Monday, April 30, 2012

Half a smile

Photo taken by Silvia Purbs

I love this fan's room!

Once I get that time-machine I have been wanting, I think I will make sure to go and hang out with this girl.  

Smooch!

Paul in New Orleans 1975 (part 1)

Here is a story of when a fan Gina Fontana huge around the studio where Paul and the rest of Wings were recording in New Orleans in January and February 1975.   This story appeared in the July 1977 issue of "With a little help from my friends."



Paul and his troops arrived in New Orleans on January 16, 1975, at New Orleans International Airport.  During their stay here, they rented the whole second floor of a small hotel in the French Quarter called the Le Richelieu.  They also rented a white Delta 98 convertible and a three speed bike for Heather.

The reason I knew Paul was coming to town was because of a small article in the afternoon paper.  It said Paul was coming to record an album at the Sea-Saint Studio which is owned by Allan Tousaint and Marshall Seahorn.   They were to stay in New Orleans for a little more than a month.  When I read the afternoon paper that day I almost had a heart attack.  The article even gave the address of the studio.  The first thing I did was to find out where the studio was.  It turned out that the place wasn’t even a mile from my house!  I was so happy words can’t ‘explain.  I mean, I‘d been in love with the man for so long and now he was coming to my town.  For a whole month and he wasn’t even gonna be a whole mile away!  Wilds horses couldn’t keep me away from there.

In the article, it said Paul would get here the following Monday, but that Friday there was another small article that said the group would be delayed and there was not further notice of their arrival.  I waited until Wednesday to return to the studio.  When I got there, there was a small group of people outside.  I decided to get out and find out what was going on.  The news was that Paul had arrived in town the night before and he might come over to t studio to check things out.  Needless to say, I was very excited.   All of the guys who worked at the studio were laughing at me.  I’m sure they thought I was ready to be taken to the funny farm.  Anyway, about an hour later we saw this big white limousine coming down the street.  I kept saying to myself, “this is it.  I’m really gonna get to see him.”  When the car stopped everyone moved closer to it, but there was no Paul inside.  I wanted to scream – it was just the driver delivering a check.  He told us Paul was too tired to come.  That was one of the biggest let-downs of my life.



The next day I went only to find out that they still hadn’t come in.  I waited a few days and went back again.  There was no one standing outside, so I just went and knocked on the door.  I had my scrapbook and some flowers for Paul and Linda.  A woman answered the door and said that Paul had already arrived and he was very busy.  I gave her the flowers and scrapbook and she assured me Paul would receive my flowers and she’d ask him to sign my scrapbook if he had time.

Later that night, one of my friends and I drove by to see if there was anything going on.  There were a few people standing around outside.  I recognized a couple of the people who were there the first night.  We stopped and asked what was going on.  They told us that Linda kept coming out but Pal was too busy.  I had written Paul a note earlier that day and I decided to try and get it to him.  I knocked on the door and the woman from earlier that day answered.  I asked her if she’d get the note to Paul for me.  Someone in the background kept asking, “What is it.”  The lady opened the door wider and there was Linda.  She was sitting on top of a desk swinging her legs.  All I could think to say was, “You’re Linda.”  She just sat there and said, “Yep.”  Then she asked again, “what is it” and I told her it was just a joke for Paul.  Then the woman told me I’d have to go back outside, but I could maybe see Paul the next day between 2 and 4 because that was when he usually arrived.  The next day I went back, determined I was gonna see him even if I had to wait there all day long.  I got to the studio about 12:30.  There wasn’t anyone waiting outside except for my friend and me.  I went inside the office to get my scrapbook from Mary (that was the woman who answered the door). My scrapbook wasn’t signed but she said Paul did get my flowers.  He had them on top of the piano the whole night and when they left Linda took them with her.

