Thursday, September 4, 2014

Maybe you will get a call from me....

Poor 14 year old Christy Cutler....she had tickets to the see the Beatles in Milwaukee and wouldn't you know it---she got sick.   Christy came down with an illness that landed her in the hospital in the middle of August 1964 and she was still there two weeks later when the Beatles were set to play in her town.   She had an illness that was not diagnosed, even after extensive tests were ran.  At the time of the concert, her condition was very serious and her doctor was not sure if she was going to live or die.   As an adult, Christy believes that the illness that caused her to to miss see the Beatles in 1964 was caused by exposure to the pesticide DDT.   Regardless of what she had, the fact that she was missing the concert made her feel even worse. 

Wanting to raise the sick teen's spirits, her aunt pulled some strings with the newspaper and Paul McCartney was talked into calling the girl in the hospital.   Paul was the Beatle that usually did the phone calls to sick children in the hospital, as Ringo recalled later.     The staff was told that Paul would call around 2:15pm, but not to let Christy know in case the plan fell through and she would be even more devastated.

Because the switchboard at the Motor Inn Hotel was blocked with calls from fans trying to talk to a Beatle, Paul had a difficult time making the phone call to St. Francis phone call, but at 2:30p.m. the call went through.

Christy recalls that the phone call only lasted about 2 minutes and it was very difficult for her to talk because her throat hurt so much.    Paul asked her how she was feeling and she said fine.   Christy recalls that Paul had a strong English accent.  She asked him if the Beatles were planning on returning to Milwaukee and he said, "Our manager makes those decisions."   Before he ended the short call with the fan, Paul told her, "Well now, I've got to hang up, you see, but you will smile though. That's the main thing, you know."

Nurses were huddled in the doorway listening to Christy's side of the conversation and when she hung up, it was reported that the nurses cried.

After her story about talking to Paul appeared in the newspaper, Christy began to get bags filled with letters from Beatle fans all around the country who wanted to be her penpal.  

Christy had one request for the hospital:  she wanted to keep the princess phone that was used to speak to Paul McCartney.  The hospital allowed for her to take it home with her, however when her family moved out of their home, the telephone company claimed the famous phone as their property and would not allow her to keep the phone.  

Christy's health did improve and she believes that talking to her favorite Beatle on the phone helped her heal, at least a little. 

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