Thursday I met six English girls and we all went to Surrey to see the other three Beatles. First, we went to George's only to be told that he had gone to John's. As we were waiting for the bus to John's one of the girls saw George's car parked in front of the grocery mart. We ran into the store and found Patti Boyd Harrison!
She wore a short, pink jersey dress with a purple bag lined in pink. Her blonde hair was in a slight flip on the sides. She was really nice and so cute. she was pushing a grocery cart that was overflowing. Patti told us that the store would not accept her checks and she did not think she had enough money with her to pay for the groceries. I could not believe it! Here was a Beatle's wife worried about money!
She signed autographs and talked to us about the new Beatles LP. I saw her counting out her money to pay for the groceries. Several men were whistling at her and she blushed as she picked up her change. She came outside carrying a box, followed by two men also carrying boxes. I asked her if she would stop, so I could take a picture. She stopped, put the box down, and smoothed her hair back. I took two more and then our bus had come.
We went up to John's and Ringo's. At Ringo's one of the girls went inside the open gate to take a picture of the house. "Get out!" came a scream from within. It was Ringo. We went to the back of the house to try and look over the fence. I turned around to see a huge airdale dog growling at me! Ringo's workmen had let him out! The gardener came around and asked, "Why did you let the dogs out?" We started walking off.
We went back to George's. I saw George waving to us from a large window by the door. I could see Patti walking around inside the house. George was talking on a white telephone. He wore a dark suit with a turtleneck sweater. The police arrived and I asked if George had called them. "This is one of the few times that Mr. Harrison has NOT called us," they said. I plan to return to England this year. Anybody want to come along? Carol Bedford Age 16, Dallas, Texas.
Except from book.....
Ruth arranged to meet me the next day at one of the train stations. We were going to travel out to Weybridge and Esher. George Harrison was living in Esher with his wife, Pattie Boyd, John Lennon was married to Cynthia and they lived in Weybridge, as did Ringo and Maureen.
Our first stop was Esher. Once there we walked past a grocery store and Ruth shouted, "that's George's mini!" It was a bright orange Mini with all sorts of Indian designs painted on it. We went into the supermarket to see if George was inside. He wasn't, but Pattie was.
Pattie was lovely. You could instantly understand why she was a top model. She was wearing a Foale and Tuffin pink crepe mini dress. It was one of the first minis I had seen. They were just coming into fashion. She was slightly shy when Ruth and I walked up to her. She knew Ruth and Ruth gave her a photograph of George taken at their home. Pattie was very pleased with this commenting that it was a good picture of George and she didn't have many. She appeared very honored that Ruth had given her a copy.
When she was leaving, she was having trouble carrying her box of groceries and trying to open the car door at the same time. To make matters worse, a couple of men were whistling and cat-calling to her. She was getting very embarrassed. Ruth took the box so Pattie could open the door and get in the car.
Ruth told Pattie we were "doing the rounds", going to all their houses. Did Pattie know if any of them were at home? Pattie said George was out until about five and then both of them were going out to visit friends. She said John and Ringo were in, as far as she knew because George had called them earlier to chat. She then thanked Ruth for help with the groceries, waved goodbye and shouted as she drove off "Happy hunting. hope you see them today."
WE decided to go straight to Weybridge and then back to George's after five. We took a short bus journey and when we disembarked we were in the Weybridge area. We had quite a lengthy walk, though before we would reach John's house. We passed a country club where we saw several couples playing tennis. Weybridge was so green and wooded. As we walked along, I kept straining to see the luxurious houses set behind thick clusters of trees. We started up a rather long incline. I was just on the point to getting winded when I saw a huge wooden gate. Ruth said this was John's house. I looked through the open gates and saw a very long curved driveway that led up to a huge house. Ruth proceeded to walk up the drive. I hesitated, staring at the "No Trespassing" sign, but my curiosity forced me to follow her. Also, I Was a bit scared and wanted to stay with her.
As we followed the curve in the driveway, I noticed that the front door to the house was in the back. Across from this "front" door was the garage. Ruth looked and said he was home because both cars were in the garage. Ruth knew the cars they drove and could tell if they were in or not by the evidence of the car.
She went up to the door and did something I would have thought impossible. She rang the doorbell. A stocky lady answered, "Hello Ruthie! How are you? Haven't seen you round for a while." "Hi" Ruth said. "Yeah I am tied up with a lot of baby sitting lately. I'm showing an American girl the sights. " Ruth pointed to me and laughed. I smiled, still in shock. "Is he in?" she asked the housekeeper simply. The lady leaned close to Ruth and whispered something in her ear. "Come on. Let's go," Ruth said to me. Once we reached the gate, Ruth told me what the housekeeper had said. "She told me John was in, but in a bad mood and didn't want to see anyone. When John's in a mood, it's best not to bother him."
We had reached Ringo's house which was small in scale and close to the lane than John's. Ruth again rang the bell. There was a shout from an upstairs window. We backed up so we could see who was shouting. Ringo's head was sticking out. "Hello Ruth!" He cried when he saw her. I could see Maureen behind him. "Hi Ringo. We came from a visit." "I can't today Ruth, really busy. I'm about to go out. Some other time?" "Sure, see you soon. Bye." Ruth called. "Bye," Ringo and Maureen waved their greetings and moved away from the window. Ruth looked at her watch and said, "We'd better get back to George's. It's getting close to five."
We went up the gravel path passing all kinds of semi-modern bungalows. Ruth said Esher was good for retired colonels and such. We went up to their house. It was white, L-shaped bungalow set in a clearing with trees surrounding it. Like John's house, there a high wooden fence around the property and it had a curving driveway. Margaret, George's housekeeper, came out of the house. She was going home for the day but, seeing Ruth, she stopped for a chat. She said that Pattie had come in the house and told George that the girls were very nice to her. She told him about the trouble she had getting into her car and avoiding the two men. We then saw George standing in a full-length window. He was talking on the telephone and when he saw us he waved. Margaret said Pattie and George were coming out soon because they have a dinner engagement. We decided we could only wait half and hour because it was getting dark. We could no longer wait for George and Pattie to come out, so we walked back to the train station to head back to London. I told Ruth I would return, especially now that I knew it was possible to know the Beatles.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Two versions of the same story
As I have mentioned, I am currently in the middle of reading Carol Bedford's book "Waiting for the Beatles." I have been enjoying reading it, although I honestly question the validity of some of her stories. Nonetheless it has been a fun book to read and I am glad that I finally got the chance to read it. Strangely enough I also purchased a teen magazine called Teen Datebook and I purchased the September 1967 issue which happens to have an article written by Carol Bedford about her visit to England with her mother and brother in 1966. Here are the photos from part of that article. The first story is the one from the Teen Datebook and the 2nd one is the same story from the book, "Waiting for the Beatles." I will let you decide what you think about it. But I found some glaring contradictions.