The 51st anniversary of the Beatles’ rooftop concert in London – their final public appearance – flashed across the computer screen a couple weeks ago (Jan. 30, to be exact) and my thoughts immediately jumped from Savile Row to a local tribute to John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Abbey Road in Kennebunk. Dan King photo

One of my favorite running routes carries me past a nondescript private drive between Kennebunk Center and Lower Village. It’s a decidedly humble gravel road that merits little observation, save for one thing, the standard issue blue sign emblazoned with the regal name – Abbey Road.

I’ve passed it on thousands of occasions and just as many times contemplated its origins. One day, a few years ago, I paused my playlist and took a photo to recognize the anniversary of the release of the Abbey Road album. Figured I’d stop, tap out a few shots, restart Pandora, and be on my merry, albeit slow, way.

Fate, however, intervened and as I approached Abbey Road, a car was braking with its turn signal on. ‘I’m in luck,’ I thought to myself, ‘a resident.’

A white car (no, it wasn’t a Volkswagen, that would have been too much to ask, no?) slowed, turned right and parked next to the sign. A woman jumped out and quickly walked across the road (sans striped crosswalk) to retrieve her mail.

Waiting patiently for traffic to clear, she re-traced her steps and we struck up a conversation.

“Are you the Beatles fan?” I said with a smile. She looked at me somewhat puzzled and I nodded toward the street sign. She quickly chuckled and said, “No, it wasn’t me. There was a neighbor who lived at the end of the road. He’s the one who did that. He asked if any of us minded if the street was named after the album and we all said, ‘No, not all.’”

She explained that his name was Pete and he was a drummer (not making that up) in a local band, a wine salesman and that he and his wife are since divorced. She said his wife moved away from the neighborhood first and he followed.

“He still comes around once in a while, though,” she said.

The iconic cover photo of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album.

As well he should.

Abbey Road lives on in Kennebunk because of Pete the drummer/wine salesman. And it’s just a stone’s throw from Surrey Lane. Surrey, England, is home to Eric Clapton. You know, the late George Harrison’s buddy? But I digress.

We concluded our pleasant conversation and I advised her that my cheekiness was spurred by the anniversary of Abbey Road’s release. She politely feigned interest, slid back into the car and disappeared into the woods followed by the melodic sound of tires on gravel.

A bit of serendipity and a couple questions led to discovering the history of Kennebunk’s Abbey Road and the person responsible. While he may no longer reside on Abbey Road, the legacy lingers. In our ears and in our eyes.

With that, I restarted the playlist and restarted my run. Destination? Penny Lane. Kennebunk’s got one of those, too.

Dan King is editor/page designer for the Kennebunk Post and South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Sentry. He’ll land in the Big Apple in March for the United Airlines New York City Half Marathon, 56 years and 1 month after the Fab Four arrived in America.

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