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The Pioneer Woman Goes to Town

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The line to see the Pioneer Woman would've made Santa Claus proud.
The line to see the Pioneer Woman would've made Santa Claus proud.

After the first book-signing in Tulsa for her new cookbook, Ree Drummond had an idea that Thursday was going to be a long night. She alerted Vivian Boroff, who was organizing a tweet-up and Rococo, that the Tulsa event went to 11:30 p.m. and that she might not make it to chef Bruce Rinehart’s restaurant to sample the three-course meal he prepared using her recipes.

Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman.
Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman.

As usual, Oklahoma City proved itself Tulsa’s superior by keeping the Osage County rancher’s wife busy until 12:30 a.m.
Crowds of folks arrived as early as 3:45 in the afternoon for the 6:30 p.m. event.

Kristin Chenoweth, no match for The Pioneer Woman.
Kristin Chenoweth, no match for The Pioneer Woman.

One Full Circle employee told me Ree outsold Kristin Chenoweth and had drawn the largest crowd she could remember since Barry Switzer was signing copies of “Bootlegger’s Boy.”
That’s right, Oklahoma royalty has been toppled. Ree and her Marlboro Man husband Ladd are the Charles and Diana of Oklahoma. (Here’s hoping they don’t follow a similar path).
Ladd was signing autographs, the kids were signing autographs and all the while fans stood in line for hours to not only get their book signed, but share a hug, pose for photos and, on some occasions, drop gifts with Lady Ree, who never lost her smile and never had to switch hands to sign autographs.
The folks in line ranged from infancy to retirement. The line reached beyond Belle Isle Brewery and back. Those who didn’t have time for the line, lurked at nearby bookshelves just to get a glimpse of the red-haired blogosphere titaness.
At one point, Full Circle ran out of books and had to summon more. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 400, and that didn’t include the number of people who brought their own.
The number of people who showed didn’t surprise me, but the mood of them did.
Having met Ree, she doesn’t wear the celebrity that’s been cast upon her. She comes across as a neighbor you wish you had.
But what she means to those who waited all that time to meet her, or came by just so that they could be near her is something altogether more profound.
While Rococo did end up of having to close without her, about 20 of her fans showed up for the dinner and prize giveaway. The enthusiasm there hadn’t fizzled.
Bruce’s food, as always, was brilliant. There’s few restaurants that combine an inviting atmosphere with an upscale menu. None do it more seamlessly.
I covered both events to get an idea what it is that attracts people at a rate of 90,000 per day to The Pioneer Woman blog. I talked to a lot of people, observed and listened in. I picked up some pretty good clues and will reveal my findings on Sunday Nov. 7 in the Oklahoman and on www.newsok.com. See you then.

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Related Photos
 The line to see the Pioneer Woman would've made Santa Claus proud.

The line to see the Pioneer Woman would've made Santa Claus proud.

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f5fc6bae382f83074e893a16fb601e76.jpg" alt="Photo - The line to see the Pioneer Woman would've made Santa Claus proud. " title=" The line to see the Pioneer Woman would've made Santa Claus proud. "><figcaption> The line to see the Pioneer Woman would've made Santa Claus proud. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7f1a08ab3447239044d795457219707f.jpg" alt="Photo - Kristin Chenoweth, no match for The Pioneer Woman. " title=" Kristin Chenoweth, no match for The Pioneer Woman. "><figcaption> Kristin Chenoweth, no match for The Pioneer Woman. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-79d2ce7e7dfe2eb0e8a5fc0004779115.jpg" alt="Photo - Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman. " title=" Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman. "><figcaption> Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman. </figcaption></figure>
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