June 7th, 1962
Hello, stranger! How's life "across the pond"? It hasn't even been two weeks out of school, and I already wish I were back. Janesville is SO boring. Bloomington isn't my idea of a bustling metropolis, but it sure beats up here! I won't bore you too much with the details of my not-so-fun summer. I am working at the Dairy Queen--please remind me that this is the last summer I will EVER have to work in foodservice! I've been driving to Madison to be in their community orchestra, I think I told you about that before we left school. They put me first chair, second violin! The one bad thing about community orchestras is that you get good players and bad players. The woman behind me is awful--she won't admit she sucks. This cracks me up--she will adjust her glasses every time we get to a difficult passage! And her bowing is always off from everyone else, I'll bet it looks pretty awful. The director hasn't said anything to her yet, but she's a benefactor and they can't offend her or they won't get her money. Don't ya love politics?
My family is moving. They're just moving to the other side of Janesville, the old Victorian house they've been drooling over for a while. I think they're planning on moving the end of the summer. That will be weird--coming "home" for a visit, and I won't be "home"! I don't know how that's going to figure into going back to school, I might see if I can get there a bit early so I don't have to move twice.
I hate to cut this short, but there's not much going on here. Aside from the DQ and the orchestra, I have no social life! And it's very difficult to get a date with someone when you're in your DQ uniform...although there is a cute clarinet player in the orchestra, I think he goes to University of Wisconsin. One of these days I will have to make up an excuse to talk to him...I think his name's Dave or Dan or something that begins with "D"!
Please write back and let me know how the English guys are--you know I love the accents!
'Til next time,
PS: I almost forgot to tell you--I saw Gina Wilkins! Remember her, drop dead gorgeous nursing major, graduated in '60? Man, she has gotten fat! Ah, sweet justice...
I ran to Auntie's desk to grab some stationery, went to my room upstairs (the guest room, actually), and started writing Anne back.
18 June 1962
Thanks for the letter! You're the first person who has written me over here! I haven't even gotten a letter from my family yet. I called one night and Chris was the only one home, but you really can't chat too long on a transatlantic phone call or the cost would be sky-high!
I'd like to say that not much has happened...but that would be a lie!!! I have been having so much fun over here! I have met a lot of great people through my Aunt's record shop. She took me shopping and I got a makeover. You should see my hair--it's short now, just past chin-length! Auntie has already started calling me "Little Orphan Annie"...that's how short it is! I really like it, though, the woman at the salon did a great job.
Just this past weekend we went up north a few hours' drive to a town called Liverpool to visit a friend of hers who owns a record shop too. The town itself isn't too much to look at, they still have quite a bit of damage from the war. We saw a rock & roll group that this record shop owner is managing, they're called The Beatles. Anne, they are incredible! I mean, fabulous! They just got some sort of record deal with EMI in London, I hope it goes through for them. Who knows, maybe we'll see them in America! They're all nice guys, especially the bass player, Paul McCartney. We hit it off great (phenomenal kisser, by the way!!!). He's an incredible guy. We would talk, and he was opening his heart to me. I feel I could tell him anything! I'd like for something to happen out of this, but there's the small problem of DISTANCE!!! Remember Martha Collins, who couldn't keep her boyfriend, and he was only about 4 hours away? Well, Paul & I will be about 16 hours away, and most of that's by plane! I suppose we'll write back & forth, but phone calls and visits? That's out of the question! If he even still wants to talk to me...who knows what the future will hold. I hope this record thing goes through before I leave, that means he'll be back down in London again! I have spent way too much money already on clothing and records, I'm going to have to work more hours to get some more cash for the school year.
Well, I need to close this out, I need to go post this (that means to send) and get to work soon. I will try to send you pictures in my next letter.
'Til next time!
PS: Hmmm...Jill McCartney... doesn't sound bad, eh? (Don't worry, I just smacked myself to bring me back to reality!)
The rest of the month of June was pretty uneventful at the Eddings house. I started to rearrange the classical section at MC's, and had placed orders for more display units and a larger selection of stock. I hung around with some of the people my age that worked at MC's. No offense against Auntie, but it was nice to be with people my age.
About 10 o'clock one evening, the phone rang. Rog answered it, and it turned out to be a female for me.
"'Ello?" I was beginning to pick up the local accent.
