Former First Lady Big Hit At Signing

By Maggie Vespa

September 13, 2010 Updated Sep 13, 2010 at 8:05 PM CDT

Early Monday afternoon former first lady Laura Bush was at Barnes and Noble in Peoria for a book signing, and it seems the chance to meet Mrs. Bush struck a cord with all ages.

At Peoria's Barnes and Noble Monday afternoon, lines are long.

But these hundreds of people didn't suddenly get the urge for any old read.

They're here for a very specific purpose.

Former first Lady Laura Bush was at the store for nearly two hours Monday signing copies of her new book "Spoken From the Heart" and her children's book "Read All About It."

Security at Barnes and Noble was tight.

Before the book signing even started, secret service teams shut down the store and did an hour long security sweep of the entire building.

By 2 p.m. the signing was a well oiled machine.

Those who met the first lady say she was no disappointment.

"I went up to the table, and she's so gracious and so pretty. I told her we were anxious to visit the library in Dallas," said Doris Klokkenga of Peoria.

"I just told her 'welcome to Peoria. We're glad to have you here,'" said Lynne Fehr also of Peoria.

So glad, in fact, many say once just wasn't enough.

"I'm going back through because I have friends that want books," said Fehr.

"I'm going to get some more. Yeah, I'm going through the line again," said Klokkenga.

But perhaps the biggest impression was made on those who were barely old enough to remember much of Mrs. Bush's time in the White House.

"I've never met Laura Bush before, and it was just a really good experience for when i'm older to tell people about," said Molly Moon, a 3rd grader at Peoria's St. Vincent dePaul School.

Especially appropriate as one of her most championed causes was literacy among kids.

"I like reading the books and seeing what's in them and maybe it will give me an idea," said Isabela Sader, also in the 3rd grade at St. Vincent.

An idea she may remember for years to come, especially when she thinks back on her day with a former first lady.

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