What Whitney Houston’s Last Autographs Reveal

By Kathi McKnight,
Master Certified Expert Handwriting Analyst

Whitney Houston signing her last documented autograph, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.


Whitney Houston

Raw Talent, Big Presence, Troubled Handwriting

The music world and fans were stunned and saddened by the sudden death on February 11 of Whitney Houston .

Despite tumultuous public battles with addictions and substance abuse, she will be remembered most of all for her legendary, extraordinary voice. But while her voice expressed the heavenly gift deep in her soul, her handwriting reveals the demons she struggled with.

Join me now in taking an exclusive look at what was going on deep inside this beloved Pop Diva’s soul in the final hours of her life, via the insights her very own handwriting reveals.

Whitney Houston February 9, 2012

Two days before her unexpected death, TMZ and paparazzi captured Whitney signing her last two documented autographs. Disheveled looking, she wasn’t the Whitney we were used to seeing.


Whitney's Houston's first album, and one of the last two she signed.

Whitney's first album, and one of the last two she signed.

One autograph she signed was on her first album, “Whitney Houston,” a top seller. The cover shows Whitney looking sleek and divine like the goddess of pop music that she was.

But her handwriting…was a mess. You don’t have to be a certified graphologist to see the writing on the wall.

Were there any clues in those final autographs to give a warning that she had just given her last performance? Revealing that for Whitney Houston, the final curtain had just come down?

It had been so many years since Whitney included a smiley face in her autographs, yet on this night, where her final performance was captured at the Tru Nightclub in Hollywood, she signed her autographs with a smiley face superimposed over her signature.

She wanted the world to see her as happy, like in the old days. Tangled and illegible her autograph reveals much more than meets the eye.

Come with me for an insider’s look.
I’ll teach you how to read between the lines.

Our signature, autograph, our John Hancock—whatever you want to call it—is our personal logo. It is the public profile we want the world to see.

While it must be noted that no one can be fully known or analyzed by just their signature alone, and that full handwriting samples are strongly recommended for a full analysis, do not dismiss the power a signature carries.

The signature is just the tip of the iceberg, and what does show up, can carry 3-5 times the weight of importance compared to the rest of one’s handwriting.

Think of it this way:  What if those on the Titanic had paid attention to the tip of the iceberg? Would the fate of those on board have turned out differently?


Signatures: When they are legible the writer is willing to let you see him or her. They are interested in communicating.

When the signature is illegible (as many super stars’ are) it means they only will let you in so far to see them. And they don’t really want you to know who they are. You are not invited in past a certain point. It also means they may have found a fast way to sign their name if they have to sign their name a LOT.

Many celebrities and “regular folk” too, sign their name with the first letter much larger than the rest of the writing; especially if they tend to be successful in business. This is commonly known to reveal a writer who has a “healthy ego” and it is generally accepted. Most people realize it takes a strong sense of self to be successful in the world at large.

Keep in mind, there are no mistakes in handwriting.

Handwriting does not lie.


There are over 5,000 things that handwriting reveals about the person being analyzed, and only about things that it doesn’t:

  • It does not predict the future.
  • It does not tell the age of the signer.
  • It does not tell the gender.
  • And it does not tell if the signer is right handed or left handed.

(The last one surprises everyone!)

What we look at as a professional graphologist are the upper loops, the lower loops, the size, the pressure, where the t’s are dotted, where the i’s are crossed, if the writing is rounded or pointed, the slant, where it is placed on the page and soooo much more.

Then…we stack all of these things together!

Whitney Houston's last autograph on a 12-inch single.

Looking at Whitney’s final autographs above, if you didn’t see the picture or know it was her name ahead of time, would you be able to read this signature?


Me neither.

I’m a handwriting analyst, not a mind reader.

Do you see the check-mark far above the letter i? That is her i dot and it reveals annoyance and irritation. Yet she is putting on a happy face (or so she thinks) with a very sloppy attempt at superimposing a smiley face. She had been drinking when she autographed these pictures. Even still, she wrote uphill which usually means optimism. She was feeling high and having a good time. Some say when writing is slanted so epically up hill, the writer is trying hard to deny and overcome depression.

Notice the height of the letters in these two autographs. I’m not talking just about the first letter of her name. I’m referring to any and all letter that naturally go into the upper zone, in this case the “h” and “t”. When letters reaching into the upper zone are more than 3 times the height of the middle zone, it is an indicator of vanity.

