I was so caught up with the Days of our Lives signing, that I never even imagined it was a possibility to make it to down to Bookends in Ridgewood for the David Spade signing. I wasn’t even thinking about it. That is until I got in the car and it was only 7:05. Spade wasn’t slated to start at Bookends until 7:30. I hit the Bookends address on my GPS and made it there by 7:40.
Let’s talk David Spade screen credits for a minute here. Saturday Night Live. Tommy Boy. Black Sheep. Just Shoot Me! Joe Dirt. Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. 8 Simple Rules. Rules of Engagement. Grown Ups. The man is literally an icon for my generation, and that showed with the average attendee age at Bookends probably being 27.
It was hard to estimate how many people were being I came in after he had started. I’d say there was a solid 40 people ahead of me, but many were in groups, so the line moved fast with David signing extra items and posing for photos. He took a very short break, maybe three minutes, and then started up again. I was out of there in 30 minutes.
Overall, it was a great night. To think, I did two signings, and overall only spent 45 minutes waiting. Not too shabby.
Early last month, the NBC daytime serial Days of our Lives announced a multi-city book tour in conjunction with its 50th anniversary. Kicking off on 10/25, the cast made their way to New Jersey on October 27th when they visited Books & Greetings in nearby Northvale. Luckily, Kenny at Books & Greetings has a great advance order policy, and I placed an order so long ago, I had ticket #5 tonight, so no waiting in line for me. I’ll admit, this event was giving me anxiety. It’s always a toss up as to whether or not photos will be allowed, especially an event this size. 600 people to be exact. I had seen some photos trickling around on the internet of the stars posing for lean-ins at the two preceding signings, so there was hope.
The list was added onto a couple weeks ago with Kristian Alfonso, Billy Flynn, Galen Gering, Deidre Hall, Lauren Koslow, Kate Mansi, Greg Meng, Stephen Nichols, and Thaao Penghlis slated to attend. In the end, producer and author Meng was the only no-show.
Being at the front of the line may have very well worked to my advantage when it came to asking for photos. I got all of them to pose, for quick photos. Thanks to my mother, the photographer! The photo with Galen didn’t turn out so great, and Stephen & Thaao were both looking down in theirs, but I got the two of them in the past, so it’s not a big deal. I got a great photo with Kate, and she was my main want, so I left there on Cloud 9.
Like I said before, being at the front of the line had its advantages. I was out of there by 7:05 and decided not to head straight home…
Well another Chiller is in the books, this time the highly anticipated 25th Anniversary Show. The Chiller staffed pulled out all of the stops on this one bringing back old favorites, as well as long sought after newcomers. The biggest draw for many seemed to be the 50th anniversary celebrations of Batman (Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar) and Lost In Space (Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Angela Cartwright, Bill Mumy). The series’ respective vehicles were also on display out in the parking lot. Having seen these convention circuit regulars in the past, I focused my attention on scoring some new names for the collection, and began my night in the Living Room.
The biggest jackpot for me was having the Bradley sisters from Petticoat Junction (Linda Henning, Gunilla Hutton) right alongside the girls from Hee Haw (Hutton again, LuLu Roman, Barbi Benton, Misty Rowe). I’ve been on a Hee Haw kick lately, damn what a fun series that looked to be a part of. Sadly, as Misty and I went over a cast photo, most of those great performers are gone. Keeping up with the rural theme, I also got Richard Thomas of The Waltons fame.
I then moved into the next room, the Skyland Suite, often the home to television stars to span the generations and much more reasonable prices might I add. If I had an unlimited income, I would have spent the entire evening in here, there were virtually stars from every aspect of film and television in here, several of whom I had met in the past.
I then ended the night, or so I thought, in the Denville Room with the final name on my list, the great Richard Herd, whose screen credits span 45 years. I’m not sure why Richard was stuck in this obscure room, in my opinion, he was certainly worthy of a more notable spot in the bigger rooms. However, as I got to chat with Richard, I realized perhaps it was at his own urging. He was a storyteller, and his tales would not have been as audible or enjoyable out in the main rooms.
At the last minute, I decided to go back into the Skyland Suite to get a photo with Under the Dome star Mackenzie Lintz. Let’s be real here, I’m a sucker for photos with beautiful girls.
I wait six months for Chiller to come and in a little over three hours, it’s over. Regardless of the lineup, you’ll find me at every one, and each time, I’ll conclude with saying I had a great time. It’s true, and I thank Mr. Chiller himself, Kevin Clement, and the rest of his staff. Not many shows can say they have an international fan base, but Chiller does. If you don’t believe me, walk out into the parking lot and look at the license plates. I saw several from Canada. And what beats having so many friends all under one roof? Rich, Bob, Dale, Tim, Penny, Nancy, Paige, Ron, Kathy, Al, Scotty, and I even bumped into a couple of my customers from work! Now for the next six months, you will find me patiently waiting for the next great Chiller show.
On October 14th, I took yet another successful trip to the Bergen County staple, Bookends, to see former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Gingrich and wife Callista were on hand to sign copies of their newest books, Duplicity and Christmas In America.
The event began about 15 minutes late with Callista beginning. Her book, Christmas in America, is a children’s book highlighting Christmas through the ages, a way to spread knowledge to America’s youth who are inadequately schooled on history. Just as Callista began speaking, ABBA’s Dancing Queen began playing. I think we all began looking around to see which rude attendee had not shut off their phone, but it was Newt himself! That certainly provided many laughs. Naturally, with the recent resignation of Speaker John Boehner, Republican & Democratic primary debates taking place weekly, and Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, there was plenty for Newt to discuss with the audience. He gave us a little bit of backstory on his novel, Duplicity, and also regaled us with a tale of Sonny Bono, Cher’s counterpart and later California Congressman.
When it came time to sign, Newt & Callista both signed each other’s books, something which I’ve never seen before. They also made sure no one left without having their photo taken, and at Callista’s recommendation, we were allowed behind the table for photos meaning no dreaded lean overs!!!
As always, a special thank you to Walter and the staff at Bookends for 30+ years of great author signings. They know how to take care of their customers!!! And thank you to my new friends Newt & Callista for having such pride & dedication to the great United States of America!!!
On October 6th, I made a visit to one of my favorite places in Bergen County, Bookends in Ridgewood. I’ve attended countless signings here for over a decade now, but I’ll admit, it’s been over a year since my last visit! Being back in the area now though, I plan on visiting much more often.
Tonight’s 6 o’clock signing was with the great Frankie Avalon, the singer, former teen idol, and star of the Beach Party films and Grease, who signed his new book, Frankie Avalon’s Italian Family Cookbook: From Mom’s Kitchen to Mine and Yours. Mr. Avalon arrived quite early, but the event still started promptly at 6 o’clock. He came in and did a brief talk, introduced longtime friend Tom Austin of the Royal Teens, and then began signing. I’d say there were no less than 50 people there, yet the line moved quite quickly. I brought along the DVD cover from one of my favorite films, Back to the Beach, which Frankie signed. He said, “Ah, you’re from that generation of fans! Great movie, and a pretty star studded cast.”
Overall, Frankie was a true gentleman and the fans were all extremely considerate of one another. A special thanks to Frankie, looking great at 75, and Walter & the team at Bookends. I hope to be back there again real soon!!!