About 1:30 people started coming, mostly people from the very first night.  We all just sat around and waited.  There were a lot of new friendships developed that day.  It was like a mini-Beatles convention.  Everyone sat around comparing what they knew and what their favorite song was and what their favorite album, etc. – it was really fun.  By 2:30 there was still no sign of Paul.  Around 3:00 a car with Denny, Jimmy and Allan Crowder drove up.  They stayed outside and signed autographs and posed for photos.  Denny told me Paul should be along any minute.  Everyone stood with their cameras ready.  We waited and waited and waited but there was still no show of Paul.  Excitement was everywhere.  It seemed like I’d been waiting in front of that studio for a year.  At 4:05 Paul’s car came driving about 90 mph down the street!  By this time all the schools had let out and there were about 50 people waiting to see him.  He drove up and everyone ran to his car.  It was like 1964 all over again.  I was right against the door of his car.  Everyone was wild – they were pushing and shoving and Paul kept trying to get out but the crowd wouldn’t let him.  He kept pushing on the door.  (The window was hitting me smack in the face every time he tried to get out).  I could see him perfectly.  He looked scared to death.  HE finally got out of the car with one big push.  Then the crowd pushed even more when they saw that he was out of the car.  I got pushed right on top of him.  His first reaction as to scream (Right in my ear.  He sure does have a big mouth).  He screamed, “Get out of here, what is this!”  I almost started crying.  I felt like he was only yelling at me.  I was in tears telling him that I was really sorry but it wasn’t my faulty.  He must have realized what he’d done because he looked at me with the most understanding face in the world.  He said, “I wasn’t just yelling at you.  It’s really all right.”  The crowd started to move back and Paul started making his way through.  I held on to him almost the whole time.  I asked him if he got my flowers and he said, “Yeah, thanks doll, they were beautiful.”  I then asked him if he got my note and he said, “That was you?” and I told him yes.  By this time we were in front of the door and the next minute he was gone.  I can’t explain how I felt when I saw him that first time.  I had actually seen him, touched him, and talked to him.  It was really a dream come true.  Everything had happened so fast.  He was there one minute and gone the next.  I’d seen Paul a thousand time s in my mind but he’d never looked this good.  He was wearing a blue pinned striped suit with a purple “band on the run” t-shirt (The man really matches clothes well.)  His hair was super greasy but he still looked great.   I found out later on why Paul was so mad when he drove up.  The reason he was so late was because he dropped Linda off at a drugstore to buy some film.  She was gonna take a taxi when she was finished.  The drugstore is only about 3 blocks away from the studio but Paul got lost and he drove around for 45 minutes before he stopped to get directions.
Later that night I returned at about 10:30.  There weren’t many waiting outside.  I had to see him again.  Once is not enough.  Around 11:30 or 12:00 Paul and Linda came out to say hello.  There were only about 12 of us waiting to see him.  It was a lot different than earlier that day.  Paul was so at ease with everyone.  He didn’t rush things at all.  He signed autographs and posed for pictures.  He was so nice.  He kept making all these cute faces.  I wanted to grab him.  He had the McCartney charm on full blast.  Linda loved it too because there were these two guys who kept talking to her and taking pictures of her.  She was really nice.  (This didn’t last long.  Other days she was really mean.  Sometimes I think she went out of her way to be nasty to all the girls waiting to see Paul).  They stayed outside for about 20 minutes and then went back in to work some more.  It started raining at about 1:00.  By 3:30 it was still raining.  There were only six of us left.  We were all getting wet and it was freezing.  I knew if I left they’d come out five minutes later and sure enough, that’s what happened. 

Sea of Fans

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Magical Mystery and Tailsman


I just got a new computer.  It is a touchscreen All-in one and I am trying to figure it all out.  So I hope this blog doesn't seem like too much of a mess, because everything here on my end looks extremely different than it did on my old computer.

Anyhow, I am going through my old files and I found this photo of John from 1967.  I don't recall having this photo before.  Two fans appear behind him.  He is wearing the "Magical Mystery tour" coat of many colors jacket and his Tailsman necklace.   What is that  book in his hand?   Anyone know when or where this photo was taken?   From the information I gather from clicking on it, it appears that I got this photo from an ebay auction in June of 2006.

Snapped from the other side of the glass

Three Beatles and a few fans

Forest Hills concert




I always wondered who this George Harrison fan was who got on stage during the NYC Forest Hills Concert in 1964. 

Young McCartney Fan

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Meeting John in Boston in 1976


This story is from a fan named John Nucci who is from Boston, Mass.  He met John and Yoko (and baby Sean) when they were visiting Boston mid-September 1976.   His story and photos appeared in the October/November issue of "The Write Thing."


