Saturday, February 25
"You don't see many of these around any more, do you?"
February 24,1943--November 29, 2001
Good a time as any to explain how the Fab Four turn up on my family's home movies.
The Beatles played Indianapolis on September 3, 1964, part of their second American tour. They were supposed to stay at the swankiest hotel in town, the Essex House, but word got out ahead of time and fans descended on the place, stealing doorknobs and ripping up wallpaper. They switched plans and stayed at the motel at the Track.
We had all sorts of connections there, including the manager of the motel, so it came to pass that on the morning of the 4th I was swimming in the pool directly underneath their rooms as they exited and walked over to the black stretch Caddy they used on that tour. No entourage.
The lodging switch had worked a charm; I was the only one there, besides my Mom, who was working my Uncle Floyd's camera. A couple minutes later I walked over and waved. Ringo waved back. The others ignored me. Then I went back to the pool. I'm a Hoosier. We don't pester.
They took them for a lap around the track before heading for the airport, and the guy who drove the tour van took me around behind them. That was my mother's idea; watching the back of their limo for 2-1/2 miles didn't really excite me much. And so for thirty-five years I told my story, concluding with, "Can you believe we're such hicks we drove The Beatles around the Track before they could leave?"
Then for Christmas 2000 I buy my wife, the Beatle idolator, The Beatles Anthology, and I'm reading about the '64 tour, and after mentioning meeting Fats Domino, George says:
"And Indianapolis was good. As we were leaving, on the way to the airport, they took us round the Indy circuit....It was fantastic."
So now I'm surprised he didn't mention how polite the crowd was.