Sunday, September 6, 2015

I know you, Kyle Petty

Years ago, Kyle Petty was visiting Charleston, S.C., and signing autographs at a local grocery store. My wife was a big fan and wanted to go, so I grabbed a Kyle Petty/Mello Yello P.R. packet and we went along with two of our friends.

Kyle kept his head down as he signed autographs in front of us. He'd just grab the item, sign it and hand it over without looking up.

When Holly put the Mello Yello book down, Kyle looked at it suspiciously, opened it and smiled. He knew the only person in Charleston who likely had one of the publicity books.

As he was looking up, he grinned at me and yelled "TOM!" I grinned back and yelled, "KYLE!"

He stood up, and the four of us talked to him a few minutes, and I was afraid that the folks behind us would be angry for us slowing (or stopping) the line. But I looked around, and they seemed happy to see Kyle grin and look happy, talking to someone he knew. He was showing the kind of personality they were hoping to see.

Finally, he asked the couple with us if they were with me, and they said yes. "Slap him a couple of times for me, would you?" he asked. We all laughed (me a little nervously) and went on, and the autograph signing seemed to go better after that.

Sadly, we didn't think to take a picture.


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