Imagine our surprise driving through little Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, to find the Beatles in their heyday decorating a side street appropriately renamed Abbey Road. Cartoonish murals of the Fab Four, lifesize cutouts of the band playing beside a yellow submarine, and an eerie metal Abbey Road sculpture commemorate the tiny town’s surprise visit from the immortal band.
It happened in 1964 near the end of the Beatles’ first American tour. A weekend respite at a Missouri dude ranch brought them to little Walnut Ridge’s airport, which had the closest runway able to accommodate their charter plane. They planned to keep their itinerary a secret, but there were no secrets about the group at the height of Beatlemania. Word spread rapidly among the town’s youth that the world’s most famous band had landed in their sleepy northeast Arkansas town.
It may be the most consequential event in the town’s history. It certainly inspired considerable civic pride and some colorful artwork. For me it brought a chuckle to the otherwise monotonous Arkansas landscape.
[Daily post 063 of 260 in my year-long challenge.] ♨