Tommy Leana waited more than 10 hours to meet Glenn Beck, who came to Books-A-Million Thursday for a book-signing event.
Leana was the first person in line to have the conservative talk radio host sign "Being George Washington: The Indispensable Man, as You've Never Seen Him." The historical fiction book about America's first president and his war experiences is Beck's latest work.
"I'm tearing up a little bit," said Leana, 24, of Glen Rock. "I gave him a pack of Peanut M&Ms, his favorite candy. And I gave him a private letter."
After all those hours in line, Leana's book-signing moment with Beck lasted less than 30 seconds. Beck signed his book and shook Leana's hand.
"It was a short time, but so worth it," Leana said. "He said, 'God bless you. Thank you for coming.' He said he was sorry he was late."
Beck was about 20 minutes late for the 7 p.m. book-signing event. However, he quickly signed books for more than 800 fans who showed up for the event in the Springettsbury Township bookstore. He also greeted them and shook their hands.
He took a few moments to hug 10-year-old Addison Jones and his father, Tom Jones, 38, both of Maytown, Lancaster County.
Pictures of the Joneses are in Beck's 8.28.10: Miracle on the Mall photobook about his 2010 Restoring Honor Rally held in Washington, D.C.
Tom Jones said he takes his son to nearby Beck events because of Beck's commitment to American values and good character.
Shane Louthian, 42, of West York, said he listens to Beck's radio program and is on Beck's email list. Louthian said he is interested in reading Beck's take on George Washington's life and leadership.
"George Washington is probably the most pivotal person in American history," Louthian said. "He was a humble man. He was sincere, and everything he did was heartfelt."
Andrew Tome, 28, of Red Lion, said this was his third time seeing Beck in person. Tome said he attended Beck's Restoring Honor Rally and became so inspired that he organized an Advancing Honor Rally in York in May.
"Beck is truly a part of what is great about America," Tome said. "He'll talk to you and hear what you have to say. You can sense the love and care he has for people, for our country."
Arlette Figdore, 62, of Conewago Township, said Beck is a genius committed to taking the country back to the core values of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
She said she was surprised to see many young people at the event, including Leana, whom she talked with while waiting for Beck's visit.
"A lot of our younger generation has been inculcated with liberal thoughts," Figdore said.
Leana said he has been following Glenn Beck's work for three years and considers Beck his hero.
"He stands up for what he believes, no matter what's in his way," Leana said. "He stands up to the biggest people in the world."
-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at 505-5438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.