"Jillian Ruth Dearborn! How the hell are you?!"
"Anne! Why are you calling me--how much is this costing you?"
"That doesn't matter, what matters is that you have a British boyfriend, and besides, I just missed your voice! I want to hear all about this Paul McCartney of yours--what does he look like, is his accent adorable, does he have a nice butt, and how you ended up kissing him--ya know, the basics!"
"Anne, first of all he's not my boyfriend, we've only talked once on the phone and written I think twice since we left Liverpool. I know that nothing can come of it, Anne. Don't remind me--I haven't been able to stop thinking about him!"
"Well, maybe you just needed a little summer fling, and that's all it is."
"That's exactly what my aunt said!"
"You didn't sleep with him, did you?"
"Anne!" Leave it to Anne to be subtle. "I didn't...although I definitely had the opportunity!" I giggled nervously.
"So why didn't you go for it? Your parents are God knows how many miles and six time zones away, you're probably never gonna see this guy again...have a little fun!" Maybe Anne could be impulsive like that, but not me. I had a habit of thinking something through so much that I had missed several once-in-a-lifetime opportunities of various kinds in my life. She continued, "So, I still want to know what this guy looks like--is he a dreamboat?"
"I guess..." I could hear myself blushing, let alone feel my face getting hot. "He's got brown hair that he wears kinda shaggy, but it's still neat. He has kinda brownish hazel eyes, he's tall, maybe 5'11" or so, very attractive, thin...and yes, he has a nice bottom!"
We screamed at the same time. Anne was always great therapy for me--I just got to cut loose and regress when I was with her. She was so much fun. I told her about the day Paul & I met, how everyone else had plans and we ended up together by default. I told her how we talked about everything. I told her about going to the movies, and going to see Rory and his band. I told her about the night under the stars, and how I really didn't mean for any of it to happen, but it felt so right. She understood...Anne was great for that! She was more experienced in the guy department, so she always gave me advice. She told me about her mystery man in the orchestra. She finally got the nerve to talk to him--I couldn't believe that; no man has ever made Anne feel a bit shy! His name is Dave, he is a UW grad student getting his master's in education, he's 23, and he plays the clarinet on the side now, he played it in high school. They had had a date (dinner & a movie--the standard), and she said she thought it went quite well. We chatted a bit more and I rang off before I really rung up her phone bill. We were still on for a half an hour, though! She promised to write me within a few days, though.
I was expecting the rest of the summer to be fairly uneventful. How could I top the beginning of the trip! Auntie & I had a small Independence Day celebration, 'for old times' sake', she said. I was glad, I was going to miss the traditional American summer celebrations. I was already missing baseball and hot dogs and roller-skating on a nice summer day. I was still getting about one letter a week from Paul--he would tell me about the gigs they were playing, and how Brian thought that they would be in the recording studio sometime in the fall. We were trying to coordinate a few days that I could come up that they had at least one show, but he still had some free time to see me. We decided that I could come up during the day Monday, August 20th. They had a show that night, but Tuesday he was completely free. Wednesday they had two shows at the Cavern, and Thursday they were busy as well; I could leave sometime on Thursday, and I could still work the weekend at the store, which is when we were the busiest anyway.
Brian called me a few days before I was to go up to Liverpool. "I hear that I will be having an attractive young lodger at the Epstein Youth Hostel soon." I loved the way Brian described things--he was always so funny.
"Oh! I didn't know Paul had already made arrangements with you."
"Yes, and I just wanted to make sure that you knew where you were going. Auntie can give you the directions. It's easy to get here. Just don't drive on the wrong side of the road!" Brian giggled.
"Oh, that's not a problem, I will take the train. Can you pick me up at the station?"
"Of course, dear, I would be delighted. Just let me know which train you'll be on." He cleared his throat and turned serious for a moment. "Now, there have been some happenings I think you should know about before you come up here, so that you're not alarmed. Ringo Starr has replaced Pete as the Beatles' drummer."
"That's not news, I know Ringo sat in for Pete in Hamburg a couple times."
"No, dear, this is a permanent personnel change. And some people are a bit upset, and Pete isn't really one of them. It's the fans who are upset. I sometimes fear for my life!" He laughed nervously, and I honestly didn't know if he was joking. "You'll still be safe here, though, don't worry."
