I was a big Ringo fan. I had 3 girlfriends that I ran around with at school, and we all loved the Beatles. We each had one we loved. Debra loved Paul (actually, I think we all loved Paul, but she claimed him first), Mary Kate loved George, Linda loved John, and I loved Ringo. I picked Ringo because I wasn’t fast enough to lay claim to anyone else. (My love was very transferrable back then).I had Beatle stuff all over my room. There were so many pictures and posters, you could barely tell what color the walls were. I had fan magazines galore. I loved to read about them. I watched anything on TV that featured them. I nearly fainted with joy when they were on the Ed Sullivan Show (It was a really big shew…).
I had, of course, seen the footage on TV where the girls by the hundreds (maybe thousands) would try to surround the Fab Four’s car, all the while screaming at the top of their lungs. Some were crying. A few actually collapsed. All of this had happened in England, so when they came to America, I knew what to do: Scream when I saw them on TV.I don’t know why I screamed. I didn’t know why at the time. I just felt it was expected of me, and what kind of fan was I if I didn’t participate in the screaming?
The real scream-fest was at the first movie they made: It Was a Hard Day’s Night. Imagine a theater full of pre-pubescent girls screaming so loud that you couldn’t hear the movie. But that didn’t matter! The Beatles were up there on that screen! Yeah, yeah, yeah!My love for Ringo and the rest of the Beatles was very deep for a 12-year-old. There was nothing I wouldn’t do for them. My life revolved around their latest record or magazine. I would play Beatles records for hours in my bedroom.
It was all my friends and I talked about. We had debates over which one was the cutest, nicest, sweetest, and best kisser. Of course, we had no idea if they were any of these things (especially the best kisser part since none of us had ever been kissed by a boy) so we just made it up. It was great! One of the happiest memories I have growing up.Of course, there will always be people who don’t understand your passion – well, okay, your obsession -- and will try to stand in the way of your happiness. That person was my mother. She had very good-naturedly let me plaster my bedroom walls with all manner of pictures and posters, she let me wear my hair like a Beatle (their haircut was very controversial back then), she carted me and my friends to a drive-in theater where we sat in the rain, screaming at the giant screen because we just had to see It’s A Hard Day’s Night one more time.
So you’d think she would back me on anything Beatle. Not.I was going to become a member of our church during a little ceremony in which I would stand as part of a group in front of the church. The pastor was going to ask us some questions and intone a blessing and then we would be members.
I got all dressed up in my finest Sunday dress (all females always wore dresses back in those days), put my white anklets on and my patent leather shoes. Just one more thing to make the look perfect: My Beatles necklace, a large (very large) white circle with a picture, mostly in black, of the Beatles. I don’t remember where I got it, but it couldn’t have been too expensive because it had already turned my neck green on previous occasions.Mom took one look and stated, “You’re not getting up in front of the church with that awful necklace on.”
I was crushed. How could I show my love for Ringo and the rest of the boys if I didn’t have one of my dearest Beatle possessions with me? The dress didn’t have any pockets. I had to think fast because we were leaving soon.So I did join church that day, up there in front of God and everybody, with a self-satisfied smirk on my face. I knew my love for Ringo was true because I had had him with me despite the odds against it. I had overcome the hurdle my own mother had put up to hinder me.
I don’t believe I’m exaggerating one bit when I say that I am probably the only person ever to join the United Methodist Church with a Beatles necklace in her bra.Well, it was either that or my panties, and that just seemed wrong…