There were two rules: Bob Hope would autograph only his book—no photos or scraps of paper, and the autograph was the message—just seven letters of his name and no "To Uncle Max" or "Keep Your Head Down."
By the time that Hope arrived at the Honolulu Book Shops in Ala Moana Center at 11:30 yesterday morning, several hundred people had formed an accordion line outside and inside the store. Each had already spent a minimum of $17.95 for one copy of his latest book, "Confessions of a Hooker, My Lifelong Love Affair with Golf," and many had bought in bulk.
The crowd seems divided among Hope fans, golf fans, members of the military who had seen him perform and people who gravitate to media events. Except for the military, the average age was somewhere between menopause and Medicare.
"If somebody in this crowd yelled ‘Hey, Menudo is next door,’ not one person would move," one of the security guards observed.
The ground rules were explained by Honolulu Book Shops general manager Colin Miyabara, and ceremonial team was set up. One staff member took the book from the publisher, handed it to Miyabara who opened it to the fly leaf and handed it to Hope as the buyer watched the signing.
It was sort of like the end of World War II with Harry Truman on the USS Missouri. Then Hope handed the book to Ann Iwata, who closed it and returned it to its owner who was then hustled into the exit line by a security guard.
People were very polite, even solicitous, perhaps because Hope looked a little weary. Several people said, "Thanks for the memories," as they passed him, and he smiled. A pregnant petty officer, Patty Migalia, bought a book for her husband and said, "Maybe the baby will be a golfer."