I met Bob Arnold in 1986, relatively soon after David and I started dating. At the time I met Bob, he was a client of David’s when David was employed as a professional photographer. David was eager to introduce Bob and me, due to the fact that we are both self described “Beatles freaks.” For people like Bob and me, it doesn’t take long for those around us to realize they are in the presence of a die hard Beatles fan. I’m not sure how it came up, but David mentioned to Bob that his new girlfriend (me) is a huge fan of The Beatles and has been a huge fan of the band and its members since 1963. Upon hearing this, Bob immediately took his wallet out of his back pocket and pulled out a ticket stub from the time he saw Paul McCartney and Wings during their 1976 Wings Over America tour. The next time I spoke with David, he excitedly informed me about this news and arranged for a time when Bob and I could meet in person. One of the funniest things I remember about meeting Bob, his wife, Nancy, and their children for the first time was that, instead of spending their Saturday mornings watching cartoons, the children watched James Bond movies! How cool is that? Over the years, Bob and I have become good friends, mainly due to our shared love of all things Beatles. We have attended several Paul McCartney concerts together (with David and Nancy and sometimes, their children) and we have attended two Beatles festivals together, one in The USA and the other, in Liverpool, during the fantastic “trip of a lifetime” we took together in 2019. Bob and I even communicate via lyrics to Beatles songs. For example, if I say, “It’s getting better all the time,” Bob will reply with, “It can’t get no worse.” And, if Bob says, “Dear Prudence,” there is no doubt in my mind that I would reply by saying, “Won’t you come out to play?” (And, you should see the shocked expressions on David’s and Nancy’s faces when we do this; priceless!) It has been fantastic sharing my love of The Beatles with Bob for the past 3 plus decades and I hope we will have many more opportunities to play Beatles music together! Tomorrow never knows!
Back when I worked as photographer, I focused (get that) on a few types of clients. One was the corporate market; public relations departments were usually my point of contact. I was doing quite a bit of work for a large hospital, and someone new was hired in its PR department. She suggested I meet her former boss, Bob Arnold. So, I took my portfolio to the hospital where he was PR director and we connected. He hired me to shoot lots of events at the hospital and at a subsequent job. I even photographed his family a few times for Christmas cards. The Beatles connection was made early and, while I’m not sure what precipitated it, that is, how we started talking Beatles, I’ll always remember him pulling out his wallet to show me the ticket stub. I knew if he would do that, he and Melissa had to meet. The referral to, and meeting with, Bob is one of those life events that creates a lasting connection. Our big UK trip in 2019 was long in the planning. Decades really – for Bob and Nancy to be ready, for us to be ready. And, as Melissa and I do with so many things, we planned, and planned, and planned. Turns out our personalities about planning were similar to Bob’s and Nancy’s. As it goes, Nancy and I were the “+1s” for this trip in many ways – it was certainly a meaningful trip for all of us, but for the Beatles fan(atics), Bob and Melissa, it was a trip to Mecca. The planning was part of the fun. We arranged visits together to pour over maps, event schedules, tour guides, and then to create an agenda. But, it was all worth it and the trip went well, with several serendipitous happenings. After the trip, I edited my 10,000 or so photos and Melissa and I worked with our Research Associate, turned production manager, to create a multimedia “movie” of our Magical Mystery Tour. The premiere audience was, you guessed it, Bob & Nancy. This extended our experience and even now, a year later, Bob & Melissa are reliving the days of our trip by texting, often in Beatles’ code. It is rare in life to connect with people somewhat randomly, and then to journey together on such a tremendous adventure. It is a bit surreal thinking of how it started. But, I’m sure glad it did. Cheers to Bob (aka Dan) and Nancy (aka Lil, McGill). Life is a long and winding road. Roll up!
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