Thursday, September 26, 2013
George in Benton: An untold story
When I was in Benton, Illinois this past weekend I went into a the antique shops that are located around the square before the unveiling of the historical marker. In one of the shops I went into a man near the counter saw me wearing a Beatles t-shirt and asked if I was in Benton for the George Harrison thing. When I told him that I was, he continued to tell me how he had met George when he was in Benton in 1963 and whenever people come through town to interview people for the news or books about George's Benton connection, they are never interested in his little story and therefore it has never been told. So I told him that I had a Beatles blog about people that met one of the Beatles and I would be happy to share his story on there. So he said to let everyone know that a lot of fake stories are out about what happened, but his story is the truth and his name is "Honest Don."
In 1963, Don was 17 years old and worked at the local A&W Root Beer restaurant in Benton, Illinois. One night in September, he was told to deliver some dishes out to a house that was off the square and across from the high school. So he and a female co-worker who was also 17 drove out to 113 McCann Street to deliver the food. When they got there, they see a young man with "very long hair" standing on the front porch. Don says that he and all of his friends at the time wore their hair in a very short crew cut. That was the style at that time for guys. He had never seen hair that went down in the front like George had on a guy. Don said that his long hair really stuck out in her mind. Then when the long haired man started to talk, Don was surprised to hear a British accent! He was definitely not like most of the young men that order from the A&W in town. George continues to ask Don's co-worker if she would like to go out on a date with him. The young lady kindly turned George down and the two get back into the car. Once they were back inside the car, the girl turned to Don and said, "Can you believe that long haired guy asked me out? Eww! I wouldn't want to be seen with him!"
So there you have it....a unheard story about a girl who refused to go out on a date with George Harrison! Just remember that you heard it here first.
The photo I posted are screen caps that I made from a video of a travel program that was on television in the mid 1990's. It showed a few short segment of home videos that belonged to Louise of George's trip to visit her.