Crowds greet Paula Deen at Savannah book-signing

Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News
Paula Deen walks with her Public Relations representative, Jeff Rose, as she arrives for a book signing with her son Jamie, Thursday afternoon at Ort Hall.
Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 6:39 AM
Last updated 7:16 PM
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SAVANNAH -- The line went down the block Thursday at a book signing that provided Paula Deen's first public appearance in Savannah since late June after she admitted in a legal deposition to using a racial slur nearly three decades ago.

It was Jamie Deen’s first solo book signing at The Lady and Sons Restaurant, and the line wrapped around the block Thursday.

Eager folks with books in hand were ready to get their copies of “Jamie Deen’s Good Food” signed and hoping to get a glimpse of Paula Deen who played hostess for her son’s book-launch party.

The event marked Paula’s first publicized public appearance in Savannah since late June after she admitted in a legal deposition to using a racial slur nearly three decades ago.

Faithful fans were already lining up at 10 a.m. for the book signing that began at one o’clock.

Rayma Staser and her friend Judy Godfrey, from Seymour, Tenn., were standing in line near Barnard Street, hoping to get a book signed by the celebrity chef.

“We came down from Hilton Head for the day to eat lunch and got a nice surprise,” Staser said. The duo had not heard the news of Paula’s appearance until that morning.

“We’ve always been fans of Paula,” Staser said. “The news people shouldn’t have done that to her. We’ve all made mistakes in the past, and this whole thing got out of hand.”

Godfrey shook her head in agreement.

“I want to tell Paula to keep on carrying on,” she said. “If she just keeps doing what she’s always done, then she’ll be great.”

The positive vibes continued to move down the line as strangers became what they called “line friends.”

Carol Calvert of Guyton said, “I like the Deen family, and I admire Paula.”

She got an “amen” from the watching crowd.

Her new line friends Don and Lynne Daniels, from Pittsburgh, agreed with Calvert’s statement.

The couple was vacationing in nearby Hilton Head, and Don said he agreed to give up a day of golf to bring his wife down to see Paula.

“It’s not my thing, but it’s important to her, so I brought her down,” he said, taking a break from reading his magazine.

A little before 1 p.m., the crowd began looking around anxiously, waiting for Paula to arrive.

Jamie came outside to greet the crowd and pose for pictures with fans on the sidewalk.

“Oh my goodness, you’re so handsome,” said one excited fan. Jamie laughed and gave her a hug.

Attention quickly turned to the street as a white Cadillac Escalade pulled up, and the crowd broke into screams and applause when the dark tinted windows rolled down to reveal Paula Deen in a back seat.

“Hey y’all,” Paula yelled after she exited the vehicle with husband Michael Groover. The celebrity chef didn’t pause long to pose for photos or talk but headed inside for the book signing.

Jamie followed her lead.

“I better get to signing books and get all these nice people who have been standing in line all morning out of the heat,” he said.

“She looks great,” said Gail Pyontek, from Houston. “I missed her when she was in Houston, and I was so bummed. I was in the store buying a souvenir for my daughter when I heard the noise and stepped out and saw Jamie.

"I got my photo with him. He’s real nice. I’m just so glad Paula’s better.”

Comments (6) Add comment
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soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/20/13 - 06:57 am
0
1
She will do ANYTHING to make MONEY. The oldest profession.
Unpublished

She will do ANYTHING to make MONEY. The oldest profession.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/20/13 - 06:57 am
0
0
Ask those she climbed over on the the ladder to fame?
Unpublished

Ask those she climbed over on the the ladder to fame?

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/20/13 - 06:59 am
0
0
She just loved to cook greasie food for y'all. Uh Huh! Uh Huh!
Unpublished

She just loved to cook greasie food for y'all. Uh Huh! Uh Huh!

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/20/13 - 07:00 am
0
1
No fan. Saw her at the county carnival hackin' her wares.
Unpublished

No fan. Saw her at the county carnival hackin' her wares.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/20/13 - 07:01 am
0
1
She has reivented her life story about four times.
Unpublished

She has reivented her life story about four times.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/20/13 - 07:02 am
0
1
Another Erin Andrews and the reverse peep hole. MONEY
Unpublished

Another Erin Andrews and the reverse peep hole. MONEY

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/20/13 - 07:05 am
0
1
If her rating fall again she will be in Playboy. In bacon fat.
Unpublished

If her rating fall again she will be in Playboy. In bacon fat.

seenitB4
85643
Points
seenitB4 09/20/13 - 07:45 am
9
1
Keep on keeping on Paula ♥

You fired the right people now just be yourself!

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 09/20/13 - 08:40 am
8
5
maybe she has learned her
Unpublished

maybe she has learned her lesson and stopped supporting the Marxists/progressives of the democrat party

Marinerman1
4640
Points
Marinerman1 09/20/13 - 08:42 am
9
2
She's Back !!!!!

And Smithfield, who was the first to throw her under the bus, are now owned by China. She and both of her sons will move to the Cooking Channel, and Food Network have to eat crow.

Dixieman
14412
Points
Dixieman 09/20/13 - 10:53 am
12
1
Good

She got railroaded, then thrown overboard, then thrown under the bus, then kicked to the curb, then thrown to the wolves, then disowned and discarded, none of which she deserved. Glad to see her coming back strong!

Gwen_from_Aiken
19
Points
Gwen_from_Aiken 09/20/13 - 05:18 pm
8
0
Gwen from Aiken

I am Black and I will always love Paula Dean. She is Southern. Paula Dean is not a racist. They fired her because she was getting old and the new WHITE girls continually complained that her food was unhealthy. When she ended up with Diabetes, it was an embarrassment to the folks at Food Network, the Network she helped to build. Going back years and years to find a mistake on her part before the word was even against the law, is a total injustice. Tell those execs to be honest.

seenitB4
85643
Points
seenitB4 09/20/13 - 06:59 pm
6
0
Thank you Gwen

She is not a racist & has done a lot for the poor in Savannah...

LillyfromtheMills
12982
Points
LillyfromtheMills 09/20/13 - 09:12 pm
4
0
Ditto

We have all been proud of her and her accomplishments. It took a lot to get where she was and it won't take nothing to get back again

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