Well I’ve finally gotten around to updating this blog, and have another in my series of ‘travelogues.’This time I was out to see Gene Wilder who was signing copies of his new book “The Woman Who Wouldn’t,” and anything else he’s written as well.
This was a the Borders on Boylston St in the Back Bay, rather than the one downtown where my well-documented encounter with Eddie Izzard was.The advantage of the Back Bay store is that it is (dangerously) close to my office.The signing was at six, so I headed out at about five.When I arrived at the store, I went upstairs to where the signing was, and people were already in line in the DVD section near the signing table.They had marked of the aisles of that section with letters, and Group B was already queued up.I confirmed that I had to buy my book first, and went down stairs to buy the book, and was told that I was in Group C.I returned to the DVD section and found that I was the first person in Group C to arrive.So at that point I stood uncomfortably trying to look nonchalant at the end of the foreign film and documentary section.Eventually more members of my group showed up and filled the aisle, so I looked less of an idiot.A lot more people showed up than I expected (up to group F I think), so they had to find places to stow people.One guy in Group B was apparently a huge Gene Wilder fan, as I heard him talking to someone on his cell, and he knew Gene’s itinerary, and TV appearances and so on.The guy has also bought around eight books and brought a Willy Wonka video box which just blew my mind. Suffice to say that, if I’m Gene Wilder, I am not entirely comfortable with the level of attention I’m getting from this guy.
Gene Wilder showed up early with his wife to applause (once people realized he had arrived) and, without ceremony, the signing started.Video box guy had a very large and scary camera and was leaping about taking many pictures.One funny thing was that the signing took place pretty close to the top of the escalator, so as people came up, they were visibly shocked by the number of folks standing around and basically filling up the DVD section.A lot of them asked what was going on of course.A large percentage of those people were college students presumably (given the number of colleges in town).When they were told that it was Gene Wilder, they sort of whispered to each other “who’s that?”Some of the recognized him and were taking pictures with their Iphone or whatever.
Gene was friendly, but very businesslike in moving people along with their books. When my turn came, I basically told him that, though he probably gets that a lot, that I had grown up watching his movies, and that it was a pleasure to meet him. Unoriginal, but it’s my 30 seconds so I can say what I want. You meet Gene Wilder, you can say what you like. At which point, I was ushered from the presence, and sent on my way downstairs.