Was that really Ringo shopping at Bronner's?
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
THE SAGINAW (Michigan) NEWS http://www.mlive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-16/1129731692254610.xml?sanews?NECN&coll=9
Employees at a Frankenmuth Christmas theme store say they are sure they saw Richard Starkey, also known as Ringo Starr, the drummer for the Beatles.
"This place rocks," Starr or someone with the same name wrote in a guest book at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland's Silent Night Chapel, said Carla Bronner-Spletzer, whose father is owner Wallace Bronner.
That was Monday, about 9 a.m. It was then that cleaning staffers, known as the "Sparkle Crew," saw a black limousine pulling away from the sprawling Christmas store.
"They were very definite about it," she said.
And just minutes earlier, Janet Sperling, a store employee, said she had directed to the rest room a man dressed in black whom she "knew looked familiar."
Sperling also had handed a store directory to Starr, who began pushing a red Bronner's shopping cart, Spletzer said.
But Spletzer, who began a frantic search for the 65-year-old left-handed percussionist from Liverpool, England, still was half-expecting a ruse -- until she spoke with a couple in the Silent Night Chapel.
The pair, whose names she does not know, claimed Ringo had come through, Spletzer said.
"I said, 'Are you sure?' The guy said, 'Oh yeah. My wife is a big fan of the Beatles, and we're sure it was him,"' Spletzer said.
She checked the chapel's registry. Sure enough. Someone very neatly signed: "Ringo Starr, London. This place rocks."
But Spletzer had her doubts.
"The penmanship was too neat, but there was a younger blonde lady with him, so we thought maybe she signed it for him," she said.
Still not completely sure, Spletzer checked concert schedules to find ex-Beatle Paul McCartney had performed in Auburn Hills twice over the weekend.
"That gave him a reason to be in town," she said of Starr, whose post-Beatles hits included "Back off Boogaloo" and "You're Sixteen."
If Starr graced the store, he would join the ranks of Faith Hill, Ted Nugent and Marie Osmond, among other celebrities who have stopped in.