Colonel North meets with fans during a Book Signing in Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas - The floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston is all a buzz. NRA members make their way from one exhibit space to the next in search of a better rifle, a better tree stand or a better bullet. But for those who ventured up on to the second floor were treated to a special event ... the chance to go face to face with Lt. Colonel Oliver North.
Offering autographs for his latest book, Heroes Proved, North stood at attention while hundreds of fans lined the second floor corridors. As they zigzagged their way through the ropes, it took on the scope of a mission for some.
"I've followed him for a number of years through the newspapers and television, have a lot of respect for what he did, and loved reading his book," said one Texas native. "I'm only going to be here today so it became a mission to get my copy signed. I couldn't miss it."
There were a few, however, who were only there for a little face time.
Walking to the front of the line was Sgt. Sammy Lee Davis. Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life and beyond the call of duty" during the Vietnam War, Davis and North shared a few moments while the crowd looked on. Flashed blazed as the two took their time in conversation before finally turning to the crowd. Once the flashes started to fade, Sgt. Davis said his goodbyes and made for the convention floor.
The line, which had contorted into more of a semicircle around the two American heroes, reformed and the procession recommenced. Drove in from Georgia, flew in this morning, took my son out of school early to meet you they said. All traveling here to meet the man they only knew through the tv.
"I stood in that line because my dad is a big fan of Colonel North and I knew he'd appreciate it. He's a fireman and EMT up in New York so this is sure to cause a stir with his friends."
The biggest stir, however, came about when Mary's husband (he wishes to remain anonymous) let everyone know that it was Mary's birthday. That's when Colonel North cleared his piped and led the crowd in a "Happy Birthday" to Mary. Though not amused, Mary took it like a champ.
That's what the crowd was like. Happy to wait,understandingly patient and laughing away while they grew one step closer. Men and women, young and old, they all came for the chance to go face to face with Oliver North. Though only a short moment in time, it's one they shall truly remember. Especially Mary.