Want to share your memories about meeting Nora?
E-mail me with your story.
First -some background on how I even found OUT about such an event. I'd been
on this list (The JDRobb email list) for less than a month, when one of the listers -a LURKING Karen
Daniels - informed me of a "board" called Adwoff. She highly suggested I go
there and visit the site. So I did. And while there, found the history of the
July "event" which at the time consisted of about 10-12 gals converging. Read
their stories and thought to meself.. DAMN! I WANNA GO! So as July was rapidly
approaching - I sent an email and requested information on how to "join"
them. I can't remember if it was NancyD or Sue who responded with the
information - but I called the hotel (HillTop House) and made my reservation for that
Then it hit me. I'm going to Maryland/Virginia - and I don't know ANYONE
who's going to be there. Oops! Okay, I'm brave... but not that brave. So I
called my friend Cathy (from those red-necks I used to hang with) and asked her
if she was interested in a Road Trip! I explained what it was all about, and
she said sure she'd go.
Then while emailing on the list - I found out that our one and only
CARLA...lives not that far from Haggytown. Soooo...I, being the persuasive kinda gal
that I am.. talked her into meeting up with Cathy and I at the signing. In the
weeks just before the siging, since we didn't know what each other looked like
(lol) I sent her a picture. No - it wasn't of me... but hey - it COULD have
been me - in another life. LMAO. It was a picture of a woman in full dessage
uniform on a Freasian horse. (I was looking into the horse at the time).
ANYWAY...lol.. Carla freaks out and says it's been nice knowin' me and to have a
great time at the signing. LMAO. So I had to come clean and tell her it wasn't
The weekend finally arrives and I get my DRIVING directions from
MapQuest.com. Those Boggerheads!!. They had me goin' down 81, then to 83,,, then on the
BELTWAY.. then over to WEST VIRGINIA!!! Once I figured out what was goin' on..
we turned around and finagled our way to the general location of the hotel.
Passed the turn to the hotel about 8 times. Stopped in a McDonalds to get
directions.. and to PEE..(priorities don'tchaknow..) and then found out we were
less than a mile from the place. Woohoo!
Now for the shocker of the trip. While driving down - while talking about
this and that.. Cathy blurts out ..." Laurie... I can't read. Is that going
to be a problem this weekend..?" HUH?? What!?!?!? You gotta be kidding
me!!! I'm like... WHY didn't you tell me this before!? Now I'm feeling like
the worlds WORST friend.. bringing a woman who cant' read - to a READERS -
booksigning WEEKEND! OMG. How uncomfortable she must be feeling. I told her to
relax and that nobody was going to be asking her to read anything. (Good Lord
I hoped not!) So now I'm all worried about Cathy, nervous about meeting a
group of women that I don't know...and we're in the mountains!!! (really COOL
mountains I might add).
So, it's about 9:30 when we finally get to the HillTop House - it's pitch
black outside so I don't really get a good look at the area. Just walk in - sign
in - then dump our stuff in our room (in the annex). Then head on back to the
main hotel and hit "the Tap Room". We walk in, and there must have been about
20-25 women sitting at on long table, all talking, laughing, having a great
time. I'm basically a ball of nerves now, and Cathy and I sit at the bar. The
bar where Lloyd is serving up liquid refreshments. Liquid is good. Liquid is
FINE. Liquid was had by us both. Then I hear NancyD talking about
"introducing everyone". So I swivel around and pay attention. Then she looks right at
me and says..." You're NiMo.com -aren't you!?" LOL.. (that was my email
address at the time). I say yes - my name is Laurie Jewell." "OH yes - Jewells
from NY." Well okay - that works too. So then everyone turns around and checks
me out - then looks at Cathy - and I say - "No...she's just along for the trip
- she doesn't read Nora." I prayed to GOD that would suffice - and it did -
no body said anything.
So the rest of the night was mostly just sitting back - watching how all
these women interacted - chatted with us when they needed more liquid - and we
chatted up Lloyd. We ended up closing the bar with Lloyd. Lloyd really took a
liking to us. He asked us if we wanted to go "into town" to a bar he knew for
a few. Ahhhh - thanks, but no, it's been a long day, gonna be a long day
tomorrow too. But thanks.
