On my front porch, smack in the center of the top step, there appeared a mysterious package.
I had spent the morning masked in Manhattan, and it was the first thing I saw when I opened the gate upon my return.
I have received more than my fair share of misdelivered parcels – I could tell you about the Pampers that arrived during the pandemic, the license plates that were for a neighbor around the corner or the time I chased the UPS driver down Ditmars Boulevard after he left a pile of packages on the porch that weren’t mine – but I instantly knew that this one was different.
The 3.25-inch white cube, spotlighted by a shaft of sunlight through the shade of the petite white blooms of the crepe myrtles, was decorated with three black polka dots set on a diagonal.
On the top was a single word that made my heart beat faster: McCartney.
It was, I realized, a piece of Macca merch from his McCartney III album that dropped in 2020.
When I opened the box, I saw a black card on top with a pre-printed Thank You and the MPL logo. On the flip side, there’s a photo of the album cover, a white die with three black dots.
There was no address – return or recipient.
The item, which I’ve since found out is officially called a desk ornament but that someone who isn’t a marketing maven would refer to as a paperweight, is a pewter die set on a piece of polished black marble.
I’ve been a diehard Beatles and Macca fan ever since the band shook up The Ed Sullivan Show with “She Loves You” in 1964.
Not a lot of people know that about me. Or at least that’s what I thought.
Last year, though, I did mention in a Queens Gazette profile about me that I’ve never done an interview with Sir Paul, but surely …
Anyway, my friend Judy swears she didn’t drop it on my doorstep – she was, after all, on vacation in Indiana when it landed — but she says she wishes she had.
And my friend Jimmy, he does like to frequent thrift shops, which is where I initially suspected this came from, but the only thing he’s ever tried to put on my porch was a bag of new flannel shirts that he threw up on my roof by mistake.
Having struck out, I started sleuthing. I searched official and unofficial McCartney sites but no such item appears in any of the e-shops.
Nor did it come up when I did a general Google search.
Just when I thought I had reached a dead end, I happened to look on the bottom of the box, where I discovered that the die was a custom collectible copyright 2021 by Macca’s MPL from waxoffdesign.com.
Waxoffdesign.com, as it turns out, became Pennyroyalstudio.com at the beginning of this year.
Pennyroyal is owned by a Los Angeles drummer named Tim Foster, who used to work in the record industry. He started out in 2006 making jewelry, and in 2016, he branched out to collectibles, most of which are rock and roll memorabilia.
His items are sold at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and include really cool stuff like a Sgt. Pepper enamel button and a heart-shaped “All You Need Is Love” necklace.
I called him up and found out the desk ornament is the first of only three designs he has produced (the others are the sold-out 50th-anniversary Wings ornament, of which only 50 were made, and one that features the Beatles drum head that retails for $195).
What’s more, the McCartney III is not available anywhere, which is why I couldn’t find it.
MPL commissioned Tim to make a limited number for distribution to VIPs on a special, secretly guarded list.
“It was an internal project not meant for public consumption,” Tim says, adding that he started work on it in 2019, a year before the album was released. “It’s the most closed-door project I’ve ever done. Not many people have seen it or have it. Whoever gave it to you hooked you up big time.”
I’ve placed the McCartney III on my desk as inspiration, next to my copy of “The Lyrics.”
Of course, I’m dying to know who gave it to me, but speculation is part of the seductiveness of this splendid surprise.
And all I can say to the anonymous giver is, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, if this is love you’ve got to give me more, hey, hey, hey give me more …”
Copyright 2022 by Nancy A. Ruhling