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open letter to Paul McCartney, from an old love

My friends, the message of today’s post is: get your good ideas in advance.  I suddenly realised yesterday that I should write about my teenaged love for Paul, as he is now front page news.  So I scribbled a piece and sent it to the Star, where the op-ed editor had recently bought a piece of mine.  But this one, sadly, withered and died.  

So now I am sending it out into the world “with love from me to you,” as my darling once sang. And yes, for those of you in the know, it was Eric Clapton’s Yardbirds.  Little did I know, or care.

Hi Paul:
Welcome to Canada.  I’m so excited about going to Quebec to see you.

You might not remember, Paul, but you and I have met before.  Well, “met” isn’t exactly the word.  In 1965, I was fourteen years old and living in Paris with my family for a year, when it was announced that the Beatles were going to play the Palais des Sports in June, twice in one day.  I used all my savings to buy tickets, expensive ones ($6) for the afternoon – in the eighth row centre – and cheaper ones ($2) on the side for the evening.  As a deeply committed Beatlemaniac, and in fact Paulmaniac, I didn’t sleep for weeks.

It was lonely living in Paris, and so that year, Paul, I kept myself company writing stories about the two of us, you and I.  The tales started with you helping me with my math homework and progressed to us dating, falling in love and marrying. We liked to drive around Europe in your Jaguar XKE.  In my favourite story, you were dying of pneumonia and John, Cynthia and I were hugging each other in despair, until I asked to be allowed to hold your hand under the oxygen tent.  Suddenly, colour came back into your cheeks, and you revived. “It’s a miracle, Mrs. McCartney!” the doctor cried.

And then, in June, you were coming to town.  I dressed in my best dress, a baby blue shift with a teardrop cutout at the front where my cleavage would have been if I’d had any.  I arrived early, bought the souvenir program and turned to the page with the huge photograph of you. There was a terrible group on first called the Yardbirds; I couldn’t wait for them to be over. When they took the piece of paper off the drum kit and revealed the words “The Beatles,” the screams began.

And then there you were, all of you dressed in snazzy grey suits.  I jumped up and down waving my picture, screaming, crying, laughing and, when the music started, singing along, all at the same time.  You were the only one who tried to speak French.  You were adorable – bouncing, smiling,  singing “Till there was you” in that soft, sweet voice.  And then, a heart-stopping moment, Paul – do you remember? – when you looked down at the audience, you saw a girl in the eighth row centre in a baby blue dress with a teardrop cutout waving a big picture of you, and you smiled right at her.  You did.  I have carried that wondrous moment all my life.

In those days, you were with Jane Asher, who appears in my stories as a vicious alcoholic from whom you were freed by a nice, much younger Canadian girl.  And then there was Linda, with whom you made a long and happy family life.  Then, unfortunately, there was What’s her name. And now you are single again, Paul.  So I am going to Quebec to take up where we left off, forty-three years ago.  I’ll be the middle-aged one with the short hair, dancing and singing and waving to you.  You can’t miss me.
with love
Beth

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4 Responses to “open letter to Paul McCartney, from an old love”

  1. Sharon says:

    Beth, thanks for the chuckle! I was right there with you, except that I had cleavage back then!

    Sharon

  2. beth says:

    Lucky you, Sharon. I would have done anything for cleavage.
    b.

  3. Sara says:

    I loved reading this! It sounds like you are a very faithful fan of Paul’s! I am about your age and still love him, too.

    Sara

  4. beth says:

    Hi Sara:
    I fell in love in 1964 and love him still, though I did miss quite a few years in between, I confess – I wasn’t a great fan of Wings and was busy with children and life, not listening to much music except “Baby Beluga.” Now I’ve fired up my record player, am replacing my worn-out records – bought the “Abbey Road” LP today – and am heading back to 1964.
    best
    beth

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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