I worked at MC's until about 2 p.m., and then left for Liverpool Monday afternoon. I took the train, for two reasons: it would get me there about an hour and a half-quicker than by car, and I was nervous about driving on the wrong side of the road, not to mention that I didn't have a license!
Brian picked me up at the train station. The Beatles had an evening show, and Brian had waited dinner for me. He took me out to a very nice Italian restaurant. I had wondered before about Brian not being married, but I never thought too much of it until that night. One man who came up to us to chat during dinner was very attractive, and I noticed that Brian and I were looking at him the exact same way. When he left, Brian leaned in and whispered, "Now, he's quite an attractive young man...I fancy him, don't you?" He giggled as I nodded my head vigorously. I didn't really care if Brian was homosexual, but I knew some people who would literally want to kill him if they found out. Not to stereotype, but since I was in the performing arts in college, I knew a couple closeted homosexuals, and I realized that it wasn't a big deal. In those days, you couldn't be open about those things. People had tried to tell me in the past that homosexuals were horrible people and of the devil...yet Brian was one of the most pleasant people I had ever met. I'm sure he had his negative moments, but I had never seen him in bad spirits.
Of course, our dinner conversation turned to the subject of Paul. Brian brought it up, "You know, my Paul has taken quite a liking to you. He hasn't stopped talking about you since you & Margaret left in June."
"Really?" I about choked on a noodle. Wow...Brian wouldn't pull my leg like this, would he? Maybe Paul really did like me.
He continued to pry. "Well, what are your intentions with him?" Anne would have asked something like that, but probably not quite as properly stated.
I finished chewing and said, "To be honest, I really haven't thought about it...oh, that's wrong, I have thought about it, and I guess I really don't have any intentions, I can't have any intentions. I'm going back to the States in a matter of days. After graduation, who knows, but that's not 'til May. I like him, I really do, but..." I shook my head. All I was sure of at that moment was that the fetuccine alfredo I was eating was phenomenal, and that the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I really did like Paul...maybe even more than I was letting on. I'd tried to forget about him romantically while we were apart, who knows what I'd feel when I saw him.
As we walked into Brian's house, I asked, "Can I go to the Cavern tonight, Brian?"
"You can, but Paul won't be there. They're at the Majestic Ballroom in Crewe, and I think that's too far for a young lady to travel by herself at night. Paul said he'd call you when they got back, but I think it will be quite late. I will wake you when he calls if you are asleep."
Wake me? How could I sleep?! I was so close to seeing Paul again. The more I thought about it, the more I couldn't sleep! How would he react when he saw me; how would I react when I saw him? After about an hour of staring up at the ceiling, I drifted off to sleep. I usually didn't remember my dreams, but this time I had a very vivid dream. I dreamt that I was walking along a street in Liverpool, and it happened to be in front of John's Aunt's house. I watched as he waved to his mother as she left the house, and started walking across the street. I saw the car coming towards her, and I jumped in front of it and pushed her out of the way, falling down with her onto the boulevard. When I looked down at her, she was a skeleton. I heard someone behind me calling, "Jill! Jill!"
I awoke suddenly, hearing Brian calling my name. "Jill, telephone--it's Paul."
"Oh." I rubbed my eyes, and I saw Brian standing in the doorway. I noticed that I was shaking.
He turned on the light and walked into the room. "Are you alright, Jill?"
"Yeah, I guess I just had a bad dream." I got out of bed and went to the phone. "'Ello, Paul."
"Jill! Oh, it's so good to hear your voice, and know that you're in town."
"Yeah, you too. How was the show tonight? Brian told me about Pete & Ringo."
"This crowd wasn't too bad, but George got quite a shiner from an angry fan Sunday night!"
"Oh no, is he alright?"
"Sure, it's just a black eye. We've all gotten them before, right?"
"Speak for yourself! I just want to make sure you guys will be alright."
"This'll boil over soon, don't worry, luv. So, what do you want to do tomorrow?"
"I don't know, surprise me! Pick me up 'round ten, okay?"
"Sure! I'd better let you go, can I talk to Brian?"
I handed the phone to Brian and went back to bed. I was so tired I wasn't even curious about what would be so important that Paul would need to talk to Brian at this hour.
On to Chapter Six
Back to Chapter Four
Copyright © 1999-2006, Winona Patterson.