No big deal you say? After all, if anyone had reason to be vain, it would be Whitney Houston. Gorgeous, rich, beloved, talented beyond reason, all true.

Michael Jackson had the trait of vanity in his autographs and hand-writings too.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Houston shared her feelings about performing with Michael Jackson at his 30th-anniversary special in 2001 saying it opened her eyes, that she saw him as a “mirror” because he reflected her own issues with addictions. “I just remember doing the anniversary special and I remember looking at Michael and I remember looking at myself and I was getting scared looking at him,” she said. “I was looking at myself. I don’t want it to be like this. Mike and I were very close.”

While there are quite a few other factors found in these autographs, look at the height of some of the letters in “Whitney.” They are disproportionately tall compared to the other letters. You could go mountain climbing over those tall letters.

In handwriting analysis when a person unconsciously writes strokes and letters that are disproportionally tall in their height compared to the rest of the writing (specifically compared to the middle zone letters) it is a clear indicator of vanity.

And this seems to be the crux of her demise. It is one of the more unfortunate and potent traits that were setting her up for a fall.

When vanity is discovered in handwriting, it reveals a writer who prefers high achievement to emotional satisfaction. There is arrogance and a dogmatic approach to living life. The writer has intense pride in herself and what she has achieved. But here is the kicker:

Rejection can cause acute anxiety to
the person with vanity in their writing.

This trait of vanity as it is discovered in handwriting means the writer is enslaved to adoration, constant praise and attention. They are the most susceptible to flattery out of all the other traits found in handwriting.

In my new book,  What the Final Autographs of Whitney Houston Reveal: Sizzling Secrets in her Script, I trace Whitney’s handwriting from the early days in the 1980s-90s when her career was at its peak…clear up to the bitter end. Her autographs over the years reveal an autobiography rich in surprises and the pivotal moments are revealed when she could have gone one way or the other.

There was a time when she seemed to have an angel on one shoulder and the Devil on the other.

However the trait of vanity was always present, even in the early days, back in 1990’s, when she autographed this picture. This woman with the voice of an angel was battling many demons.

Whitney Houston back in the 1990s.

You could practically read the autograph back then, but sadly the writing reveals a strong indicator of self doubt as is evidenced by the ending stroke of the letter y moving up, over and to the left as she uses that stroke to cross her letter t. It also serves as a protective bubble over her name. This and more uncovers her feelings of self protectiveness, self doubt and much more.

Pride that accompanies vanity makes it difficult to admit the need for anyone else, even God himself. Pride feeds the illusion that we are completely independent and self-sufficient. Whitney never fully “got” it. “A vital part of overcoming alcohol addiction drug abuse, codependency or baggage from the past that may make you susceptible to a lifestyle of pain and suffering is finding spirituality in recovery (beliefs), or a strength greater than yourself.” “The more faith you put in the spiritual relationship and the more you trust the guidance without using human logic, the greater will be the results in your life.” Spirituality in Addiction Rehabilitation

It’s ironic. The song she sang so passionately held the answers all along.

But a beat was skipped and now the curtain has gone down for the final time.


Greatest Love of All

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be


And if, by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love



Whitney Houston

Kathi McKnight is a master certified expert handwriting analyst, motivational speaker and author. For more information and to sign up for free weekly tips about 7 Little Known Handwriting Analysis Secrets, visit her website at TheHandwritingExpert.com  or KathiMcKnight.com.

Watch for Kathi’s new book, “What Whitney Houston’s Final Autographs Reveal: The Sizzling Secrets in her Script” to get an exclusive look at her autographs with in-depth analyses of each and every one. Bonus: “Handwriting samples of Michael Jackson”, and many more. Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble by March 15 or sooner!

July 9, 2011 Autograph Addresses

Successful Results in the Last Year Get 1 Asterisk (*); 2 for Within 3 Months (**)
Have feedback on any of the addresses? Share it in comments at the bottom!

