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Jim Berkenstadt Jim Berkenstadt
Madison, WI
Joined: 1/10/2012
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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:

  1. What cologne do you wear? (I always wanted to know what a Beatle smelled like).

  2. Is there any way the Out There tour might still add a stop in Miami?

  3. When is the “Let it Be” film going to be released on DVD?

  4. Which are your favorite of the collaborations with Michael Jackson?

  5. Is Kanye West as obnoxious in person?

  6. Can we look forward to more alternative music from The Fireman?

  7. 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.

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