Dateline: October 24, 2015 (Kristen’s 24th Birthday)
Background: Author Kelli Stanley scheduled a presentation at 10 AM on Treasure Island, San Francisco. For 5 years, we have been trying to meet, but, something always got in the way. Today, both of our plans matched up. I was excited to meet my friend, and Kelli was too.
Note: Kelli provided (a lot of) moral support for myself and my family after the death of my daughter’s best friend, and our part-time daughter, Carol Phan, on Sept 18, 2010 in a car crash. Kelli will forever be a friend. See ForCarol.com on our charity in Carol’s honor.
Fantasy: I have been planning this meeting, in my mind, for years. “After an uneventful commute with normal traffic in the normal places, I would slip in quietly, sit in the back, and be the last on line for the “meet and greet” book signing. When it was my turn, I would pull out a really nice bottle of bourbon (Miranda Corbie’s favorite drink) and one of Kelli’s books for her to sign. Kelli would be shocked that I actually made it…..”
Reality: Leaving Tracy, CA at 8:30 AM, getting McDonald’s and filling up gas, I reached the toll plaza 2.7 miles from Treasure Island at 9:30 AM. Google Maps told me there was an accident ahead and that I would spend 30 minutes going that last 2.7 miles (I can run it faster than that!). Amazingly, that is what it took by the time I was able to take the exit. Must have been a nasty accident…I could see it, and a million emergency vehicles just ahead. (Why today? Drive Safe! Idiot. Arrrghhh)
As I approached Treasure Island (at 9:55 AM) with the Museum just on my right. I passed a zillion police cars….police…..and yellow tape. (WTF) I parked in the Museum parking lot and snapped a picture.
I texted my wife, Lori, joking that they must have known I was coming. 🙂
As I was walking up, the Museum curator, Anne, stopped me and asked if I was here for Kelli’s presentation, I said “Yes”. She told me she recognized me from Facebook. (I’m famous again….!!!) Anne also told me that Kelli was not there yet due to the unbelievable amount of traffic caused as a result of the as yet unknown incident. (Cool….I have time to pee…good thing I saved my coffee until I got here.)
I go into the Museum and found the bathroom. Coming out, relieved, I see the expanse of the Museum and snap a picture.
Oh…..The group of people sitting down in the center are not here for Kelli. They are witnesses to the crime, and the police are interviewing them. (OMG….WTF)
As I approached Anne (you can see her standing to the left) she hands me the phone….Kelli is on it! I said “Hi” and she said Tana and her were trying to get there, but, it will be awhile. I said I would hang around. (Fanboy in me was jumping up and down: I would wait all day if I had to….and fight off any criminals that got in my way…)
I texted Kelli a “test” message so she had my cell phone when she arrived, and I went for a walk to the “Avenue of the Palms & Police”. I snapped a few pictures.
And oh, yeah….more police!
Kelli finally arrived at about 11:30 AM…..everyone else who had been there to listen to her presentation had left….either afraid for their lives, or not expecting Kelli to actually show up. (Afraid…be very afraid….the security guard I talked to said all kinds of shit happens on Treasure Island, considering it’s ideal location between Oakland and SF)
After Kelli conducted some business with Anne and met some of the Museum people, Tana, Kelli, and I sat around and chatted. I was a Fanboy for a few minutes posing for pictures and getting my book signed, but mostly we were just friends talking. And I learned a bit of history! I gave Kelli and Tana the bourbon and the ForCarol.com TOTE and I snapped a picture. (I sure hope FanBoy did not make a blubbering fool of himself….)
Tana took this picture (Don’t Drink and Drive!)
We said goodbye and as I left, I snapped one last picture of Treasure Island, the police, and now, the news media. Time to go home…..(sure hope I don’t get shot….)
(Note to self: I am NOT going to show the pictures I took while driving since I am ForCarol.com Drive Safe! Never Forget, at least I had both hands on the wheel using the HTC RE camera with thumb-only control…am I ok?)
Oh, drat, here is one…..I do love the Bay Area!
Donations in Carol’s honor for college scholarships and classroom supplies are welcome on ForCarol.com.
Epilogue: What happened? Some idiot pulled a knife in SF. The cops chased him until he stole the police car and drove it to Treasure Island (I suspect he wanted to listen to Kelli’s presentation too), there was a gun battle on Treasure Island, more car chasing, and, finally, the idiot crashed on the bridge trying to get away. He jumped to the lower level of the bridge, but, some fast footed cops caught up to him and arrested his sorry ass. (they brought him back to Treasure Island where I turned him over to Miranda Corbie and she kicked his dumb ass…..)