I grew up during the era of the Beatles and I was a fan from the very first time I saw them on the Ed Sullivan show in 1963. Unfortunately, I couldn't understand any of the song lyrics because the girls in the audience were screaming during the whole performance. Our local radio station played their songs and I was quickly hooked.
We kids were sometimes given an allowance, but most of my spending money came from babysitting for fifty cents an hour. At that rate, the funds grew slowly, but as soon as I had saved enough to buy a Beatle record, I could hardly wait until Saturday evening. That's when Dad drove our family to the local shopping center so Mom could buy the weekly groceries while we kids browsed in the S. S. Kresge store. I'd find the most recent Beatles 45 and hand over my hard-earned cash. I was once asked why I didn't just buy albums and my reply was that I didn't know. The real answer, which I was too embarrassed to admit, was that I hardly ever had enough money at one time to buy an album, but I could almost always afford a single - and I was very impatient.
Besides collecting Beatles records, I treasured Beatles photo cards that were found in twenty-five cent packets of bubble gum. My sister and I would walk about five blocks to Young's Market and buy a dollar's worth of gum and cards. Mr. Young knew what kids liked and he made sure there was always a full box of Beatles cards at the checkout counter. I'd rip open the packages on the way home. The gum was almost always hard as a rock, and sometimes I'd be disappointed to find duplicates of the cards I already had, but when I found new cards, I felt as if I'd discovered treasures.
Once I was grown and had moved out of the family house, I rarely gave any thought to those old Beatles cards I'd tucked into the back of the closet in the room I shared with my sister. Actually it wasn't until I saw some in a vendor's booth at a flea market that I began to wonder what had happened to mine. I assumed they were still in the upstairs closet in my old room. When I asked Mom about them, she said she'd long ago sold them in a garage sale, along with all my record sleeves. Drat! I had naively taken the 45's out of the sleeves and inserted them into album folders, which I still have in my possession. Why I left the sleeves at home when I moved out, I don't know. Mom said a collector came to one of her garage sales asking for Beatles items and she went upstairs and dug them out of the closet. I think she was more than happen to be rid of them. So that was that.
Some Beatles cards were re-issued a few years ago and my daughter, knowing what had happened to my original ones, bought me a whole set of new ones. I have them arranged in an album and enjoy looking at them and remembering simpler times. I now have Beatles tunes on CDs so I don't play the 45's anymore, but it's still fun to have them.
Recently I was taken down memory lane when browsing in a fabric store in Waynesville. I was astounded to find Beatles fabric, of all things! I didn't need fabric and had vowed to not buy another yard of it until I used much of what I already had. But the Beatle fabric was just too tempting and I succumbed. I immediately began to plan projects I could make with it - a tote bag? a purse? pillowcases? pillows? I've still not decided what to do with the fabric. For now I'm content to take the fabric in and out of the drawer and gaze at it. I'm still a Beatles fan and always will be.