Most Beatle’s fans think Paul McCartney’s song “Martha My Dear” was written about a girlfriend. Turns out it was about the Old English sheepdog he loved for fourteen years. “Hold your hand out you silly girl. Look what you have done,” is a line of lyrics he wrote in 1968. If you have ever had a dog, you have probably said something like this when he ate the roast beef off the kitchen counter, she chewed the upholstery in your car or lept onto the lap of an unappreciative guest in your home.
A woman stopped me on 7th Avenue in New York City and asked to pet Herbie. She said she was a costume designer. It was the night before Herbie’s competition at the Westminster Dog Show and we were stretching our legs. I gave her Herbie’s show information while the “Love Bug” wiggled his butt in pure joy from all her attention. Later that evening the woman emailed me. She said she would be doing a photo shoot at Strawberry Fields in Central Park the next morning. She was using a Beatles theme. She asked if my Old English sheepdog could be photographed with her. I Googled Liz and found she was a model and actor besides being a costume designer for Broadway shows and movies.
“Martha my dear, when you find yourself in the thick of it, help yourself to a bit of what is all around you, silly girl.” I’ve been a Beatle’s fan for most of my life, but have never been to John Lennon’s memorial. It didn’t take long to agree to an 8 A.M. meeting at the entrance to the Dakota, the architecturally significant old building where John Lennon was shot in 1980 and where Yoko Ono still lives. Our cab let us out at 72nd Street and Central Park West where we met Liz and professional photographer Jerrit Pruyn.
“Martha my dear, Hold your head up you silly girl.” Herbie wandered through the park with Liz dressed like she belonged in Kensington Park in 1960’s London. ”You have always been my inspiration,” McCartney wrote. “Take a good look around you. Take a good look, you’re bound to see that you and me were met to be for each other, silly girl.”