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Update on my rival Paul

By Merrill Ogden - | Jun 15, 2022

I revealed here years ago that my wife’s first love was Paul McCartney. I realize that some readers may not be familiar with that name. And to say that he was one the of band members of The Beatles may not ring a bell with some readers here.

Anyway, back in July of 2010, Paul made a stop on his concert tour in Salt Lake City. I determined that my relationship with my wife might depend on getting tickets to that concert. I received very strong hints from her that she’d like to go.

As it turned out, we had the good fortune of receiving McCartney tickets from our children for our birthdays. We both have June birthdays, so that worked out well.

The kids were able to give us something that we really wanted and were anxious to use. There was no worry about whether the gift was the right size and color. (That’s what we often say about cash as a gift. It’s the right size and color. But these tickets were more difficult to get than cash.)

For your information, just because we were able to go to the “Sir Paul” concert didn’t mean that I was out of the woods with my wife. She wasn’t shy about informing me that she’d been in love with the “fabbest of the fab four” longer than she’d been in love with me. If eye contact were made and the right communication transpired between Paul and her, I could expect to be on my own.

When I was in Richfield for my high school reunion over the 4th of July weekend that year, I told a couple there that this might be the last time they saw me and my wife together. Their faces fell and the wife, my classmate, was immediately saddened and said to me, “Oh Merrill, I’m so sorry.”

I then explained that my wife had informed me that if, by chance, things went her way at the Paul McCartney concert, she would be the new woman in Paul’s life. He was, at that time, unmarried. (Of course, my wife was and is married; but that was beside the point of her fantasy joke.) (or was it a joke? Hmm)

As it happened, the eye contact thing didn’t work out between my wife and Paul at the concert. It doesn’t work too well to try to interact with a big screen image of the performer. Our seats weren’t bad, but not close enough to “communicate.”

There was a woman close to the stage who had a sign which read something like, “You’re in Utah Paul, You Can Marry All of Us.” I think there was some eye contact and communication with that person.

Years went by, and in July of 2017, I gave my wife a birthday present opportunity to go see her “first love” again – in Des Moines, Iowa. Why Des Moines? We had “SkyMiles” and the timing just worked out well with a long Pioneer Day holiday weekend.

I told her she could take anyone with her she wanted. Weirdly, she chose me. Was that awkward? No, not at all. I’m comfortable being in the same room as Diane’s first love.

Of course, Paul was married again by the time that concert came along. It was a memorable trip and a great concert.

Fast forward to now. Yes, lightning struck a third time. We found ourselves at a Paul concert in Syracuse, New York, on my wife’s actual birthday. That was weekend before last.

It was a serendipitous outing. Everything fell into place. When we turned on the car radio on the morning of Diane’s birthday, The Beatles were singing the “Birthday” song. And at the concert that night in the Carrier Dome, Paul sang the same song to Diane (and whoever else was having a birthday among the 35,000+ people at the concert).

One person there held up a sign which announced that it was his 127th time seeing Paul. When Paul read the sign and it was shown on the big video screen, he said to the man something like, “You might want to look into the possibility that you’re being a little bit obsessive.”

Long story short, my marriage is still intact, and I have no hard feelings against Paul McCartney. In fact, I think he’s a pretty decent guy and a heck of a songwriter/musician.

He turns 80 years old this Saturday. He energetically performed, without a break, for nearly three hours. Thirty-six songs!

In my fantasy mind, I’m wondering what it would take to get him to do a concert in Sanpete on his next tour. A miracle – that’s what it would take. But hey, as my dad used to say, “It doesn’t cost anything to dream.” — Merrill


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