Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Another installment of Girls who met the Beatles

Here is another one of those funny stories written by a teenager in the 1960's shortly after she used her Datebook magazine credentials to get into a Beatles press conference. This one actually clears up a small mystery to me. I have often wondered about the photograph of Paul in Minneapolis during the press conference posing with a cigar. Now I know the story of why! I found it hilarious that this fan gave George a little red hotel from a Monopoly game. And his reaction is too funny! This story was written in 1965 by Dalana Bolander. She was 17 years old at the time and was living in Yorktown, Indiana. After a little research, I discovered that the press conference she attended was the Minneapolis 1965 one (the one where George is presented with a guitar)

Suddenly flashbulbs began to pop and the air immediately became beautiful. For the Beatles were making their way into the room.

I stood inches away from the front row. One man in front of me must have realized the anguish in my heart for he put his arm around my waist and pushed me in front of him. I patted his shoulder and said, “Oh thank you. I just luv you.” He smiled.

Ringo was right in front of me, as was John. Next to John was beautiful Paul McCartney, then George Harrison, last to sit down. I forgot all about the camera in my hands; I just sat staring at them for a few moments.

I’d collected a gift for each Beatle, never thinking I’d really ever get the chance to give it to them. Ringo looked down at me and I said, “Congratulations to you and Maureen.” (I dreamt of saying that so I had to say it). He smiled and said, “Thank you.” His voice was deep.

Next, John. I yelled to him, “John, I think your wife is just beautiful!” His face beamed with pride and he said back with a grin, “Thank you.”

The boy I love more than anyone in this world sat an arm’s reach away from me and I didn’t know what to say. Finally I took an envelope holding a huge souvenir cigar from under my arm and handed it up to Paul. I said, “Here Paul this is for you.” He opened one corner of the blue envelope after reading the writing on the front that said, “To Paul, Love Dalana.” He smiled sweetly when he read that. He pulled out the huge cigar, his mouth dropped. John looked at it and said in a low, husky voice, “Oh! A cigar!” All four kept saying over and over “Oh, a cigar!”

I was so proud! Paul put the cigar in his mouth and immediately photographers went crazy, for here was a center of attention. Everyone began yelling at Paul, “Hold up the cigar Paul! Put it in your mouth!” He did exactly what the cameramen wanted. I wanted to appear sophisticated as possible and not just some other screamy Beatlemaniac (which I am) but at one moment I could not help but show all the pride I had for Paul holding my cigar. My lips were pressed hard together and my eyes on the verge of closing on ecstasy. Paul looked down at me! I straightened up right away, but I knew he saw how very good I felt.

I asked Ringo if I could shake his hand. He looked at me blankly then extended his hand to me. Talk about a heart stopping!

I’d written a poem and a short letter for John, I took it from under my arm, got John’s attention easily for he was so close, then said, “Here John. This is for you.” He took the paper from my hand and quickly put it in his pocket, then looked defiantly at anyone who might question what it was. ( I think he thought it was some mushy love letter or something).

Knowing that George was a champion Monopoly player, I had brought a small red hotel along with me. I reached up to George “This is for you.” He looked at my hand and then asked after a long pause, “What is it?” I said, “I know you are a Monopoly player and I thought you might like this.” For a minute I thought he wasn’t going to take it, but finally he bent over and took the small item from my hand, stared at it, while John broke his neck to see what it was. “Oh! A hotel! Ho!” Then as before the other Beatles had done before, they all chanted in, “Oh a hotel!”

If you remember in Help! Paul turned into a Tom Thumb sized boy, and had the Spearmint gum wrapper around him. Well, I had bought a pack of Spearmint gum for Paul. I told Paul, “Paul, this is for you too.” He took the gum from my hand and I said again, “I saw Help! the other day, and I thought you might like this.” He laughed and laughed , then put the gum away.

After a few moments, Paul bent across the table and said about his cigar, “I don’t smoke these, ya know?”

I asked John if I could shake his hand . All of the microphones and equipment were in our way. Somehow I moved my hand above all of the stuff and reached John’s hand, but not before my hand collided with a small microphone. I knocked it over. Ringo made a face, then straighten up the microphone and said, “Hey we don’t want to knock down all this equipment here!” John coldly stared at Ringo, and then hit him on the shoulder, saying jokingly “That’s no way to talk to the girl, Ringo!” Ringo with his usual sad-eyed expression, looked at me, then John, then down to the table. He looked so cute, I felt sorry for him, even though John was only goofing around.

Ringo was chewing gum and blowing huge bubbles throughout the entire conference. But whenever a cameraman would ask Ringo to blow a bubble for a picture, Ringo would shake his head and say, “We’re not allowed to.” John has the most sarcastic expression on his face at all times, but this makes him all the more strongly handsome!

I shook Paul’s hand without any problem or embarrassing incidents, but George posed a problem. He stood above Paul, and I asked if he’d shake my hand. He looked at me as if someone had painted my face green or something. He put his hand out finally, then changed his mind, then put it up again and shook my hand. He sure is a weird, but funny man! He scared me because I thought he wasn’t going to shake my hand.

Whenever anything goes on, John is always looking to see exactly what is happening. Paul is very sweet, considerate, good-looking and single! I love him. Ringo is funny and is always saying funny things. He smoked more than the others and seemed to find pleasure in blowing smoke rings. George has the creamiest skin in the world. He’s thin but not exceedingly so. He’s really tuff!

All these things happened within 7 minutes.

I sauntered back to my front row seat and began telling this one girl what had happened to me while I was up front. She seemed interested in something else so I just made a face at her and sat down.


  1. Replies
    1. This wonderful article was written by my then (and still!) best friend. She happened across this site today and sent it to me, thrilled to see it recycled like this. I sure do remember that summer she went back to Wisconsin to stay with her grandfather and this opportunity came up... the letters flew back and forth between us. The coolest thing about all this to me was that I know what was written on that note to John Lennon. To this day I have a framed picture on my wall of him with the edge of the note sticking out of his pocket. And I remember how I felt when Dalana told me me what she'd written: "You are the idol of my best friend. Her name is Lynda Lyons." Imagine how I felt knowing that she did that for me -- and that there was a chance he had actually seen and read my name and the certainty that (my name) had been in his pocket next to his chest!

    2. Lynda: Thanks for adding to the story! I am a "John girl" myself and the thought of him reading my name just gives me chills! And to think that he had a paper with your name in his pocket. Good for you! :)
      I hope your friend, Dalana took a special photo of John on this day for you. I am so glad that both of you found this page.

      Sara S.