The Fab Four
by Mike PetersAs a group, genealogists are very concerned with accuracy and documentation. It is the "gold standard" of our hobby.
There are a few instances where we don't have to be that accurate. An educated guess will do. It'll place us somewhere in the neighborhood. That's close enough. The exact dates are not that important. We need to remember some things, outside the scope of traditional genealogy, if only for the defining events that they were in our lives. These are very important in our family research. They shaped us, almost as much as our parents. In some cases, even more. Sometimes, we only remember our age at the time.
When I was but seven, I met the lads from Liverpool. Ed Sullivan introduced us. The meeting occurred in our living room. They shook my hand and then shook their Prince Valiant hair. I sat on the floor, directly in front of our black 'n white set and watched, mesmerized. Dad shook his head, said they'd never last and commented that they all needed a haircut. I've often wondered if he ever gave them a chance, if he ever just listened. Could he get past their hair? I heard the girls screaming and knew there was something there. Dad had to be wrong. On the way to school, when out of my parent's eyesight, I'd take my comb from my pocket and push my hair down over my forehead. The girls liked it that way became my rationalization for rebellion. Dad's Brylcreem gave way to a more natural and a wilder look. At least, that was my thinking.
When I was 10, the group put out what could be the most critically acclaimed albumn of our time--"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." I liked "A Day in the Life." At the time, I was adjusting to life without Father.
When I was 13, the quartet became four soloists. Some blamed Yoko or Linda for the split. Some said it was over "artistic differences." They just needed a change, I guess. I was in junior high and well into puberty. I understood changes. But I still felt like the child of divorced parents. We got to see them, but never really together. In the back of our minds, we prayed for a reunion. Someone would raise enough money to lure them back. But it never happened.
When I was 23, I was confused. A mad man shot John. We had our share of assassinations. We'd been there before. But John was not a politician or world leader. He was a writer and singer of songs, the bespectacled leader of the band. Yeah, he was outspoken. Here was the man who penned, "All we are saying is give peace a chance." What a novel concept!
When I was 44, George died of cancer. They called him "the silent one." The Fab Four is now a duo and my childhood is slowly dwindling away. A bass player and drummer are remnants of a four-piece band that got their start in my living room, much to Dad's chagrin.