Monday, May 27, 2024

Piccadilly Hotel


Manchester - Piccadilly Hotel 

With a Little Help From My Friends

January 1980

By Susan Dilorenzo

I'd bought a Hershey's chocolate kiss to give to Paul.  It was a large bit of chocolate in a pink box, and the blue lettering read: "A BIG KISS FOR YOU."  I'd tried getting close enough to give it to him, but unfortunately, the opportunity never presented itself. Tonight, I was bound and determined for results! I was contemplating just what I'd say as we sat in the lobby of the hotel. He'd used the elevator yesterday and we expected him to do this again today. He surprised everyone by bopping down the stairs (to our right), and in less than a second, we flew over to the stairs. It was myself, Doylene, Marie, Barb, Mary Ann, George and Mar. And, of course, you know how it is when Paul enters the scene; everyone under the sun materializes! He was on the escalator then, in front of us, so we just hopped right on, too! The award-winning ham we all know and love was waving and posing for everyone at the bottom of the escalator.  Once, he laid his head on the railing with his arms out and pretended to be sleeping. Linda had gone on ahead, which she'd been doing the whole of the tour. He started to walk down the tunnel to the coach, and it was here that I decided was the moment of truth. 

Paul had been signing graphs, so when I trembled up to him, he smiled at me and stopped walking and posed his pen! I held the chocolate kiss out to him and asked " "Paul, could I please give this to you?" He smiled and looked me in the eye and replied, "You sure can," and looked down to take it from me.  He looked up again and returned to looking at me dead in the eyes. It was like this through the whole encounter, and it was divine! He has these magical light brown eyes.  I explained why the box was marked on the side (It had been in my camera case at the show, and forgetting, I stood on the case to see Paul better).  "I accidentally stepped on it at the concert trying to see you, but I wanted you to have it. I'm sorry." You'd expect him to burst out laughing, but on the contrary, he was dearly sincere and very charming.  He replied, "Well, don't you worry about it."  I took just took a step back and smiled at him, and looked down, and he started to walk away.  I couldn't move. I watched him walking with my hands to my mouth, half laughing from blissful hysteria, when I saw Paul look down at the kiss, reading the print on the box. He stopped walking and turned around, and looked at me. He smiled at me, that all-knowing smile, and winked, then continued outside. Further up ahead, Marie asked Paul to sign a mounted photograph of hers. He signed it on the mount at the top, and she said, "Oh Paul, I know beggers can't be choosers, but I wanted you to sign it on the lights."  He drew an arrow to the lights and smiled, "How's that?"

I found my feet and charged outside with the others, my chin dragging on the pavement. He'd already got on the coach, and I heard Barb call out, "Susie, he's looking at it!" I ran next to her to get a look, and he was showing it to Laurence, who was sitting across from Paul and Linda.  Laurence looked at it and smiled. Paul set it on the table in front of him and leaned back.  A second later, he popped back up in his seat and opened it, closed it, and sat back. The coach was off to the concert hall then, everyone waving goodbye. 

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