“Almost lost in the crowd were nine brave souls lined up against a plaza wall and guarded by young men in Apple T-shirts,” Elmer-DeWitt reports. “They were here to buy the iPad — the tablet computer that was to go on sale in 18 hours — and they were settling in for the night.”
Elmer-DeWitt reports, “They ranged in age from 7 to 47 and came from as near as Brooklyn and as far away as Germany. One is a grandmother, several are students, one is what you might call a professional line sitter.”
Number 1: Greg Packer, 47, a highway maintenance worker from Huntington, Long Island, who has made a hobby of giving “man on the street” interviews to the press, which he does by attending events that attract journalists and being first in line. He was first to buy the original iPhone, first to sign the condolence book at the British consulate when Princess Diana died, first in line for Bill Clinton’s book signing, and first in line for the inauguration of George W. Bush, for which he slept outside in the snow. According to his Wikipedia entry, he’s been quoted more than 100 times and photographed at least 16 times by the Associated Press, 14 times by Newsday, 13 times by the New York Daily News and 12 times by the New York Post. In 2003 the AP issued a memo that read, in part: “The world is full of all kinds of interesting people. One of them is Greg Packer of Huntington, N.Y., who apparently lives to get his name on the AP wire and in other media. … Mr. Packer is clearly eager to be quoted. Let’s be eager, too — to find other people to quote.”
The line grew.
Full article with photos here.