -- thanks for your hard work and great photos, Tami!!

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Joanne from Amelia's Hallmark, where the signing was Saturday, just e-mailed me and gave me some more info to pass on to all of you. She was the lady that called all the numbers and had us get in line. She, and all the employees that day, did a wonderful job I must add. Thanks Joanne for passing on this info to all of us. Here is what she said:

"The "house box" you referred to was a prototype...  The pieces inside the box will lift out, he will do several designs...school,  libeary, etc. approximatley $20 each, and a bear who's name I can't spell,  will be on, in, around every house.  We're the only place he has shown it,so he could get collectors reactions.  Almost everyone loved it, so he said, I guess it's a go.

The other 3 pieces we were LUCKY enough to show were Spring 2000 resin pieces.
Momma & Poppa McNewbear w/ Baby Bundles ($17)
Ima Chillin... Takin' it Easy (bear in inner tube) ($17)
Huck w/ Mandy, Zoe & Zack ($21) The crowd favorite!

We had a great day and wonderful, if not completly stressful time preparing  for this event. We had no way of knowing how many people would really show up  or if we would get our product in time."

Isn't that awesome??!! Again, Thanks Joanne!

NOTE FROM SALLY -- and THANK YOU, once again, Tami, for sharing this news with us!


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