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The first encounter with George was with my friend Linda in the elevator. This was in January 1972, the year Linda and I were graduating from high school, and we had begun to get a head start. This was at the time the Apple (ABBACO) Office was at 1700 Broadway. So, naturally one day we decided to go up to Apple just for fun and fill out a job application, why not?! Apple occupied I believe the 40th and 41st floors. The 41st floor was the executive office. Well, we get to the 41st floor and there is a big reception area (the receptionist was May Pang, by the way, and she was very polite and friendly). We told her we were looking for jobs and wanted to fill out resumes and she said sure, gave them to us, and told us to sit down on the chairs and fill them out. Needless to say, Linda and I filled these forms out so slow. The longer we could stay there the better. You never know who might decide to show up! Well, no one showed up and we gave the forms back and left, saying to each other, ‘Why didn’t we have any luck on having one of THEM walk in.’
We decided that since we were already in the building we would stop on each floor, see what type of company was there, and fill out a job application. I believe we were on the 38th floor and had just filled out forms with the company on that floor – don’t remember what company it was. Linda and I called for the down elevator and were standing there discussing which company to see next. An elevator stopped and we missed it as we were too busy talking and had to call for it again. Keep in mind that there is a bank of four elevators in this building. The elevator we missed was the last one on the left and we were standing dead center in the hallway.
Anyway, the next door elevator to come was the one that was directly in front of us. The door opens and it’s GEORGE inside! It was just him and he was with another man who Linda and I refer to as “the headless man” as to this day we can’t remember this other person. We could just slightly remember by the clothes of this other person that it was somebody who was much, much older. It could have been Allen Klein for all we knew as we didn’t see this guy at all. When that elevator door opened and produced George, Linda and I almost passed out. All things considered, we behaved like normal people considering we were getting into an elevator containing George Harrison! The most priceless thing of this incident was the look on George’s face when the door opened and he saw Linda and me. Linda and I have this look imprinted on our brains as it was amazing. It was something on the order of panic and fear as his eyes opened so wide they almost jumped off his face!
We immediately calmed his fears, as after seeing that look on his face we didn’t want him to worry. After all, Linda and I were dressed as we were looking for jobs and it probably just looked like we were office workers in the building. We walked into the elevator and we both said, ‘Hi George, how are you?’ He said, ‘I’m fine, thank you, how are you?’ ‘Fine,’ we say. Now Linda and I went into our act and Linda says to me, ‘Tess, what floor are we supposed to go to?’ I say I’m not sure and then Linda says, ‘I believe it is the 30th floor.’ So Linda presses the 30th floor button. George, by the way, is leaning against the side wall of the elevator right next to the buttons for the floors. Linda and I were really cool and calm. Linda did most of the talking as I usually go mute at times like this. Thank God she does talk, one of us had to! We were just standing there though, before the questions, and George was looking at us wondering why we weren’t tormenting him. He had that look on his face! Linda finally said that she enjoyed the Bangladesh concert and he said that he was glad that we liked it. She then asked him if we could have his autograph and he said that we would be getting off the elevator soon and that we would miss our stop. (Is this man for real? Does he think we are going to get off the elevator with him in it!!!!) We said that’s okay, we’ll get to the floor later. He did give us each an autograph and by that time we were approaching the lobby. When the door opened, he let us out first and said, ‘Bye girls, it was nice to meet you, have a good day.’ We said the same to him and thanked him again.
Needless to say, we were out of commission for the rest of the day. There was no way we would be able to job hunt further. We walked out of the building (he took a back exit near the elevators) and let out all the screams we couldn’t release before. People were looking at us like we were crazy and went straight to the subway to go home. I have to say that George was VERY pleasant and smiled as he talked to us. I’m sure a great deal of it was relief and it paid off that Linda and I had remained calm. This was the first time I had ever been in an elevator and wished it would have gotten stuck! The other thing that was very lucky for us was that the elevator didn’t make another stop all the way down, so it was good that no one else got into the elevator.
After my elevator encounter, I saw George twice when I went to England in August 1973. I saw him at the Apple offices at St. James Street. He arrived with Mal Evans. Mal parked the car around the corner and they both came walking around to the front entrance of Apple. George was smiling and saying hello to everyone, but he did not stop and talk. He seemed to take great delight in seeing everyone waiting out there and looked very happy. There were about six other people standing there. Then, obviously, I saw him and Mal leave and again he didn’t stop but was still all smiles and now saying goodbye to everyone. They of course got back in the car and drove away. I had my camera this time but this was the year I bought my new 35mm camera and it was very hard to focus while George was constantly on the move. I did get two shots when he stopped by the car to get into it but they are not very close up. If I had any brains I would have stopped closer to the car to take the pics but dummy me stops not even half way there.”