My Brush with a Beatle
By Margot Winick
I saw him standing there. Chatting on his cell phone, standing on the corner, just outside the bakery. Could it be him? I wondered.
Like I do every summer, I was in the Hamptons, out in Long Island, New York, visiting family, and the topic had come up at dinner the night before: Paul owns a house nearby in Amagansett in East Hampton. (And in fact, I discovered while I was there that the house next door is for sale
Could he possibly be in town right now? I wondered.
When I’m in town, I always stop in to buy my husband his favorite ginger molasses cookies at Mary’s Marvelous bakery. There I was on the morning of Bastille Day, Tuesday, July 14. I had just paid for my iced coffee and cookies, when, out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw Paul McCartney talking on his cellphone, dressed in blue from head to toe.
In the small chance that it was really him, I quickly readied my iPhone to snap a photo. I took three steps, and once I stepped outside the bakery door, I heard that unmistakable Liverpudlian accent. It REALLY WAS Paul! OMG OMG OMG!
A million questions popped into my mind to ask him:
- What cologne do you wear? (I always wanted to know what a Beatle smelled like).
- Is there any way the Out There tour might still add a stop in Miami?
- When is the “Let it Be” film going to be released on DVD?
- Which are your favorite of the collaborations with Michael Jackson?
- Is Kanye West as obnoxious in person?
- Can we look forward to more alternative music from The Fireman?
- What’s your favorite Beatle record?
And the list goes on and on…
Sadly, however, because he continued his phone call, I wouldn’t have that chance. Instead, I quickly snapped his photo... Well, officially I was taking a photo of my favorite bakery, anyway, but… I took the photo off-center so I could get Sir Paul on his cell in my photo. He was less than 10 feet away from me!
I had caught him off guard at his neighborhood bakery. When he saw me take the photo, he wagged his finger at me, disapprovingly. In my defense, I showed him the package of cookies and blew him a kiss. He walked away so I wouldn’t take any more photos.
I debated following him, but by then he just saw me as the annoying person who took his photo. I didn't want to be a cliché Beatles fan who chased him, running and screaming – even on social media. I decided to wait a few hours before I posted this photo to my Facebook. Blue Meanie? No, he was just taking in a summer morning in his neighborhood. Good day sunshine.