The Beatles

I’m not sure what happened to me, but I was the last kid in Holy Cross School to learn about the latest phenomenon sweeping the country known as the Beatles. To this day, I’m not sure how I remained so oblivious for so long. One day in the third grade, Sister Francine announced that the Beatles had come to Holy Cross and everyone one in class started screaming hysterically–except for me. I almost panicked since I didn’t understand the true nature of this Beatles invasion. Luckily, my best friend Patrick who was wise to the ways of the world informed me that the Beatles was a British rock band and that I could come out from under my desk now. Later during the school day, there was a mysterious knocking on the classroom door and Sister Francine opened the door and shouted, “The Beatles are here!” And again the whole class screamed hysterically–except for me, again. But this time I didn’t dive under my desk. Four girls with black hair who had bangs and their hair tied back were dressed in black turtleneck shirts and black pants. They had electric guitars and a couple of snare drums. They were the Beatles. They also brought in the school phonograph that looked like a small suitcase and played some 45 rpm records of the Beatles on it. The only songs I remember are “She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” They lip synced the words and the whole class swarmed around them and screamed continuously. I was the last student sitting until Patrick cued me in to swarm around the band, too. When the Beatles finished playing their set, everyone asked for their autographs. I really didn’t understand what they were doing until Patrick explained everything to me and handed me a pencil and a piece of paper. He pushed me toward the Beatles in order to get an autograph. I approached the drummer since no one was near her and I knew her as Teresa Rosiles from the neighborhood. She signed my paper as Ringo Starr. I didn’t even know who Ringo Starr was, but Patrick explained all about the Beatles and Paul and John and George and Ringo to me. To be truthful, I don’t know where I would be today if I had never met Patrick McDonald. A few years later when I delivered newspapers on the 4800 block of south Honore Street, I saw a poster in the window of one of those mom and pop grocery stores in the middle of the block. The Beatles were advertising their concert in Commiskey Park in August of 1965. Everytime I saw that poster, I would remember fondly the time I went to my first Beatles concert at Holy Cross School!

I wanna hold your hand! Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!