5 p.m. Aug. 25----
Of the many mysteries surrounding Paul McCartney's now completed journey down Route 66, my final question is:
How did Sir Paul get his '89 Ford Bronco back to the Hamptons?
Several reports had Paul and his girl friend Nancy Shevell abruptly ending their '66 trip in Flagstaff, Az. because Paul flew to London to be on hand when his daughter had a baby. Paul and Nancy allegedly had sentimental attachment to their old truck because it was one of the first places they made out. Did someone else drive it back? Did they have it shipped back? Did they sell it?
I rented a car when I did the entire Route 66 in 1991. I had to fly back to Syracuse, N.Y. to meet my brother. We were taking in the induction of Bill Veeck into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. I had a sentimental attachment to Veeck's maverick incongruous nature.
There were some McCartney Route 66 sightings I still find impossible to believe. They harken back to the Elvis stories in the old Weekly World News. I checked out every sighting I reported on this blog, and on Aug. 3 he was in Branson, Mo.
That's just plain weird.......
.....Paul and Nancy were window shopping at Branson Landing, a two-year-old $345 milllion retail and entertainment mall anchored by a Bass Pro Shop. According to the landing web site, there's also Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar and Grille, Joe's Crab Shack, a Haggen-Daze and a Lane Bryant clothing store. The mall is in historic downtown Branson.
"He was on property," Branson Landing Senior Marketing Manager Tammy Scholten confirmed on Monday. "They stayed at the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and had dinner at our Cantina Laredo."
Entertainment Weekly wrote that McCartney detoured off of '66 (Branson is about 45 miles south of the Springfield, Mo. stop on the Mother Road) to meet with Louise Harrison, the sister of George Harrison. She's involved with the Branson production of "Liverpool Legends." Louise "Lou" Harrison!
That's where I come into play again.
In the spring of 2001 I stayed at "A Hard Day's Nite Bed & Breakfast" in downstate Benton, Ill.
Benton is not on Route 66.
But George Harrison stayed in the two-story bungalow for a couple of weeks in the summer of 1963 when Lou and her husband Gordon Caldwell lived there. In 2001 the Beatles B&B was owned and operated by Lou's friends. [The B&B has since closed and reopened, no doubt in part because the house is a block from the Illinois Central and Union Pacific railroad lines which in 2001 averaged about 60 trains a day. Sleep was not an option.]
In a quieter 1963 George caught a Cliff Richard movie at a drive-in in nearby Marion. He jammed with an area band called the Four Vests. He also went camping and took pictures of katydids. George was not so close to Lou which is why I find the Branson stop weird.
The Hard Day's Nite Bed & Breakfast (618-438-2328) featured a rust-colored sofa that was roped off with a yellow ribbon. The sofa was from Lou's apartment in New York where she lived in the late 1960s when she worked for George's music publishing company. I was told "George sat on it." And maybe the other Beatles did, too. Maybe. I asked Lou about the historic sofa.
She said, "Don't mention it. My brother is embarrassed enough about this whole thing."
George died later in 2001. In November, 2002 terms of his $154 million will were made public. Lou, then 71, got nothing. She did tell the "Today" show they reconciled bedside at New York's Staten Island University Hospital a week before his death. Louise reportedly is working on assembling a Beatles related museum in Branson. Stay tuned. This road goes on forever.