We get back to the room and I get into my jammies, and I'm in bed already,
when I find out that Cathy told him she'd go with him!! WHAT!!?? ARE YOU
INSAINE!. So off she goes ( he came to the door to get her). OMG. Now I'm
freakin' out. But, i was also tired, and had me some liquid. I dozed. I wake up
two hours later and NO CATHY!!! IT's almost 2:30 and I'm really freakin' out
here. Sat there thinking of things that COULD be happening to her, then
thinking of ways I'd kill Lloyd if anything DID happen to her - when she STUMBLES
into the room. Not drunk like I though - just bone tired and...get this..
DISSAPOINTED that he didn't show her a good time AT the bar. Then she says that he
did try the old "etchings in my appartment" routine - which she went up to..
then while he "got things in order" she slipped out the door and came back to
the room. OMG!!! I told her she was grounded for LIFE! I didn't care if she's
12 years older than I am... SHE'S GROUNDED!.
Saturday dawns BRIGHT AND SUNNY. We didn't bother with breakfast as it was
kinda late, but the ladies the night before said we'd all be "heading out"
around 11 or so to the book store. So we made sure we were in the parking lot
ready to follow the others. It seemed like FOREVER before we finally got there,
but in retrospect - it's only about 25-30 minutes away. Sometimes longer - but
only due to construction and traffic.
Carla and I had arranged to meet outside the book store. I told her to watch
out for my red blazer with NY plates. We parked in the Creamery Parkinglot
(found out that was a no-no) and walked around the corner to the store. Saw
Carla looking at us - like.. is that YOU!? Walked up to her and gave her a BIG
hug. =} Yep... it's her awright! Do the meet and greet on the sidewalk..
then turn and head on into the bookstore.
The CROWDED book store. The very SMALL book store. The VERY VERY WARM book
store. lol. Did I mention I'm not all that fond of warmth. Even LESS fond of
EXCESSIVE warmth!?!?! LOL? We get our numbers and get in line.
Now, this my FIRST EVER book signing.. let alone a NORA signing. Had NO clue
about how one is to conduct one's own self during this. I'd had with me the
first 3-in-1 that was published of hers - Born In's. MY FAVE!!! I hand it
over to Nora and she says " Oh wow.. I haven't seen this one yet - where'd you
get it?" Huh? She SPOKE to me? Now I'm expceted to ANSWER HER?? OMG!. And
do ye think I could remember? HELL NO.. I turned to Carla and say - "where did
I get this".. LIKE SHE'D KNOW!! Carla blurts out... "Double day maybe"
Oohhh yeah.. that IS where I got it~ damn".
And there you have my first meeting with Nora. Could I have MADE a worse
The rest of the afternoon is a blur - as it was spent getting to know Carla
better, and chatting with all sorts of people. Later - back at the hotel -
back in the Tap Room, Cathy and I were much more relaxed with the crowd - as we'd
just spent the entire day with eveyrone. Got drunk. =P Closed the bar
again.. and THIS time...walked out before Lloyd could come on to Cathy again. NOW
he gives her the heebee-jeebee's.
Sunday comes and it's time for the BRUNCH... which - conveniently was to be
in the Tap Room. The food sucked.. but who cares.. we were in the presents of
NORA. Now - not knowing that Nora is the fashion Diva.. and not getting all
that great a look at her outfit.. what I DID see... looked like a polyester
Pant Suite from the 70's. LOL. I'm SURE it wasn't.. but not kwoing a damn thing
about fashion... that was my first impression on Sunday. Cathy and I were
sitting the next table over from Nora. I'll admit it.. I was starin' at her for
a w hile. But.. then it was time to mix and mingle a bit before we were all
hittin' the road back home.
The drive home was spent basically recapping the entire weekend. We both had
a blast, and Cathy said she'd like to come again the next year if they did it
During the drive back home I asked Cathy if she was interested in learning
how to read. It had been bothering me all weekend - so I had to ask. She said
she'd thought about it, but with her "lifestyle" and all that she had going
on - she didn't think she'd have the time. I told her I had a friend who works
for the Literacy program in Syracuse, (she's an editor) and I could get info
from her on tutors and stuff. She said okay - give her the information.
Longer story short.. she did it for about 2-3 months and quit. Guess she really
wasn't interested in learing. She said her three kids help her when she needs
help. Okay - it's her decision. I haven't seen or talked with her in about 2
years now.. so I have no idea if she ever got back into the tutoring or not.
Cast of Characters in attendance that weekend (who are list members here)
are: CARLA!!!...and PAMMY!! and TRACIE O'!!!
Now who wants te hear about the 2nd one - where the official JDRobbers show'd
up!?!?! LOL. I've got PICTURES from that one! might even be tempted to
try this here scanner thing....