WOW! What a night it was!!! With only a week and a half to plan for his visit to Woodstock, we Foxes are pretty happy about Joel Osteen’s event at FoxTale last night. Despite the cold weather and the huge crowd, there seemed to be nothing but good spirits abounding. Customer Extraordinaire Denise Miller passed out hot apple cider, and The Leaning Ladder was open all night so people could come in and get warmed up while they waited. Many of the estimated 600 attendees had never been to Woodstock before, and we heard lots of good comments about our town. The number one question from people who frequent FoxTale was, “How are you going to get all those people IN THERE??” Pastor Osteen will bring a very large shoehorn, I told some people. In reality, it was pretty smooth. Author James Tuck was at the door, looking formidable, and calling out ticket numbers so groups of 60 or so people could line up inside to get their books signed. And Pastor Joel did a good job of signing books quickly, while speaking personally to each person in line.
Yes, Joel Osteen was in Woodstock at FoxTale Book Shoppe!
There were many poignant moments last evening, but one I would like describe for you. We met a pair of ladies earlier in the evening who had picked up their books and gone back outside to wait in line. Meeting Joel Osteen was a dream come true for Nancy and Denise. Nancy has some health issues and also some concerns about family members, and watches Pastor Osteen on television each week. She couldn’t believe how lucky she was to actually get to meet him in person. When they had been outside for more than an hour, there was word at the door that we should dial 911. A female had collapsed, possibly due to a seizure. We did dial 911, but just as we were trying to describe the problem, shouts of “Never mind, she’s okay now,” came through the crowd, and I looked up to see James Tuck carrying Nancy in his arms. He placed her gently in the chair by the door, and Karen and I got her some water and sat with her while Jackie took her friend Denise to the back to clean up a nasty scrape on her arm. Apparently both ladies had hit the ground, but they weren’t ready to give in. Nancy was clearly exhausted and too weak to stand in line. We were afraid she would not get to meet Osteen, unless he came to her. Working our way through the crowd, the Foxes stopped the signing line while Pastor Joel came to Nancy’s chair and knelt down in front of her. They talked for a little while, and Nancy asked him to “straighten her crown.” He did. Then while his hands were on her, he prayed for Nancy and her family, a heartfelt message that was not rushed. Nancy had tears in her eyes afterwards, and kept repeating, “I can’t believe he was just here.” It was a moment that Nancy would not soon forget, and one that the Foxes will carry for a long time too.
So thank you to all our bookstore friends and the new ones we made last night. Each of you was part of the success of the event, and we are humbled to be the conduit for you to meet memory makers like Joel Osteen. Thanks also to the FoxTale volunteers: Carol, Val, Tonya, Kathy, Susan, Nancy T., Denise, Gary, Sean, and Gene. It takes a village to run a bookstore.