** Tim Allen Boxing Cat Prod., 11500 Hart St., No. Hollywood, CA, 91605
Adrienne Barbeau General Hospital, 4151 Prospect Ave, Hollywood, CA, 90027
** Powers Boothe IMPR, 1810 4th St., Ste. 205, Santa Monica, CA, 90404
** Dayton Callie Abrams Artists Agency, 9200 Sunset Blvd, 11th Fl., Los Angeles, CA, 90069
** Larry Cedar Sutton, Barth & Vennari, Inc., 145 S. Fairfax Ave., #310, Los Angeles, CA, 90036
** Carol Channing Channing – Kullijian Foundation, 101 First St, #443, Los Altos, CA, 94022-2778
** Bill Cosby PO Box 4049, Santa Monica, CA, 90411
** Billy Crystal Face Prod., 335 N. Maple Dr., Beverly Hills, CA, 90210
** Tony Dow David Moss & Assoc., 733 N. Seward St., Penthouse, Los Angeles, CA, 90038
** Barbara Eden PO Box 6061-617, Sherman Oaks, CA, 91413
* Jessalyn Gilsig Independent Artists Agency, 9601 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 750, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210
** John Hawkes IMPR, 1810 4th St., Ste. 205, Santa Monica, CA, 90404
** Peter Jason Diverse Talent Group, 9911 Pico Blvd., Ste. 350W, Los Angeles, CA, 90035
* Shirley Jones Suite One Prod., 16400 Ventura Blvd, #335, Encino, CA, 91436
* Stacy Keach 101 N Robertson Blvd, Ste. 200, Beverly Hills, CA, 90211
* Sally Kellerman 7944 Woodrow Wilson Dr., Los Angeles, CA, 90046
* Ben Kingsley Independent Talent Group Oxford House, 76 Oxford St., London, UK, W1D 1BS
Swoosie Kurtz Mike and Molly Bonanza Prod., 3500 W. Olive Ave. #780, Burbank, CA, 91505
** John Leguizamo Rebel Prod., 268 E. 7th St., Ground Fl., New York, NY, 10009
** Joanna Lumley La Bete Music Box Theatre, 239 W. 45th St., New York, NY, 10036
** George Maharis 9401 Wilshire Blvd. 700, Beverly Hills, CA, 90212
** Lee Majors PO Box 3457, Beverly Hills, CA, 90212
** David McCallum NCIS, 26030 Avenue Hall, Box 4, Valencia, CA, 91335
** Patty McCormack 12121 La Maida St. #7, North Hollywood, CA, 91607
** Gerald McRaney AVO Talent, 8500 Melrose Ave., #212, West Hollywood, CA, 90069
** Ian McShane McShane Prod., New Bridge St. House, 30 New Bridge St., London, UK, EC4V 6BJ
* Hayley Mills Chatto And Linnit Ltd, 123a Kings Rd., GB London, England, SW3 4PL
** Kristin Minter Marshak/Zachary, 8840 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90211
* Richard Moll PO Box 120010, Big Bear Lake, CA, 92315
** Kevin Nealon Brillstein-Grey Ent., 9150 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 350, Beverly Hills, CA, 90212
* Joe Pesci Jay Julien Mgmt., 1501 Broadway, Ste. 2600, New York, NY, 10036
** Leon Rippy Michael Greene & Assoc. Talent Agency, 190 N. Canon Dr., Ste. 202, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210
Julia Roberts Red Om Films Inc., 8383 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 500, Beverly Hills, CA, 90211
** Laura Vandervoort Noble Caplan Abrams, 1260 Yonge St., 2nd Fl., Toronta, ON, Canada, M4T 1W6
** Titus Welliver Paradigm Agency, 360 N. Crescent Dr., N. Building, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210
** Rosanne Cash Danny Kahn Cross Rd. Mgmt., 45 W. 11th St., Ste. 7B, New York, NY, 10011
** Dick Clark Dick Clark Co., 26800 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA, 90265
* Billy Joel Maritime, Inc., 34 Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay, NY, 11771
