Hot welcome for Barbara Walters | May 23, 2008 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - May 23, 2008

Hot welcome for Barbara Walters

The line on Friday afternoon went from Rakestraw Books all the way up the sidewalk to Peet's, where it turned the corner and kept on going.

Hundreds of people waited in 100-degree heat clutching their copy of Barbara Walters' "Audition: A Memoir," excited to meet the most important woman in the history of broadcast television.

"Audition" covers Walters' extraordinary achievements as she rose to the top of an industry dominated by men. She was the first female co-host of the Today show and first female network news co-anchor, the star of 20/20 and the creator and co-host of ABC's The View.

"I've been watching her for 11 years," buzzed a fan near the front of the line.

Rakestraw sold 700 tickets to the book signing. Owner Michael Barnard said people began lining up at 2 p.m. for the 6 o'clock event. Despite the heat the crowd was in good spirits, and Lunardi's Supermarket added to the fun by handing out food samples and water.

"It was terrific," said Barnard. "She was talking to people, she was answering questions ... She wasn't just 'oh thank you for coming.' She was shaking people's hands, she was meeting them. Which in the end is what makes things like this worthwhile."

--Meghan Neal


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