The Beatles Invade Cincinnati Ohio In 1964!
I had THE coolest Dad. It was February 1964 and every teenage girl I knew had watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan the night before.
The nuns were trying their hardest to keep us in line at school that Monday, but there wasnt much they could do. We whispered. We passed notes. We chattered in the hallways and even the guys were talking about growing their hair out to look just like the "lads".
I was no different. The night before..something had happened. I didnt know what it was. I had no idea or name for the magic that had occurred. I only knew that these 4 guys from England had invaded our country and music would never be the same and in my silly, young teen way....I was in love!
It was a mad dash to the phone as soon as Ed Sullivan was over, but then an endless wait for a line to open up. Party lines were the norm back in those days and as much as YOU thought YOUR phone call was THE most important thing there was, that night there were many more who felt the same way.
I was finally able to connect with my best friend Pam. I dont remember much about the conversation, but I am sure it involved plotting and planning to see more of the Beatles.
At lunch the next day and during recess...the big discussion was which Beatle would belong to which girl. Funny how we actually thought we had even the remotest chance with any of them and forget the fact that John was married! I claimed Paul. Chris clamined George and that left poor Pam with Ringo. We were good, Catholic girls and it never entered our minds to even consider John as "ours" since he was married.
Looking back at how silly we were as young girls, I smile when I think of how we actually thought they could ever "belong" to any of us!
Pam immediately began finding anything she could find to somehow make Ringo seem more enticing. I had Paul so I could afford to be generous in my compliments about Ringo. "He has cute ears". "He has puppy dog eyes". Ringo, sadly, wasnt much to look at in those days.
Teenage girls, especially young teenage girls, dont make a lot of sense and to try and explain the way they act over anything, let alone something like the Beatles, is futile. Its better to just accept the way they are and move on.
Thats exactly what my Dad did.
By the time the Beatles hit Ed Sullivan, my Dad was dying from cancer. He could no longer drive and my mother didnt drive. To this day, I dont know how it was done or how he managed to get it done, but when I got home from school that Monday...all excited and ready to run to my room, turn my transistor radio to WSAI-AM and catch the Beatles singing I Want to Hold Your Hand, I was first stopped by the stern voice of my Dad calling me into the living room where he was lying on the sofa. My Dad never used a stern voice with me...even when I deserved it, so I was kinda scared and unsure what he wanted with me.
I got a lecture on not making my bed before leaving for school (I was sure I had) and how my Mom already had her hands full taking care of him and I needed to try to help more and then a stern "go to your room right now Sallie Ann and get that bed made and clean up your room".
Sallie Ann? Even tho I was sure I HAD made my bed, I knew better than to argue when I heard my middle name used that way.
I was crushed. I hated making my Dad mad, especially now. I blinked back tears and I could feel that awful feeling you get when you need to cry but you hold back because you dont want to. I told him that I would go and make my bed (no point in arguing that I had already made it) and that I would straighten up my room (even tho it was never really messy). He was my Dad and life was hard for all of us and I sure as heck wasnt going to make it worse.
When you look back on your life and you recount the moments that you will never forget, some of those moments are as fresh in your mind as tho they had just happened. I can vividly remember lying on the living room floor watching the Beatles on the Sullivan show and I remember Ed Sullivan introducing them and even calling my friends that night. I remember the excitement of school the next day and how everyone was buzzing about the Beatles.
But the one thing, I will never, ever forget, is the moment I opened the door to my room on that Monday in 1964.
Sitting on my perfectly made bed (I knew I had made !) was the Beatles first American release album...Meet the Beatles.
I didnt know whether to be excited because I had it or cry because I knew what my Dad had to go thru to get it for me.
I still have it, along with all their albums. But this one will always be special to me.
He died a few months later in May, but before he did, when he heard they were coming to Cincinnati, he made sure my Mom ordered tickets for me to go and see them.
Some Dads are just that way