Avril Lavigne RCA Records, 550 Madison Ave., New York, NY, 10022
* The Band Perry Bob Doyle & Assoc., 1111 17th. Ave. S., Nashville, TN, 37212
** Janice Acoose First Nations University Of Canada, 710 Duke St., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, S7K 0P8
** Kelley Aitken 30 Duncan St., Ste. 704, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5V 2C3
* Jan Brett Post Office Box 366, Norwell, MA, 2061
** Nathan P. Butler Creekside High School, 7405 Herndon Rd., Fairburn, GA, 30213
** Meg Cabot Albin Michel, 22 Rue Huyghens, Paris, France, 75 014
* Catherine Coulter PO Box 17, Mill Valley, CA, 94942
** Charlaine Harris P.O Box 354, Magnolia, AR, 71754
* Lisa Hendrix PO Box 8092, Medford, OR, 97501
** Mary Higgins Clark MHC-Clark, 15 Werimus Brook Rd., Saddle River, NJ, 7458
** Christopher Hitchens 2022 Columbia Rd Nw, Washington, DC, 20009
* Kitty Kelley 1228 Eton CT. Nw, Washington, DC, 20007
* Thomas M. Keneally Random House, Level 3, 100 Pacific Highway,, North Sydney, Australia, NSW 2060
* Dean R. Koontz PO Box 9529, Newport Beach, CA, 92658
* Katie MacAlister 3 Seas Literary Agency, PO Box 8571, Madison, WI, 53708
** Arthur Marx 2112 Century Park Ln, Unit 110, Los Angeles, CA, 90067
** William J. Murray Religious Freedom Coalition, PO Box 77511, Washington, DC, 20013
* Christopher Rice 1239 First St., New Orleans, LA, 70730
* Philip Roth 250 Melius Rd., Cornwall Bridge, CT, 6754
* Richard Russo 3 High ST, Camden, ME, 4843
** Jennifer Sey Levis, 1155 Battery St., San Francisco, CA, 94111
* Vivian Vande Velde Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Attn: Vivian Vande Velde Author Mail, 222 Berkeley St., Boston, MA, 2116
** Herman Wouk 303 Crestview, Palm Springs, CA, 92264
* Timothy Zahn PO Box 1755, Coos Bay, OR, 97420
** Laila Ali Premier Sports Mgmt., 1401 Ocean Ave. Ste. 302,, Santa Monica, CA, 90401
** Amanda Beard 212 Raft Island Dr. N.W., Gig Harbor, WA, 98335
** Buddy Bell Chicago White Sox U.S. Cellular Field, 333 W. 35th St., Chicago, IL, 60616
** Brad Daugherty PO Box 2270, Fairview, NC, 28730-2270
** Frank Gifford GIFFORD, 300 Main St., Ste. 802, Stamford, CT, 6901
** Eric Heiden UC Davis Sports Medicine, 2315 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, CA, 95817
** Don Larsen PO Box 2863, Hayden, ID, 83835
** Jack Nicklaus 11397 Old Harbour Rd., N. Palm Beach, FL, 33408
** Shaquille O’Neal 555 Concord Rd., Sudbury, MA, 1776
** Bill Russell 27982 Red Pine Ct., Valencia, CA, 91354
* Caroline Wozniaki WTA, One Progress Plaza, Ste. 1500, St. Peterburgh, FL, 33701
** Don Zimmer 7069 Key Haven Rd. #201, Seminole, FL, 33777
Joe Amato Motorsports H.O.F., PO Box 194, Novi, MI, 48376
Jack Beckman Valvoline, PO Box 14000, Lexington, KY, 40512
Bob Benza BNB Racing Inc., 175 Marble Ave., Pleasantville, NY, 10570
Kenny Bernstein Motorsports H.O.F., PO Box 194, Novi, MI, 48376
Bob Bode Bode Racing, PO Box 1107, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60007
David Buca Baca Henkelman & Baca Motorsports, 529 Garcia Ave, Ste. C, Pittsburg, CA, 94565
Jeg Couglin Jr. & Sr. Team Jegs Jeg’s High Performance, 101 JEGS Place, Delaware, OH, 43015
