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I met… Glenn Beck?

December 14, 2010 by tbholdren

I’m home here, sick as a dog, but we desperately needed to go get some groceries. I shoveled the driveway as best I could manage, and we were able to plow the car out into the street, slipping and sliding all the way through our development out to the main road.

It was then that Sue reminded me that she wanted to go to the bookstore for a chance to meet someone pretty interesting. Turns out Glenn Beck was going to be at our local Border’s bookstore today signing copies of his new book, “Broke”.

Broke, in more ways than one.

Now, not only was I not feeling very well, and I looked terrible (just got done shoveling 800 metric tons of snow), AND both kids were asleep in the back of the car, but I thought, “You know, it’s not every day you’re a 15 minute drive away from meeting someone as famous as Glenn Beck.”

So, as ridiculous as I looked, I decided to head on over there: The plan was that Sue would go in and buy a copy and then stand in line while I was in the car with the sleeping kids, and once she got the signed copy, I’d head in there (hopefully before he left) and steal a glance at the guy.

As we pulled up, we noticed a big, black-tinted window bus that he was probably using to tool around in. So, I dropped Sue off at the door at around 1:05pm (he was to be there signing from 12:30am-1:30pm), and she came outside about 10 minutes later with a book, but no signature. She basically told me that we probably got there too late, and that he’d probably be leaving before he got a chance to sign it. But, she still thought I should go in for a chance to see him and to maybe even try getting the book signed. She snapped the following photo while inside:

Yes, THE Glenn Beck.

As I walked in, I noticed around 50-60 people huddled around the back of the building. Sure enough, there was Glenn Beck with a police officer and 2-3 book-tour assistants. He was in a blue comfy looking sweater. It was kinda unreal to see him IRL.

I thought I was standing in line to get my book signed (about 10 people in front of me), but then I noticed another line off to the left that winded up and down the book aisles. I said to the cop, “Lemme guess… THAT’s the real line over there.”


“5 minutes, everyone,” one of the assistants nervously chirped. “5 minutes until Glenn has to leave!” Nuts, I thought. Might as well try.

As I got in the back of the line, I heard some of the chatter of folks around me. One talked about how much a signed copy would go for online. Someone else mentioned that, “There’s no way he’ll be able to sign our books, he has to be in Columbus AND Cincinatti later today!” Another said, “If he doesn’t sign my book, I’m taking it right back.” I was thinking the same thing, but I wasn’t about to say it out loud…

Another gentleman was commenting on how they could have handled this better, using a limited number of books (150-200) at the desk Glenn stood at, and just tell everyone “sorry” once they ran out. I responded that, although that sounded like a good idea, I’ve never actually ran one of these events, and I’m sure there are logistical issues with that approach as well.

The line went surprisingly fast. I thought for sure, “Any second now one of those nervous-looking little assistants is going to announce to us that ‘GLENN BECK HAS LEFT THE BUILDING.” To my astonishment, I finally reached near the front of the line. One of the assistants came up to me and asked to see my book. I asked him if he needed to see my receipt, but he said, “no.” He opened it to one of the inner pages, and as I got even closer, another gentleman took my book and handed it to Glenn.

He looked exactly like he does on TV (or, youtube, since I don’t have a TV.) I figured he was pretty rushed, so I wasn’t going to say anything as I was handed my freshly-signed copy of the book. “Neat,” I thought. At least he stuck around long enough to sign the book. I was turning to walk away, when Glenn said, “Sir?,” and extended his hand out to me. I didn’t think he’d have time for a handshake, but apparently he did. I firmly shook his hand, smiled and said, “Keep up the good work, Mr. Beck.”

I must have been more nervous than I thought, because I had already turned to walk away as he said, “Merry Christmas.” I get terribly nervous around preachers I don’t know, let alone nationwide celebrities. Hope I didn’t seem rude 🙂

I haven’t listened to Glenn as much as I have some of the other conservative pundits (Mark Levin, Rush, Hannity, etc.), but I do appreciate that he tries to interweave a spiritual message in with his conservative rhetoric. He’s a Mormon, but I don’t get the gist that he’s trying to lead Americans to Mormonism, but just a traditional American faith in God. And that’s a better than 99.9% of the celebrities in this nation (the man even said “God bless you,’ to someone after me in line).

He describes himself as a “Rodeo Clown.” I could say the same thing about myself when I’m in a crowd, always going for the laugh. I don’t think he’ll be able to turn America around, but I believe he’s genuine, and would truly like to see that happen. I can admire that.

His signature is actually less legible than my own.

I look forward to reading it 🙂


  1. Andrew says:

    Over the last few days, I’ve been hoping to hear something from you, and here it is. Love the narrative and attention to the small details that make the story most interesting.

    The only part you left out was the fist pumping to FF3 victory music all the way home! 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    Truly amazing considering how much you two you have in common! (Rodeo man) I myself, have grown to appreciate the sincere devotion he has to get Americans back to her roots.(Futile mission, as it may be) Someone will listen.
    You’re still my favorite of course!!! Still waiting on your first novel to appear. Could I be the first to stand in a long line to receive your autograph? Hey, as I always say, ” It pays to have connections!” I’m your sister after all. 🙂

  3. Mom Hoyer says:

    Very neat Brian! Quite the experience you had! 🙂

  4. Kristen says:

    Nice, Brian! Did you keep the hand he shook unwashed for a few days? 😉 I look forward to hearing about the book and what you think!

  5. mom holdren says:

    WOW BRIAN,, you actually got to shake his hand! NEAT!!! Now,,, will YOU autograph my BIBLE? Since your getting famous, rubbing shoulders with the big guys now, I want your autograph! lol

  6. sholdren says:

    haha afterwards I made sure to hold the hand Brian shook Glenn Beck’s with. 🙂

  7. Auntie Kimmy says:

    I’m just hoping you didn’t “hand” him your stomach virus! Oh my.;)

  8. Stephanie says:

    Terrill&I got a good laugh at Brian’s narration! 🙂

    Thats what I told Terrill, Kim….I hope Glenn Beck didn’t come down with the Holdren’s stomach flu! eek!

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