Thursday, October 11, 2012

Beyond all Time and Space

I have another story from Jude about meeting John, Yoko and Sean outside of the Dakota.  I love reading about fans meeting John during the "house-husband" years because historically there isn't a whole lot of documentation that is reliable on what he was doing during the late 1970's.   So these fan stories show a glimpse of John being happy as a father and just being a regular guy and not a mega-rock star.    I am also excited because I located the photos that go with this story in my files.   I love love love it when I can match a photo with an exact date!    Yippie!    This story was found in the March/April 1976 issue of the Harrison Alliance.

Beyond all time and space
By Jude

It was Saturday afternoon, first day of spring, 20th of March (1976) and weather-wise, one of the nicer Saturdays we’d had in a long time.  So, completely on the spur of the moment, with hardly a thought to John and Yoko’s anniversary, or seeing them, I packed a sandwich, a book and an instamatic, and headed into the city with the notion of sitting myself on the park bench across from the Dakota, and getting a few snapshots of the sunshine complimenting the building.
I was sitting there perhaps not even 15 minutes, when out of the blue I spotted John and Yoko with Sean, stepping onto the opposite curb, and closed to traffic for the Saturday bikers, and fortunately there were no cars to dodge.  As I got over to them, Yoko had just caught up to John from behind him and was next to me, so I touched her arm and said, “Yoko, how are you?” to which she smiled back with a shy, “fine.”

Me:  “How’s everything?  You look great.  How’s the baby?”   Nothing like getting it all in at once, and it had John turn in front of us to what the conversation was.

Yoko:  “Oh, fine, thank you.”

Me (to John), “Um, could I just ask you one question? “  One huh?  Forget it.
John:  (playfully) “Wot?”

Me:  “Would you think I was obnoxious if I asked to take a picture?”  He made a wanting to oblige face, but glanced at the benches full of sun-lovers.  

John:  “mmm…everyone’ll start looking, y’see? “  And so in turn I went,   “Ah, just one?” and with a sweet reassuring look and tone of voice, he said, “We’ll be back in 10 minutes.  We’re just walking about the park.”

Me:  “Oh, um, would you mind if I walked along with you for a bit then?”  And with that, as we’d already taken a few steps, he gave me a friendly, “No!”

We’d walked just a few steps further when I thought I noticed somebody familiar just over my shoulder and by pure coincidence it happened to be Marina Sharpe, and her friend Peggy, who’d also spotted him per chance and caught up.  John was a bit ahead of me now, as I stopped to say, 
“Marina?”  And so the three of us went on to walk a bit behind them and occasionally snap a picture.
His hair had been freshly cut.  Still tapered and even in the back.  The length somewhere between “late Gripweed” and “early Imagine,” from what I could tell with his cap on, and facially he looked much like the back of that lp too.  His build was perfect, in fact form the last time’s seeing him (night of George’s last gig) I might’ve expected him to be thinner, but he looked strappingly healthy to say the least!  He was wearing a bright blue pre-washed denim jacket and jeans, brown books and a beige cap.  Yoko looked nice too in jeans, black turtleneck, her hair tied back and in a ski-cap.  And there was Sean, tucked into a green-cord baby pack that John had on, his nose and eyes peeking out from under a little brimmed multi-colored crocheted hat.

They stopped a few times.  Once so John could adjust Sean’s foot, catching him on the back and another as Yoko took off Sean’s hat, fixed I and put it back on with a little pat to his bottom.  It stuck me how contented he looked, taking Dad out for a spin.  Few people passing even noticed them, although believing they’d seen those faces before, a couple glanced back.  We followed behind for quite a ways, allowing for a bit more space between, all the while him chomping away on his gum and turning back once in a while to see if we were still there.  They turned down the little wooded path near the lake and it was there we stopped to head back to wait at the apartment. 

At the front of the building, and not waiting too long really, Peggy spotted them about to cross over at the corner.  Just as they approached us, in unison we said, “Happy anniversary!” to which Yoko smiled and gave John a little hug, and he in reply gave a cute emphasized, “thank you!” and stepped up about a foot from us with a whimsical expression, awaiting the next bit of dialogue.  I sort of smiled, towing the group yet, I guess, and eyed him and said, “I’m sorry we had to do that before, but after 12 years it’s become a bad habit.”  He laughed, putting his hands in his pockets and teasingly said, “Well, did you get your pictures?”   “mmm…a lot from behind”  (hoping it didn’t come off sound OF your behind.), to which he stepped back, and caught Yoko, saying playfully, “Well, come on and GET some then!  Cuma-Cuma-common!”   as if to say what are you waiting for.

We took a few and I said, “Can I take one with you?”  So he let me get up alongside of him and then as Marina and Peggy were getting the shot, says to Peggy, “Did you send a letter?” recognizing her from the photo she’d enclosed.

Peggy”  “Oh, you got it?”

John:  You see, the secret is that you got to send a self-addressed envelope and a stamp if you want a reply.”  (chomp chomp)and Peggy said that she had.

As Marina was trying to get the shot with one camera, and hold onto the other, he eyed the zodiac patch on her jacket and teasingly said, “come on Aquarius…”  Peggy’s turn now, saying to me, “come on let me get one”  John said to me, “Key, let her take one now…”  so I stepped back behind him to visit Sean.

It was getting breezy there in the shade, and Yoko was pulling her sleeves down over her hands a bit and crossing her arms, and it was getting really chilly, so Marina said, “come on you two, they’re getting cold…” and to that John quipped, “I’m getting hungry!”  As we came around to the front of them, Peggy turned back and said, “Could I just take one of the baby?”  And John started unsurely with, “Ahh…I don’t…” to which Yoko, smiling apologetically, added, “He might be frightened.” And we nodded then, looked as though to let them know we understood.  A few people were passing us by now, John looked up and I heard him say, “oops…we getting a crowd (then softly) we’re gonna go in now.”  With that we thanked them and watched them walk to the gate.  A little girl was standing alongside, almost looking a bit lost, and John turned back to look at her, seemingly wondering if she was or not.  Catching his eye on her, she gave him this big cute bashful face and he continued on his way.

We retreated to the park again to slip out a bit and engrave it all on our brains.  They were just so nice to us, didn’t seem terribly eager to be going (which really knocked me out) and were just so kind and giving of their time.  One hell of a time to be there at the right time.  So thank you John, “and how you’ve been on my mind.”


  1. Marina was trying to get the shot with one camera, and hold onto the other,Great job Marina!
    Miam Dodge