There are a lot of things that Forks is good at, like rain and generosity, but, one thing we are really not good at is keeping a secret.
Last year at this time I was working at Forks City Hall, the mayor came up to the front counter area and motioned to my co-worker Valerie Russell and me to come over closer to him; he whispered that we might want to dress especially nice the next day. I guess our regular attire of riggin’ pants, hickory shirts and suspenders was a little too casual for his taste. So, being slow-witted it did not hit my brain that something special was going to happen the next day, but my co-worker was on it. She said, “Stephenie Meyer is coming tomorrow.”
Keeping a secret in Forks is like, well really hard, so by the next sunrise the secret was leaking out all over, just like the Forks rain.
One resident was convinced that riots were going to break out and Ms. Meyer’s life was in jeopardy, so the police department dispatched a couple officers to cover crowd control.
As Stephenie made her way to the Visitor Center and then for a bite to eat and then several other stops she finally stopped at Forks City Hall. I will be the first to admit I am not a Twilight fan, I have never read any of the books or seen the movies, I prefer nonfiction but I found myself caught up in the celebrity mystique and was soon clamoring for a picture with Ms. Meyer and autograph and the whole enchilada. What had come over me? Well, she was so nice and just really nice.
I recently went to a meeting in Poulsbo of Sound Publishing sales representatives. I sat at a table of people I had never met and almost every one of them said, “So what is Twilight like?” I said it is and was weird. I described the throngs of people lining our downtown, the girl in Forks Outfitters bakery department squealing with delight in to her cell phone that “I am in Forks.”
I watched the videos on YouTube of Twilight fans visiting our town and I even went on a Twilight tour and wrote a column about it, it was weird.
But as I worked two years at the city and interacted with the Twilight tour bus groups that stopped everyday, I discovered they were the nicest demographic of tourists that could ever happen to a wonderful town like ours. They were mothers and daughters, dads and daughter, friends, families and they were all thrilled to be in Forks, many coming back a second and third time.
And the greatest credit for the success and benefit of the Twilight phenom is the citizens of Forks who have played along and put up with such frustrating things like waiting for two lights to get through downtown or having to take the backroads to avoid the “traffic.”
How do you describe Twilight in Forks? You can’t, it happened, it was a gift that marketing dollars cannot buy, so while I am not a Twilight fan, I am a fan of the Twilight fan.