The Boston Globe (9/16/76) had a 1 paragraph bit about a “Beatle in Boston”.  It stated that John Lennon had come to town for 3 days to visit some friends in Brookline (a nearby suburb) and was staying at the Coply Plaza Hotel.  I called the Coply immediately, though I knew it wouldn’t do any good, and sure enough, they denied it and said that the Globe had received a false report.  They said a “Mr. Lennon never even checked in at the hotel.”  Sure, sure!

I called up a friend of mine and over we went.  (I live in East Boston so the Coply Plaza in downtown Boston is only about 5 minutes away).  Of course the people at the front desk denied it again, however they underestimated my deviousness.  When the desk clerk turned his back, I flipped his check-in book to the day before and borrowed the check-in slips.  Out the door I went to examine them and lo and behold, a Lennen (with an e), John, had checked into a suite and adjoining rooms went to Miss Nishizaka (the nanny) and Mr. Nishe (assistant). 

Now e had to find which suite it was (The Coply has 6 floors with 5 suites on each).  Through process of elimination we found his suite on the 6th floor (according to a chambermaid who saw “A Chinese lady” go into it).  And so we waited.  We waited about 20 minutes and since it was mid-day, we figured he was out and decided to come back.  We walked to the elevator and (I know this sound unbelievable) but out came John and Yoko, the nanny and baby Sean.

I said hello and John responded.  We walked together back to the suite and John seemed very concerned about how we had found out they were there.  When I mentioned that it was in the Boston Globe, boy did you ever see a Beatle get mad!  “Oh bullshit, Jesus Christ!” And other such gems came from him.

At this point we got to the room and John was so angry he didn’t even say goodbye, just opened the door and went in still cursing.  Yoko turned to us before going in and said, “Please don’t tell anyone you saw us love.”  I promised we wouldn’t (until they had left Boston of course.)

All I could think of after leaving was that we didn’t have any pictures or autographs, so I decided to go back the next day.

On the next day I came prepared with camera, a “Save Lennon” button and the cover of The Write Thing with John’s picture and “We Won.”

We waited about 30 minutes this time (it was around noon) and while we waited my friend and I were drinking beer and eating lunch right outside their room!  I was annoyed at how nobody was there beside us, either upstairs or downstairs in the main lobby.  Everybody probably believed the Copley’s denials.  (And then I found out later that it came over the radio that a “false rumor had started that John Lennon was in Boston.”  Sure!)

Anyway John and Yoko came out with John carrying Sean and was surprised to see us.  I said, “I told you we wouldn’t tell anybody, didn’t I?”  And John said, “Yeah, thanks.  Nobody has really bothered us.”  Then he added, “I do have a life you know.”  Before I could feel bad about that last remark, John noticed my pen and cover of the newsletter and said, “Do you want me to sign that?”  I said yes and he did without even noticing the “We won” until I showed it to him.  “Hey, great thanks a lot,” he said when I gave him the “Save Lennon” button.  My friend asked if we could take some pictures and John said, “Sure, let’s be doing it instead of talking about it.” (Yoko was busing chasing down a chambermaid to open the door again because she had left the bathroom window open.)  While snapping pictures I asked John if we should expect a new album soon and he said sort of tongue in cheek, “No, not soon.  I’m putting some ‘heavy thought into this one.’”  My friend grabbed a not-finished beer and took a few gulps and noticed John was watching us.  He asked if John would like one and before he could answer, Yoko said, “No he doesn’t.  Really thank you.”  John said, “No thanks a lot.”  John was really friendly and asked if we were form Boston and said to my friend, “You look Irish.”  (which de does)..”but you don’t” (which I guess I don’t!)

We walked to the elevator together and went downstairs where a young man (about 21) was waiting with a large portrait of John from the Sgt. Pepper days.  He gave it to him and he said thanks.  A beat-up old green station wagon pulled up and John hopped in the front with the portrait and Yoko; the nanny and Sean got in the back.  Before leaving, John rolled down the window and said to me and my friend, “Take it easy, man and thanks for the hush.”  Smiled and waved.  Goodbye John and thanks for just being.

