Sunday, July 08, 2007

Floyd's Lancaster Booksigning and More

Amber Landis and I at Floyd's book signing in Lancaster , PA June 29.

Hi all, this will be late in coming to you I know, and there is nothing earth shattering in it, but I have tons to do and so little time to do it all in. Who said summertime when the living is easy? Gershwin? :-) Anyway I'll start with Friday (Saturday was fun, but no Floyd content, let me know if you all want to hear what a tourist trap Intercourse,PA is and I'll tell you about it) We did start out Friday having breakfast at the Oregon Dairy where everyone gets a doughnut and ice cold glass of milk with a breakfast order. Great food, scary calories, but it was kind of on the "Landis Reality Tour" so we went there.(this was where Floyd had his first job as a grocery checker) I'll skip to the chase since the rest of Friday was a lot of shopping nonsense. We were staying in Ephrata at Doneckers(we did not know at that time that we might have stayed with Floyd and company at the Hurst House, oh well no one told me!) and had to head down rte. 222 to Fruitville Pike to the Barnes&Noble, about 20 minutes away. I figured that there would be about 100 seats available at the signing and that if we left @ 5 we would find 2. We got there at 5:20 and there were only 50 seats and they were all taken, the signing started at 7. There were,as it turns out, two seats in the front row not together that someone noticed, and a nice gentleman moved over so I could sit with Mark and we wound up with seats 1 and 2, go figure. I was sitting next to a very nervous young man who was thrilled to be seeing Floyd in person, the people behind us were nice and we all chatted as we dared not get up. They roped off the seating area at 6, it was like being caught in a crime scene. We were allowed to go for bathroom breaks. The B&N folks ran the show, and were obviously delighted that by the time 6:15 came around there were more than 400 people waiting to be "Floyded." At 6:30 the manager of the B&N came out and announced to those seated that Floyd had been in a car accident on the way and that they were all being checked out by ambulance personnel , but that no one was injured! As it turns out Amber Landis and Brooke Emerson were in the accident and were thankfully OK. Floyd walked into the B&N book singing area, saw me and Mark and said "hi" telling us the girls were fine and not to worry. He then answered questions for about 15 minutes, nothing really revealing at this point. He was then told he had to start signing books so we all got out our little post-its to write what we wanted him to write in our books. He came over to me to ask if I brought brownies, I said yes and thought, shoot I do other things too Floyd!! :-) He signed our books first and we had a couple of laughs but no time to talk of course. By them Tammy and Neal Martin and the Umbles (old friends of the Landis family) were let into the "police tape" and we stood there for 2 hours and talked with them. Amber (Floyd's wife) and Brooke Emerson joined us and we spent until almost 10 talking. Mark (my husband) and I were hungry and it looked like it would be a LONG time before Floyd was done so we begged off dinner with the crew and got a bite. Not exciting stuff I know, but that was Friday. It's funny because I know that it must be wonderful to go home, but everyone there seems to expect so much from Floyd, and at this point Floyd may be (IMHO) running out of stuff to give.

Floyd signing his book in Lancaster, PA June 29th.

On Sunday we got to Green Mountain early and Jen Farrington (an old friend of Floyd's, she and her husband Mike ar
e wonderful people who have loved him since he was a kid) and I went up to the ride staging area to cross the names of the paying riders off the lists and "band" them with purple arm bands so we knew who got food after the ride and who was just there for the ride itself. Only a few minor disagreements ensued, some people wanted to just pay and go, but as Jen explained, they had food for just over 100 people and no more. Mark went off to get ready to ride with Floyd and I went back to the picnic area and started working: getting tables ready, putting food out, cooking, ect, boring stuff I will skip over. Floyd got back from breakfast late and almost hit me with Mike's Harley in the driveway, something I will not forget!! :-) And he rushed up to the staging area and the cyclists were off. They were gone for about 1.5 hours (easy 20 mile ride). All the cyclists started filtering back to Green Mountain where the picnic was held out back. Floyd got back and went upstairs for a shower and to just sit. I knew he was mentally getting himself ready to meet and greet the masses, I can't imagine having to deal with it all frankly. I went up to the kitchen to get a bottle opener for a Blue Moon and Floyd, Amber, and Ryan were all snuggling on the Farrington's couch for a quiet moment of togetherness, which I only momentarily interrupted to ask if they required anything. Floyd came down with Ryan about 20 minutes later and was ushered into a canopied tent to sign books and chat. That went on for well over 2 hours and he never did get much to eat. He finally headed to the garage and tried to politely "hide" in there for awhile. Mark and I acted as buffers for him as he tried to talk to his Mom and Dad and some actual friends. Floyd and I chatted briefly on and off, the only really interesting moment for me came when for whatever reason there was (for a second or two no one else in garage). I was standing close to Floyd looking at him, saying nothing (I was sun burned , tired, and hungry myself) and I must have had a strange expression on my face (one which I assure you all I was not aware) and Floyd started looking very concerned and said to me," I'll be all right, really I will. You don't have to worry about me". And he looked at me like he was worried about ME. I never got a chance to respond as people realized he was in the garage and came up to him to talk. He finally got himself out of there about 6 (the picnic had started at 2:30) and went upstairs to chill. I felt slightly like an intruder frankly and so after cleaning up the yard with some friends of the Farringtons we went up to say good-bye to Floyd. He shook my hand, said stay in touch, and then he said I KNOW you will!! :-) Funny guy. One of the best parts of the weekend was that I got a great chance to visit with Arlene and Paul Landis, we spoke for well over an hour and they are the nicest people on the face of the earth. As a matter of fact Arlene had called me on my cell phone at 6:45AM Sunday to ask if I wanted to go to church with them. Mark and I had been out late the night before celebrating our anniversary and I was in no shape to go to church :-) But I did have a real excuse as I had to be at Green Mountain Cyclery early to set up for the picnic. It was another wonderful weekend in Lancaster County, and as do all the people who root for and love Floyd I too wait anxiously for the arbitration decision to come down. For more pictures from the above events go to:

Floyd signs books, and lots of other things at the" ride with Floyd picnic" in Ephrata, PA Sunday July, 1.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that with us, Paula! Sounds like a really great weekend. Hope Floyd isn't getting TOO worn out -- that would be really tough. The support he is receiving is AMAZING, though!! We're all still crossing our fingers for him :)

Julie said...

Thanks Paula! Got me bawling, but thanks! ;-)

cat2bike said...

Oh, Paula, what a sweet story of the weekend! It got me teary too. His life hasn't been his own, since he won the Tour, good and bad! Just to be alone with his family, is a challenge that we forget. Because, rather he wanted it or not, we all believe a little piece of him is ours! Or at least, I do!!


strbuk said...

Thanks for all of your comments! I wish you all could have been there too, it was an interesting weekend to say the least!


Cheryl from Maryland said...

Thanks for the details Paula -- you were working hard! Belated best wishes for your anniversary.