That's how my relationship with Paul ended. When I was with them for that short tour of the United States, I knew that we were in two different worlds. Maybe in another time, another place, with different circumstances, things might have worked out.
We've been writing back & forth for quite a while, though. He had pledged to me to remain friends, no matter what. I've kept all my letters from him. Sometime in the spring of 1964 he began dating Jane Asher again, and last I heard from him they were still doing just fine. I'm truly glad that he's found happiness. Friends have told me that the things I have collected from the Beatles' early days could be worth a lot of money. But I'm not interested in selling my memories. I still have my cast that they signed (framed and mounted by Auntie!), and I know it would be worth a lot of money...but to me, it's priceless.
I got to see Paul (and the rest of the group) when the played the International Ampitheatre in Chicago in early September 1964. Paul had brought my birthday present, to give me a little early; he said he just had to be there when I opened it. He had made up a real vinyl record of the songs I had sung at Abbey Road Studios the previous year, and even made an album cover from one of the pictures he had taken of me sitting in a park in London a few days before I left England. I'm glad he used it, it was quite a good picture of me; I hadn't even seen it. It was a time-lapse picture; I was sitting on a black wrought-iron bench underneath a big tree with its orange and yellow leaves falling around me. I was wearing jeans, a green sweater, and my black wool jacket. I had to sit there and look right into the lens, not blinking, not smiling (well, just a little), and not moving for as long as I could! He had even given the album a name...the title on the record sleeve was Until Next Time, in white letters above my head, with my name underneath in smaller white letters. He had made it up like it was a real album, with a label on the record (since there were only a few songs, he put the whole thing on both sides of the long play record). He wrote the text himself on the back of the album, making it sound like a press release from some stuffy press officer; it made me laugh and cry at the same time. It read:
Here is the debut album from Jill Dearborn, a very talented young woman from Illinois, U.S. of A. Miss Dearborn has honed her vocal skills in various choirs, community theatre productions, and in her college's theatrical shows, choirs, and jazz ensemble. Her voice has a remarkable quality; although she sings standards, she makes each song her own. Take a listen to this album, and I guarantee that you will enjoy this talented young woman's voice as much as I have enjoyed her company and her friendship.
Jill, I know that things didn't work out between us, and I hope there are no hard feelings left about that. I hope you cherish this album. I made a vinyl copy for my own personal collection, too. There are only two of these albums in existence...guard it with your life!
Until Next Time,
James Paul McCartney
15 October 1964
Anne and Dave got married in June of 1964, in Madison, Wisconsin. I was her maid of honor, along with two bridesmaids, her older sister Beth and Julie, her roommate from graduate school. She had selected pink as our dress color (just for me, she said!), so at least the nightmares I had heard about getting stuck with ugly bridesmaid's dresses didn't happen with this wedding. They were simple dresses, sleeveless pink taffeta with a high neckline, the skirt flared with a small crinoline underneath, and the hem hit at mid-shin. They looked quite similar to Anne's dress, which was white satin with pearls on the bodice. Her dress was floor-length with a short train adorned with pearls. There were about 250 people at the wedding, so I can imagine that it cost a pretty penny. Anne's family was pretty wealthy, so I guess it came with the territory! Anne had tried to get me to talk the Beatles in to performing at the wedding, but I knew that it was totally out of the question. For starters, they were going to be in Australia that month, not to mention that their fame in America was phenomenal at that time, as we had seen with the Ed Sullivan appearances. Even though he couldn't make it, Paul sent over a very generous wedding gift of a complete set of china and crystal (service for twelve) from Harrods. He selected a very simple pattern, just plain white plates with platinum rims. The crystal had a diamond-cut pattern to it. In his card, he pointed out to Anne & Dave the name of the crystal pattern: Dearborn.