You know throughout the whole time I was chatting with him, I did get the feeling that perhaps I was invading his privacy.  John was a bit abrupt at first, but I will say, when he realized just how much it meant to me to be in his presence he became much more friendly and accommodating.  It’s weird, you feel a bit guilty about bothering him because you know how much fan-following he has, but for true Beatle nuts like myself, a Beatle in your hometown means you’ve got to get him into your life!

Guitar players

This is a photo that was posted on the official Paul McCartney web site.   The fan photos in the timeline have some interesting things.   This is a fan who met Paul in October of 1995.


Paul at the HMV Oxford Shop 1997









While promoting his album, Flaming Pie in 1997, Paul did something that any of the Beatles rare ever do.  He signed autographs for fans who waited in a line to see him for a few brief moments for a handshake, signing and a photo.  As you can see in these photos, Paul did not just smile for a photo and sign a record and scoot the fans along.    He really seemed to take a few extra moments and talk to the fans.   


Thursday October 16 12:57 PM EDT
McCartney Signs Autographs At London Record Shop
By Susan Cornwell
LONDON (Reuters) - To the screams of teenagers and of fans reliving their youth, Paul McCartney returned
Thursday to the shop where he got by with a little help from friends who clinched the first Beatles record deal 35
years ago.
"It's one of the places where they launched the first Beatle records. So I had to come back, didn't I?" McCartney
told the cheering crowd outside the HMV record shop in London's Oxford Street.
Like extras in a Beatles movie, the fans roared back their approval as office workers waved from a department
store across the street.
Then the throng poured into the record shop for what organizers said was McCartney's first album-signing in
Britain since 1963. But many went away disappointed.
Security guards said some 2,000 people were allowed into the cavernous store. But only about 250 could line
up in a special queue to buy McCartney's latest albums, "Flaming Pie" and the symphonic work "Standing
Stone," and have them autographed by the former Beatle.
"I came today at 10 a.m. for nothing," said Kasia Brylska, 30, who was nearly in tears when she realized she
was only in a "picture-taking," not a "signing" queue.
"I came here especially from Poland for this and for the concert two nights ago," she said, referring to the
premiere of McCartney's "Standing Stone" classical music symphony at London's Royal Albert Hall Tuesday. "It
is a lot of money. I am really disappointed."
For others, though, just seeing McCartney -- now Sir Paul McCartney since he was honored earlier this year by
Queen Elizabeth -- capped a lifetime of devoted Beatlemania.
"I was one of those screaming girls who went out to Heathrow airport when the Beatles arrived and left in the
1960s," said 44-year-old Lynne Moran of London.
"But I never got to see them in concert. My mum said I was too young. She didn't know about the airport," Moran
said with a giggle.
At the other end of the age spectrum, Deborah Fletcher, 18, said she had been waiting in line for six hours.
"I've been a fan since I was 13. I saw the film 'Help,' and I just wanted to find out more about them," she said.
McCartney came to sign autographs at HMV to pay back a favor from 1962, when Beatles manager Brian
Epstein asked for help from an old pal, Bob Boast, then the manager of the record store.
Boast set up a meeting with George Martin, who was then a staff producer for Parlophone records, and that led
to a contract with Parlophone, said Rob Partridge, spokesman for HMV.
"Standing Stone," was another first for McCartney -- his first solo classical music symphony -- and it opened to
mixed reviews from music critics earlier this week. But on the sidewalk outside HMV, the crowd thought it was
just great.
"You could play a lot of Beatles music on the violin," said Lynne Baines, 47, who had driven several hours from
Liverpool overnight with her husband and 18-year-old son to see McCartney. "I don't see a lot of difference,
really."

Silverstone 1988


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Great comic strip!

I found this hidden away in a copy of "The Write Thing" from 1976.   It made me laugh and I think it is still true today!


The 5th wheel

Here we have George, Pattie, Paul, Jane and Mal.   There is an empty seat next to Pattie which must have been the seat that the person who took this photo was sitting.   Is this an India photo?   Anyone have any information about this photograph?  It is a new one to me.

Letter to Vicky

Those Beatles were pretty serious about Saint Christopher Medals, weren't they?   Paul wrote this letter but I do not think he signed all four autographs.  