Erica Enders Enders Racing, 18000 Groschke Rd., Hanger A2, Houston, TX, 77084
Doug Foley Doug Foley Drag Racing School, 149A Byers Creek Rd., Mooresville, NC, 28117
John Force John Force Racing, 22722 Old Canal Rd., Yorba Linda, CA, 92887
Ashley Force Hood John Force Racing, 22722 Old Canal Rd., Yorba Linda, CA, 92887
Matt Hagan
Rhonda Hartman-Smith Hartman Enterprises, 5611 Highway 81 N., Williamston, SC, 29697
Doug Herbert Doug Herbert Performance Parts, 1443 East Gaston St., Lincolnton, NC, 28092
Robert Hight John Force Racing, 22722 Old Canal Rd., Yorba Linda, CA, 92887
Alan Johnson Alan Johnson Racing, PO Box 5546, Santa Maria, CA, 93456
Steve Johnson Steve Johnson Racing, 2551 Ruffner Court, Irondale, AL, 35210
Connie Kalitta Kalitta Motorsports, 1010 James L. Hart Pkwy., Ypsilanti, MI, 48197
Doug Kalitta Kalitta Motorsports, 1010 James L. Hart Pkwy., Ypsilanti, MI, 48197
Chris Karamesines Motorsports H.O.F., PO Box 194, Novi, MI, 48376
Morgan Lucas Morgan Lucas Racing, 481 S.point Circle, Unit 10, Brownsburg, IN, 46112
Spencer Massey Team Jegs Jeg’s High Performance, 101 JEGS Place, Delaware, OH, 43015
Cory McClenathan Team Jegs Jeg’s High Performance, 101 JEGS Place, Delaware, OH, 43015
Tony Pedregon Pedregon Race Shop, 462 S. Point Cir., Brownsburg, IN, 46112
Cruz Pedregon Pedregon Race Shop, 462 S. Point Cir., Brownsburg, IN, 46112
Don Prudhomme Motorsports H.O.F., PO Box 194, Novi, MI, 48376
Tony Schumacker Schumacher Racing, 3821 Industrial Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN, 46254
Matt Smith NHRA, 366 Easton Rd., Warrington, PA, 18976
Melanie Troxel National Hot Rod Assoc., 2035 Financial Way, Glendora, CA, 91741
Tim Wilkerson Tim Wilkerson Racing, Inc., 2840 Stevenson Dr. Ste. C, Springfield, IL, 62703
Del Worsham Worsham Racing, PO Box 1329, Chino Hills, CA, 91709
** Allisyn Ashley Arm Piper/Kaniecki/Marks Attn: Lynne Marks, PO Box 517, Cedar Glen, CA, 92321
* Erin Brockovich-Ellis 5737 Kanam Rd.. #592, Agoura Hills, CA, 91301
** Tommy Chong 1625 Casale Rd., Pacific Palidsades, CA, 90272
* Monica Crowley 77 WABC2 Penn Plaza, 17th Fl., New York, NY, 10121
** Rick Hansen Rick Hansen Foundation, #300 – 3820 Cessna Dr., Richmond, BC, Canada, V7B 0A2
** Thomas D. Jones Astronaut Office, Mail Code CB, NASA, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, 77058
* Christine King Farris Spellman College, 350 Spellman Lane S.W., Atlanta, GA, 30314-4399
Doutzen Kroes DNA Model Mgmt., 555 W. 25th St., 6th Fl., New York, NY, 10001
* David Letterman Dave Autograph Request/ Susan Kanani/Late Show with David Letterman, 1697 Broadway, 12th Fl., New York, NY, 10019
* Allison Mack Industry Ent., 955 Carrillo Dr., Ste. 300, Los Angeles, CA, 90048
** Valerie Perrine Bret Adams Agency, 448 W. 44th St., New York, NY, 10036
** Paul Schrader 9696 Culver Blvd. #203, Culver City, CA, 90232
Steven Spielberg War Horse’ Longcross Studios, Chobham Lane, Chertsey, Surrey, UK, KT16 0EE
** John Wagner Hallmark Cards Inc., PO Box 419580, Kansas City, MO, 64141
** James D. Watson PO Box 100, Cold Springs Harbor, NY, 11724
** Raquel Welch 9903 Santa Monica Blvd, Ste #514, Beverly Hills, CA, 90212



