Sunday, June 1, 2014

Three C's on Saturday...Camaro, Cincinnati. and Craig Johnson!

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

You're gonna read about a happy, contented Beastly Bear today!!!

Yesterday was completely consumed with our trip to Cinci, and what a trip it was!!!

First of all, I got to drive this...
Yes, that is a 2014 Chevy Camaro SS Convertible!!!
The only problem experienced was this...
We've had a string of absolutely PERFECT days for going topless...oh calm down, I meant the car! Lol

I do not own this car, it belongs to the General Motors "Ambassador" fleet. Employees submit their names to get the chance to drive a vehicle for a week, show it off and hopefully influence someone to buy one! You get to pick the car you want, but not the model. Hence when I signed up for "Camaro #13", I had no idea whether it would be a basic V6 or the ultimate ZL1 Supercharged 600+ HP V8!!! So I show up Wednesday, after jumping through the appropriate hoops I'm handed a set of keys and told: 
"Camaros are in the last row..." Wow, thanks for the help.

So I walk down the row hitting the unlock button when finally "chirp,chirp"!
It's good that there were no camaras around to record the look on my happy I was momentarily rendered a complete idiot complete with lip drool!!!

Of course as soon as I started it started to rain.
Not a springtime drizzle that's here and gone, oh no!
The all day, torrential soaking downpour summer thunder-bumper!!! Not an auspicious beginning.

Thursday dawned clear and bright, and I've been driving the wheels off of it, fulfilling my obligation to show it off! 

Being new to convertible driving, I made a rookie mistake...

No SUNSCREEN!!! Well, not until it was waaaaay too late!!!
Does this look like a guy going to a book signing?!?

Now Mama Bear finds the car claustrophobically confining with the top up, so in order to drive it to Cinci, I had to don a head covering (yes I burned my scalp through my hair...what there is) and slather up on the SPF50!!!

The drive was uneventful, my one bitch is with the State of Ohio!!! What the HELL is the reason 90%
of I-75 is 55-65 mph SPEED LIMIT?!?!?

Arriving at 3:30, prior to the 5:00 pm start time, because never having been to a Craig Johnson signing I had no idea what to expect.

First of all, let me praise the Joseph-Beth Booksellers!
What a wonderful venue for a signing!!! A large, two floor bookstore, they had the author area setup over by a fireplace. A podium and about 100 chairs, and a signing desk to one side.

I have to say, I've never been to a signing I've enjoyed more! No bracelets, no area cordoned off to wait in, and the author would sign ANYTHING not just a book purchased you could bring in your past books, DVD's, shirts, hats, you name it!!!!

There is a small Bistro restaurant within the bookstore, best spinach artichoke dip I've had in a long time!

We took our seats, about a half hour before he was to arrive, second row!

Craig arrived exactly at 5, and thanked us all for coming. 

He spoke for 20 mins. or so, telling stories and talking about the book tour, writing, and "Longmire". The A&E show based on his books! 

"This one time, at Charles De Gaulle airport..."

What a humble, warm and heartfelt man! He went on to read from the first chapter of the book, and then take questions from the audience.
Hard at work, signing my books!

When that was done he sat down to commence the signing. 

Again, here Craig differs from many authors I've met!
He didn't just sign his name on the face page, give a nod and "thank you", now move your ass along....

Craig and your friendly neighborhood Beastly Bear.
Craig took time with each and every person. Talked, yes actually TALKED to his fans! Personalized every signing, asked where you were from, greeted those he recognized from past signings, and posed for pictures!!!

He treated every single one of us like an old friend he was happy to see again, a very personable man.

While we had second row seats, we ended up towards the back of the line, and you know what? It didn't matter!!! Because we got to listen in on all the conversations...and hear the genuine gratitude he has for his fans.

I think Mama Bear and I had probably come the farthest, some 5½ hours each way...but there were also people there from Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia!!!

Each time, Craig seemed surprised by the outpouring of love for his works...and the adoration of his fans.

All I can say is, it's well deserved Craig!!!
You are one class act!

Craig and Judy Johnson.
His wife Judy and he also let slip to us that there is a possibility he'll be in Detroit come October for an event. Nothing definite yet, but if he is, I'll be there...
Count on it!!!

Finally rolled in about 1 am, happy but sore!
It cooled off enough Mama Bear relented and the top went up...guess she'd rather feel closed in than freeze!

Well, that was my Saturday!
Hope yours was at least half as good as mine...
But that makes mine twice as good as yours!!! Lol

Be Well!

Beastly Bear


  1. Gotta give ya this one...I was running the garage sale, day one. It went very well, but Craig Johnson vs garage sale...yeah, clearly you won.

  2. Sounds like a terrific day, but how are you going to give that car back? Looks like a fun ride.

    1. There's the rub joeh! My everyday ride is a 2006 Chevy Aveo 5 door hatchback.....quite the step down.

  3. What a great trip!!!! He sounds like a very down to earth guy.

    We once went on Dead tour in a 1966 Dodge Dart convertible. Drove all the way from MA to Buffalo NY w/ the top down. 9-10 hour trip. Needless to say all of us were fried from the sun. It never occurred to any of us to use sunblock either.

    1. It's an unnatural act to put on sunblock to go for a drive! Lol
      But ya know what? I won't forget again! It hurts to brush my hair!!!! Lol

  4. You certainly had a terrific time with that Camaro, and at the book signing too. Good for you.I don't burn easily, but try to keep sunscreen on hand.

    1. It was a great time Michelle! Welcome back!

  5. Sounds like an amazing time! How thrilling to get the opportunity to cruise around in that awesome car.

    1. It was all good Kathy, the car was great but really enjoyed meeting Craig Johnson!

  6. Wow Beastly Bear, yay you! The Camaro AND Craig Johnson. I'm with you though, I'll take Craig Johnson over that Camaro ANY day. Sounds like a great trip. :)

    1. It was a great time MiMi, and Craig is a great guy!!!
      Welcome back!