Mystery solved? Kids in Ringo Starr photograph may not be from Miami

 

yanez@MiamiHerald.com

The mystery of the identity of the kids in a car whose photo was snapped by Ringo Starr during The Beatles first visit to America may have been solved.

Sadly, Starr may have gotten his cities mixed up. The photo was likely not taken in Miami, but in New York.

A Boston attorney says he recognizes the kids in the photograph, which began circulating earlier this week, as his classmates at Fair Lawn Senior High School in New Jersey in 1964.

And he told the Miami Herald in an email here’s how the teens came to cross paths with The Beatles.

When The Beatles landed in New York on February 7, 1964, the high school seniors decided they had to be there as part of the throng of teenagers greeting the band.

“The kids cut classes at Fair Lawn HS and went to LaGuardia Airport to meet the Beatles,” said attorney Kenneth Kolpan, a fellow classmate who was not part of the group that day. “On the way from LaGuardia they saw four limos and thought it was a funeral, but each limo carried a Beatle.”

Starr must have snapped the photo of the teens at that moment of recognition.

Kolpan identified the students. Unfortunately, two of them have died.

The driver is the late Gary Van Dursen and the passenger in the front seat is Robert Toth, he said.

In the back seat, leaning out of the car window, is Charles Schwartz, of Sonoma, Ca.

The girl on the left is the late Matty Blender of Portland, Or.

The second young woman, to the right, is Arlen Norbe Ressler.

At the high school, news that students so long ago had a brush with a famous Beatle spread through the school. But there was a hitch. The photographs of the students Kolpan named were not immediately found in the school’s 1964 yearbook

So far, there is to independent verification from anyone in the car that they are in the photograph, which is featured in Starr’s new book, Photograph, set to be released in print by Genesis Publications in November.

Starr’s recollection that he snapped the photograph in Miami helped spark the memory of several locals who either met, worked or encountered the Beatles during that winter.

Starr has said he would like to meet the teen in that photograph he has kept for 49 years.

See the book at www.RingoPhotoBook.com

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