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PSA and PSA/DNA Opening New Jersey Office

(Woodbridge, New Jersey) — To meet the increasing needs of collectors and dealers in the eastern U.S., especially in autographs, Professional Sports Authenticator and PSA/DNA Authentication Services are opening an office in Woodbridge, N.J., this summer.

Only in-person submissions will be accepted at the new office, by appointment. All mailed and shipped submissions should still be sent to PSA and PSA/DNA’s Calif. office unless pre-approved by the staff.

“We’re very excited about the New Jersey office,” said Joe Orlando, President of PSA and PSA/DNA. “It is near I-95 and centrally located between New York City and Philadelphia. Considering the concentrated customer base on the upper east coast, and the growing popularity of PSA/DNA-certified autographs, the time is right to provide an additional location for our customers.”

Orlando said the new office will improve turnaround times on many submissions.

“We’ve had three consecutive record quarters for PSA/DNA, and some members of our staff have been traveling over 100,000 miles each year to service our customers. A few of our California employees will be relocating to the New Jersey office, and we’ll be hiring additional employees. By being able to process autographs on both coasts more efficiently, our turnaround times will naturally improve.”
Only autographs will be processed in New Jersey, but, the new office will accept all other submissions, including trading cards, tickets, photographs, sports memorabilia and game-used items for evaluation by PSA and PSA/DNA authenticators and graders in California and elsewhere.

“We’ll be able to encapsulate authenticated items in the New Jersey office, such as autographed cuts and autographed cards,” Orlando said. “It also will be easier and more convenient for eastern U.S. collectors and dealers to submit larger items, such as autographed bats and helmets, without mailing them.”

The New Jersey office will host open submission days, similar to PSA Fridays in Calif., where the public can personally submit items and meet PSA and PSA/DNA staff members.

“People have been asking me for several years, ‘When are you going to open an east coast office?'” Orlando said. “The answer is this summer, and we’ll have additional information about it in the weeks ahead with a formal announcement at the National Sports Collectibles Convention.

For a list of PSA and PSA/DNA services go to www.psacard.com/services.

For additional information, contact PSA Customer Service at 800-325-1121 or by email at info@PSAcard.com.


Please Sign My Yearbook

By Mike White

May is the time of year when students everywhere become autograph collectors for a brief time as they ask their fellow students to sign their yearbook. For me, an established autograph collector, the yearbook signature request is all the more exciting and the signatures more valuable.

Being a high school senior and autograph collector of over seven years, I’m no stranger to either. I have quite a few autographs, several valued at $100 or more, yet, because of sentimental value, some of my favorite autographs (and the most valuable to me) are those in my yearbooks. In fact, though I love my “official” autograph collection, I’d actually part with it before I’d part with my junior high and high school yearbooks.

I’ve spoken with other students and faculty in my high school about how they feel about signatures in their yearbooks, and I’ve found that they don’t find them as valuable as I do. In fact, one of my teachers said that when she was in high school, she didn’t care if somebody didn’t sign her yearbook as long as they wrote something meaningful. I’m the exact opposite. While I do enjoy reading what people write in my yearbooks, I don’t mind if they simply sign it without an inscription.

The signature that I’ve long considered my most valuable is in my freshman yearbook and inscriptionless. In a prior year, she was the first girl that I ever asked out. Freshman year, I stopped her in the hallway between classes with an open yearbook and an uncapped pen. She was in kind of a hurry, so she quickly took my pen and wrote her name on the page I had it opened to. Unfortunately, that was the first time I used that pen and she wrote on a darker part of the yearbook, so the signature ended up faint. In order to ensure that nobody accidentally wrote over it, I drew a dark square around it and asked everyone signing that page to make sure that they didn’t write inside the square. I got a few weird looks, but to me, it wasn’t just a yearbook signature, it was a sentimentally valuable autograph.

Since that time, my classmates have gotten used to my quirks as far as yearbook signings go. One of those quirks is that, just as with less sentimental autograph collections where people want to collect the signatures of everyone who starred in a specific movie or every athlete in their sport’s hall of fame, I have goals for my yearbook signatures. Sophomore year, my high school housed the offices of the school district’s administrators, so I decided that I wanted all of them to sign my yearbook—even though I hadn”t met most of them. I stopped them in hallways, went to their offices and did everything needed to accomplish that goal. I accomplished it, and at the same time, I made an indelible impression on the administrators. Many came running out of their offices with pens; their secretaries joking that I was going to give them big heads by treating them like celebrities. Several of those administrators still remember that five second interaction after all these years.

Another yearbook signing quirk of mine is that I actually spend time at the beginning of each semester looking at who’s in my classes and considering whether or not I want them to sign my yearbook at the end of the year. I make a list on my iPod Touch and when yearbook signing time rolls around, those are the first people I go to. If someone had a huge role in my life that year, but wasn’t in one of my classes, I contact with them to try to arrange a meet-up so that I can get that all-important signature.

When all is said and done, I feel the same sense of accomplishment and fulfillment as I do after I go autograph hunting anywhere else. To me, “Will you sign my yearbook?” is the same as “Can I have your autograph?” Except in this case, the answer is almost always “Yes!”