Abbey Road

so this photo was supposedly taken the exact same day as the now-famous album cover shoot of Abbey Road.  Questions that I wonder include, who took this photo?   Why did this person take the photo?   And most importantly, do you see the big group of fans  waiting over there outside of EMI Studio?   Did they get to meet one or more of the  Beatles?


Paul made in the shades


Invited inside Friar Park






This is a story about when one lucky fan was allowed to meet George Harrison inside the gates at Friar Park.   This story appeared in the July 1977 issue of "With a Little help from my Friends" fanzine.  The thing is that this story is confusing.   I think in part because it was written by someone who is not a native English speaker.   But mostly because I think part of the story is missing!   Does anyone have the June 1977 issue of this magazine and could check for me if the beginning of the story is there?  I don't know how Renia got inside of the gates, but from what I infer in this story is that she was invited inside (by maybe George's Dad) and was showing him photos that Pat Simmons had taken of him during the Dark Horse tour.   The fortunate fan (who left with not only George phone number but also a kiss) was Renia Frankowska from Poland.

 
Then I wanted a photo of George and Olivia, and I told them, “and now both of you, please. I know you hate it, but please…”

“That’s all right, “said George. He embraced Olivia, they both smiled and seemed ot be very happy together (lucky Olivia….)

As I said, I took out the photos from George’s tour, and was giving him them, by turns.  He seemed to be very interested in them, as he never saw them before.  Also Harold was looking at them.

George kneeled down now, and when he was watching the photos, I took pictures of him.  Oh, yes, those photos where he kneels down and looks at something – they are these photos!  I was near George all the time, but then I thought, why not move on, approach him a bit more?  So I changed my place and squatted very near him, so near that my arm could feel his shirt and arm.  II don’t have to say how sweet and nice it was for me!  The nearness and the presence of his person made me so very happy!  And while George occupied himself with the photos, I was looking at him. I looked at his hands.  Wonderful.  His hands, with long slender fingers, have always been the object of admiration for me and my friends in Poland.  And I remember them “ordering” me to see his hands carefully, if I meet him. Oh, please don’t laugh, but it’s true – I wanted to see them, close to my eyes.  Thank God I had a very good pretext - George had a very nice ring on his left hand on the last finger.  It was, I think, the same ring he has in the picture you sent me recently from “Hit Parader” magazine.  You can hardly see it in my photos though.

So I took his left hand in mind and said, “Oh, what a beautiful ring!”

“Yeah, it’s from India, eight carrots…”  I hope he didn’t guess what I was really doing – looking for an opportunity to see his hands..suddenly.   George shouted (almost)(  “Look!”  He pointed at someone in the photo, at the aum sign.  It looked so sweet and funny that I had to smile.  “How many people did you have in the group?”  I asked him.

“Oh, I twas also as Indian group – there were about 15 people  ... the group was too big…” he said, lost in thoughts.  And then he said, with big enthusiasm and animation, pointing at Billy.  “It’s Billy Preston!  Do you know – did you hear about Billy Preston?”

“Of course, I did.”

“He’s fantastic on stage!  So full of energy!”  He gestured with his hands how full of energy Billy was.  “But you are full of energy too, aren’t you George?”  I asked, but he said nothing.  And then I said something – well, all the girls think the same, but where did I have so much courage from?  I said, looking at him, “Oh.  You’ve got such long lashes..Some girls don’t have as long lashes as you have…”

And I looked at him, scared of what I said, but George said very quietly, “No…” shaking his head and cast his eyes down and smiled in a special way.

In one of the concert photos he was photographed during his talk with Ravi, and he looked at it and turned ot Harold.  “Look, kids take pictures even at these moments.”

“Kids?  She’s not a kid!”  I said.  “She’s 27!”

“Well, people.”  Said George.

“She has seen you so many times…”

“What’s her name?”  he asked.

“Pat Simmons,” I said. 

“Pat Simmons..yeah,” said George looking as if trying to find the right person in his mind to this name.

“Yes.  She’s also a big fan of you.  She has seen you many times.”

“Yeah?” said George.

In one of the photos, he is standing with the acoustic guitar, so I asked him, “It was during ‘My Sweet Lord’ or what?”

“yeah.”

“You’ve got many guitars, don’t you George?”

