My favorite Friday moment was about 20 minutes before the hall closed a gentleman came in with his high school aged son. He told me how he grew up in Indiana and has been a huge Notre Dame fan all of his life and today he finally had the opportunity to visit and as soon as he drove on to the campus he started crying. He seemed embarassed because he had cried like that in front of his son. His son said it was no big deal and I said to him “Thirty years from now, you are going to look back, and be very grateful for that moment” and his dad just grinned. It was very touching…they almost made me cry.
Saturday morning started at 7am setting up for a Corporate Tailgate Party for Blue Chip Casino. Fun times…a little chilly, but fun times.
Once that was up and running we prepared for Rocket Ismail’s autograph session. After he arrived and we were escorting him downstairs I told him that a gentleman claiming to be his high school coach had been hanging around all morning. At that moment the gentleman started walking toward us so I pointed him out and the look of joy and the bear hug that followed (my favorite Saturday moment) led me to believe that Rocket might be a few minutes so I ran down to tell our gang to tell his fans that he is in the building but would be a few more minutes.
During past autograph sessions I have learned that people are REAL specific about HOW they want their memoribilia signed. This sessions most popular request was “Rocket Ismail #25 1988 National Champions” now I know that does not sound like a lot but there was a great deal of stuff to be signed for a great deal of people…can you say HAND CRAMP…so Rocket asked if he could just sign his first name and so we informed the crowd that he would only be signing “Rocket #25” – some people were pretty insistent and this is where I came in – I had the privledge of being the voice of Rocket and telling people “No”. When people would still ask him to autograph the entire Constitution on their piece of memoribilia he would smile and start and I would say to them “He is way to nice to tell you no, but I will, he is only going to be signing his first name.”
There was also the rule about not coming behind the table…many tried shoving through…so I grabbed a couple of our male volunteers and turned them into Rocket’s bookends. There was one exception to this rule: There was this little girl who was decked out in ND gear and she even had a button on declaring that she was “Gabriella Superfan” which was just too cute. So she will be on the website.
While all of that was happening we had people setting up the Press Box for a Post Game Celebration party.
<—Pressbox view showing the windows that look out toward the river.
Pressbox view showing the Heisman Art Gallery —>
During set up, the elevator got stuck – had to fix that, and a toilet got clogged – had to fix that.
At 4:00 I handed the reigns over to Joe A. and rushed home so that we could get to church in time for my husband to get his directions for serving on our First Impressions team during all five services.