I met up with Dan Jacobsen at the wedding. We had pretty much lost touch since he had visited me in London the previous year (with the exception of the phone call in February), but he had called me last month at my parents' house, asking if I was coming to the wedding. He was living in Bloomington, working for Eureka (a company that makes vacuum cleaners) in their design department. I was still without a permanent job at that time. I completed my substitute teaching job, and even though they offered me a full-time job, I was still hedging on taking it. It paid fairly well for teaching, I suppose. I was planning on searching for another full-time permanent job anyway, but I really had nothing tying me down to Granite City. Dan and I danced together quite a bit at the reception. I wasn't sitting next to him for the Chicken Marsala dinner though; since I was in the wedding party I was seated at the head table. After the wedding we went to the restaurant at the Holiday Inn that the wedding party & guests were staying at. We talked for hours. He told me all about his travels around Europe, and how he wished that we could have visited each other longer while he was there. Like in London, I could tell there was something different about him, like he had matured or mellowed out or something. Our conversation made me realize just how much I had missed him. Apparently he had missed me as well, because he kept bugging me about moving to central Illinois.
"C'mon, Jill, you've gotta come back to Bloomington! I can get you a job at Eureka, and I'm sure State Farm is hiring as well, they always are. There are really cheap apartments around, and you'll already know someone in town!" he said as he smiled sweetly at me.
I replied, "Well, I really don't have anything lined up as of yet. I subbed for a music teacher spring semester, and the only thing that accomplished was now I know that I don't want to teach music!" We laughed.
He stopped laughing and reached out and took my hand in his. "Jill, I really have missed you. I've really begun to realize that in this past year. I know that it didn't work out with us before, and I honestly don't know what answer you'll give me on this one, but...um, if you come back up to Bloomington, do you think you could find it in your heart to give me a second chance?"
I was not expecting something like that to come out of his mouth! I didn't know what to say...I hadn't dated anyone since I had left England and Paul, and hadn't really had the desire to. I remembered when Dan and I had tried to date in college...I don't know if we were just too young or too immature or what, but at that time it didn't work out. We did remain good friends throughout school, though. I told him, "If I move back to Bloomington...we shall see, alright?" I squeezed his hand and smiled at him.
"What's this 'if' shit, huh? You said yourself that there's nothing holding you down in Granite City--c'mon, it'll be fun. Hey! I got an awesome idea--I was thinking of buying a house and renting out a room to a friend...ya interested?"
"Well, yeah I am, but I highly doubt that my parents would go for it."
"But it would just be two friends living together, what's the harm in that?"
"Dan, ten seconds ago you all but asked me out again. Now you're saying we'd be living together as 'just friends'?"
"We'd have our own rooms and hopefully I can even get a place with two full baths so we can even have our own bathrooms. The only common areas would be the kitchen and living room! See, it'd work out fine! C'mon, whaddya say?"
I thought for a minute. He was right. There was nothing holding me back. I had no job (other than the waitressing I was doing at Petrie's part-time), and at that point I guess I really didn't care what my parents thought. I was almost 22, and I was itching to get out of the house anyway. I figured if I didn't make a move now, I might be doomed to live with my parents forever. "Well, I don't have to be home for a few more days...could I crash at your place for a couple days?"
The couple days turned into a couple weeks while I hunted for a job in Bloomington. Sure enough, when I went back home, my parents gave me grief about moving in with a "boy" (Mom's words), even though Dan and I weren't dating. But I suppose they figured that I was an adult and they really couldn't stop me from doing anything anyway. When I returned to Bloomington in July, Dan and I rented out a two-bedroom apartment (actually it was the upstairs of a converted house) in Bloomington. I got a job at my alma mater, Illinois Wesleyan, as a librarian in the music library. Dan was promoted to the head of the design department at Eureka within a year. Dan and I got married in October of 1965, and yes, Paul was able to attend, and he brought Jane as his date. His wedding present to us? A modest three-bedroom brick bungalow in Bloomington, Illinois.
Back to Chapter Twenty-Four
Copyright © 1999-2006, Winona Patterson.