“Yes.”
“How much?  Fifty?”

“Nooooo! (he was thinking for a few seconds) about twenty.”

“Oh that’s nice.  You gave one to Mary Hopkin.  When I read it I was not too pleased.”

“Yeah, because she wanted to play a guitar and didn’t have enough money, so I bought a guitar for her.”

“Oh.  You’re so good, George!” I said.  Next I had black and white photos which I gave to him to see.  During that time Olivia had gone (only Harold was still standing near – unfortunately!), but now she appeared again and said something to George, very quiet, point at the door.  So I got up quickly and said “Oh, George, you’ve got to go….”

“No, that’s all right,” said George, stretching out his hand for another photo.  It was so nice of him.  “How many concerts did you do?” I asked.

“About 45.”  I mentioned about his pirate flag, and George looked at it, trying to restrain a smile and said “I don’t know who put it on, looks so stupid…”  During that time Olivia came again and said to George that this man, a manager or somebody important (in show biz) is still waiting – don’t know what she said exactly, so I got up and said, “You’ve got to go, George…”  But he only showed by gesture of his hand that I should squat again, and said, “Not, that’s all right.  You came a long way, waited for so long.”  And I think it was Harold who said, “You are not just anybody else, you are on special privileges.” And smiled.  Oh please don’t think that I’m presumptuous and that was my invention, but he really said that!  I was so surprised and so very happy of course.  Then George said, after Harold, “Yeah!” I told George about my meeting with an Indian man a few days ago and about a letter he advised me to write to him.  I also told him that this man wasn’t too pleasant.  About the letter he said, “Oh, that’s not necessary,” and smiled gently.

“It was Kumar Shankar, you know, Ravi Shankar’s relation,” I said.

“Kumar.  I don’t know what is going on with him.  You shouldn’t care.  He just doesn’t like when somebody disturbs him,” said George.  (When Harold heard about my letter to George, he said, “So you’ll get it tomorrow,” and George just laughed.)

Then I asked George, “Do you still practice yoga and meditate?”

“Yes.”

“Every day?”

“Yes.”

“How long?”

“As long as I can.”

“Oh, George, thank you very much for all the books about Krishna. Once, you took my letter to Los Angeles and went to Temple and asked to send books for me.  Thank you!”

“Oh, that’s all right.  Were they sent to you?” he asked.

“Yes!  Thank you very much!”  And then I said, “I was receiving letters from many people from Krishna movement – form Holland and West Germany.  They were asking me if I could help them to open the Temple in Poland, but I don’t think it would be possible.”

“They were trying in Moscow too, you know, but no…” George said.

Then I asked him, “Is it hard to meditate?”

“Yes, it’s quite hard.  Some people say it takes years before they could meditate.”

“Does it help for sadness or something like that?”

“Oh yes.  And your energy is going inside, not outside.  You know, everybody shows energy outside and it’s inside.” He said accenting some words.

I said, “I would like to be able to meditate.”

“You should while you are in England.  Look at the yellow part of the telephone book,” he said pointing a finger at me.

“Yes, I will.”  And then George became serious and started to explain something to me, he was translating something.  He was very involved in what he was saying, looking straight into my eyes and was expressing everything by hands, used them a lot, and was talking and talking and talking.  But what was he talking about?  With a big shame, I have to say I don’t really know because during that time I was looking at him and forget about the whole world.  I only remember that I was nodding my head and smiling stupidly, but I wasn’t listening!  George had ot notice this, as he sometimes tried not to smile.   Anyway, I’m sure he was telling me about meditation, yoga and religion, about God and Krishna.  And then, suddenly, somebody called on George from the door.  It was Olivia and she wanted to remind George that this man was still waiting.  So George looked at me with a sweet smile and “I’m sorry” expression in his eyes and on his face, and said that he was very sorry but now he really had to go.  It was almost 45 minutes that we were talking anyway!  So I said, “Oh, George, I’ve got my school for 6 days, all the weekend will be free, so could it be possible to see you just for a few minutes?”

“Yeah all right,” he said.

“As I wouldn’t like to take your time, to disturb you.”

“Yeah Yeah.”

