Hundreds of Toby Keith fans waited in line for hours Saturday outside the wine and spirit store in South Whitehall to get the country superstar's autograph on a $40 bottle of Wild Shot mezcal.
Diehard fans GJ Steinhauser, of Bethlehem, and his brother-in-law Casey Herstich, of Horsham, who were the first in line, had been waiting since midnight. Herstich said he slept in the mulch landscaping on the parking lot curb.
"I didn't want to miss the chance," said Steinhauser, who has heard Keith eight times in concert and planned to make it a ninth time Saturday night when Keith was scheduled to perform at the Allentown Fair.
Many in the crowd pronounced their allegiance to Toby Keith, or at least country music, by the clothing they wore: Cowboy hats, short shorts and cowboy boots, muscle shirts and bandanas.
The Cherry family arrived wearing T-shirts and caps emblazoned with Toby Keith's name and song titles. Julie Cherry, of Whitehall, still glowing after getting Keith's autograph, posed next to a life-size cardboard cut-out of the country singer in the store as her parents, Bill and Mary Beth, of Lower Nazareth, took her picture.
Cherry said she almost died when Keith signed her bottle and said, "There you go, baby."
Another woman gushed, "He called me sweetheart!"
Friends in cowboy hats, Rosie Costello, of Macungie, and Deb Horoschock, who drove down from Nanticoke, Luzerne County, said they've been longtime Toby Keith fans.
Horoschock had something of a conversation with Keith, at least as much as one can with a celebrity signing autographs on an assembly line.
"I told him I'm a musician, too. I play the trumpet in a polka band, Stanky and the Coalminers," Horoschock said.
"He said, 'That must be cool.' Then I gave him one our CDs."