Mikey @ The Northeast Motorsports Expo - Augusta Civic Centre, ME
8 January 2005
After three hours of sleep, I woke up at 4:30am this morning. That's all good! I was going to Maine in an hour to go see Mikey!!! I bound out of bed and got ready. Ma said she went to sleep last night hearing me say "Mikey!" repeatedly, and woke up to the same thing. She didn't think I'd gotten any sleep in between.
My mother, sister, and I took to the road at 5:30am, but made stops at CVS for film and snacks and at the Dunkies' drive-thru for breakfast. We got to Augusta, Maine, around 8:30am... and nobody was outside the Augusta Civic Center! Figuring the place must be open already, we tried the doors. Locked! A security guy told us the line would start at the ticket booth, and doors would not open until between 9:30 to 10:00.
The weather wasn't too bad, but the frigid temperatures got to our feet after a while. By the time the ticket booth opened at 10am, my feet felt like ice. My sister had to gross me out by saying our toes were sticking together in our boots.
The Mikey line formed immediately. In fact, a handful of vendors were already in line - which wasn't really fair, as they hadn't had to wait in the cold for an hour and a half first. We didn't care too much about that though. We were toward the front of the line, and we were going to see Mikey!! I sat down, and prepared to wait. Not too long after we took our spots in line, Ma decided to wander a bit. She was standing by the EJP counter when people started trying to get by her. She said she was getting annoyed, but then heard an incredibly familiar voice...
MIKEY HAD ARRIVED A HALF HOUR EARLY!!!
Ma rushed back to our spot in line, and we all started snapping away pictures. The event coordinators handed Mikey a white box. He took out a chocolate donut, and started eating his snack. Of course, everybody's taking pictures of that too. I didn't want to get a shot of him actually eating; nobody wants that kind of picture of themselves. I did take a couple pictures of him holding the box and donut, just as a remembrance.
After he ate his donut, Mikey looked through the line at the people. "I feel like Santa Claus!" He commented as he took his seat at an EJP stool. Folks started giving their $20 donations for Operation Marathon to get an autographed 8X10 picture with Mikey. We took pictures as we waited in line, and also decided that I'd get my picture of Mikey from Pocono signed for the extra $10. The pay part was fairly sloppy, so just after I got back my change, the line cleared in front of me, and it was my turn to see Mikey.
Approaching him really did feel like going to see Santa Claus! He had that same kind of aura that Ol' Saint Nick held for me as a little kid. My favourite race car driver - the guy I couldn't shut up about all morning - was sitting right in front of me, and smiling as I approached.
"Hi!" Mikey said. Considering how much I talk about him, you'd think I'd be able to manage to say more than a"hi" back. I handed him the picture from Pocono, and dropped my $10 change.
"I look like I'm in jail!" he commented as I picked the money off the floor. It took me a second to realise he was talking about the picture I'd handed him. I told him it was from Pocono when he'd looked through the fence at me.
"I'm going to write 'Free Mike' right here," he said, and wrote just that across the left side of the picture. I giggled - Mikey is just too funny!
We posed for pictures, and I wished him good luck at Daytona as I left.
Colleen added in some of the stuff I didn't say. When it was her turn, she told Mikey that she didn't know what I'd said, but that I have a hard time talking to him.
"Aww!" Mikey replied.
Colleen said that I run a fansite for him, mikeypower.com, and asked if he'd received the mikeypower.com T-shirt and hat we sent him for Christmas. Mikey said he did, and to tell me thank you.
= D = D = D
The picture of me with Mikey came out awesome! What's funny is the shirt that he's wearing looks blue when he was really wearing this bright purple top. Maybe he did that on purpose, knowing the lighting and such. You can see the stack of hero cards he was signing. I forgot to pick one up, but Ma gave me hers.
We hung out for a bit and took a bunch of pictures. I'm going to go through them all and upload them to the site's picture page. I'll let y'all know when I post them. I'm fixing to get that all done tonight, but I'm not sure if I'll manage.
We walked around and looked at cars. We visited the vendors too. I got a SLEW of Mikey trading cards! I now have 41 pages with 9 cards in all but two pages. I also got a couple photos and two #21 1:64 die-casts. I found some Kenny Wallace, Mike McLaughlin, and Andy Santerre merch too. AND I got a #15 Mikey Budweiser light that's supposed to be hung over a bar. It was only $20! The flourescent light needs to be replaced, so I haven't seen it lit up yet. It's so gorgeous though!!!
So I had a kickbutt day in Maine today!!! Colleen says I'm done for the season, now that I've seen Mikey, but really, the season is just about to start!!!