“So maybe I should write and ask if I could meet you, or you could telephone me?  Oh I don’t know where you could telephone, I’ll not be staying at that woman’s, maybe I could just telephone you?”

And you know what he said?!?!

“Yeah, ok!”

“So could you write me your number?”

“Yeah, of course,” he said.  And George took my ball-pen and my memoir book which he signed and wrote his telephone number.  I was so surprised and happy, and I said, “Thank you very much.  I will not give it to anybody.  I promise!”

“Yeah.  All right. Yeah,” he said smiling.  And then he said, “I have to go.  A businessman is waiting for me, you know, I’m making a record,” and started to pick up all the presents I brought for him.

“Oh George, thank you very much indeed.  I’m sorry for disturbing you and taking your time (I tried not to cry, as my voice started breaking down).  George was standing looking at me, and I held out my hand to shake his, and then I made a gesture as if I wanted to kiss him on the cheek, and I wanted to ask him if I could, so I said, “can I? “  But I didn’t have time to finish, as George guessed what I meant, and you know what he did?  He just said, “all right.” And put his hand at the back of my head, at my hair, and kissed me on my right cheek.  Well, it was my chin, very near my mouth and then on my left cheek.  It happened so quickly that I didn’t know what was going on.  I was so shocked and so very happy.  It was so sweet and great and gentle.  So it was George who kissed me rather than I him.  But of course, I kissed both of his cheeks too.  Kissing him, I had to put my face in his beautiful hair.  George smelled sweet of freshness and cleanliness.  Oh my God, it was really wonderful.

I forgot to say that when George was giving me his telephone number, Harold said that when there’s nobody else at home there’s a machine, a sort of tape recorder, so you can leave a message and your telephone number, so George would know who was phoning.  And I said, almost shouted, like a fool, “Oh, it’s like in films!”

You can’t imagine how George burst out laughing!  And he said, pointing at me, “So you have a capitalistic country!”

So,  like I said before, George started to withdraw and I said, “goodbye George.”

“Goodbye.  God bless you.”

Olivia hung out from the door and said, “Goodbye Renata.”

“Goodbye Olivia.  God bless you.”

“God bless you!” she said with a smile.  And George started to go into his home.  I didn’t cry.  I was too happy.  And too shocked to cry, but I could feel how terrible and said it was that it was over.  I took the last photo when he was disappearing but it seems it didn’t turn out.  I looked for a long time at George, at his home with the flying pirate flag at Friar Park all in the brightness of golden sunset.  It was 7:35pm.

And we started, Harold and I, to go back, through the grass, shorting the way.

By that time, I turned my head a few times saying “Goodbye” in my mind; and I was talking with Harold a bit.  Especially we were talking about the girls who wanted to see George and some to Henly to see him.  Harold said that George wouldn’t mind to see and meet all of them but he has not enough time to do it, or he couldn’t do anything else but meet fans and answer letters.  I thanked Harold for such a big help. I really was very grateful!  And we shook hands, said goodbye, and I started to leave this paradise.

I went out through the gate.  It was open, of course.  The last look at Friar Park and I started to go down through a narrow street, near the fire station, called West Street leading to Hart Street.  I still wasn’t crying, I was too happy, too shocked, still having George in front of my eyes.  I think, I even was smiling to myself, and I had to look very happy when I was going back.  I suddenly saw Harold again, along with his son.  They were driving in their Rover car.  They saw me and waved to me form the care and I waved to them.

My dad said that he will be waiting for me upon the Thamas, as it was very warm and sunny.  On the way to the river there is a small church, just near Red Lion Hotel, called I think St. Mary.  I went in to pray, to thank God for all that happened.  And there, I burst into tears.  Then I started to look for my dad.  He was going by the river, opposite me.  And I saw him, I started to run and almost shouted to him, “Dad!   I saw him!”  I saw him!” 

“It can’t be!  Impossible!”  he said.

“It’s true,” I said, and showed him a memoir book which George signed, and photos he signed.  And when my dad saw them, his face brightened up.  He was so moved, started to hug me and kissed my hands and cheeks.  People were looking at us, that crazy pair, but we didn’t care!  My dad took a few photos of me to remember my happy face and we started to go back to our bus stop to get back to London.

And this is how the most happy and the most beautiful day of my life ended.