Fangirls bond over Beatles (w/video)

Ismael Perez By Ismael Perez

Aug. 16, 2017 at 10:30 p.m.
Updated Aug. 16, 2017 at 10:35 p.m.

Tess Yarbrough, 26, reads through one of the 16 Magazine issues that were originally Barbara MacAlister's.

Tess Yarbrough, 26, reads through one of the 16 Magazine issues that were originally Barbara MacAlister's.   Olivia Vanni for The Victoria Advocate

A dreamer's handwritten printed notes surrounded by immature teenage doodles on pages of vintage issues of 16 Magazine led a millennial woman to search for the teenage girl who owned the magazines 50 years ago.

Tess Yarbrough searched through social media for the girl whose name was written throughout the magazines' Beatles fan quizzes and unsent mailing labels.

The 26-year-old Victoria woman took a chance when she found a familiar name and reached out to her but did not receive a response.

Two years later, Yarbrough got a notification through her Macbook Pro which said, "Barbara MacAlister sent you a friend request."

"Barbara was lit at 11 p.m. and on Facebook," said Yarbrough, who had resent the original message after the request. "She responded and said, 'If you could confirm my childhood address, I think these are my magazines.'"

MacAlister, of San Antonio, and Yarbrough arranged a meeting in the beginning of March where they talked about their love for the Beatles and pop culture in the 1960s.

Yarbrough, who comes from an artistic family of collectors, said she has always collected music knick-knacks and finds the 1960s "really intriguing."

"I just wanted to connect with her and feel what it was like to have the magazines when they came out," Yarbrough said.

MacAlister said that she was being cautious the first time Yarbrough contacted her because she did not know whether it was a scam.

She said she was in awe when Yarbrough confirmed her address.

"I was like, 'Wow,'" the 68-year-old said. "When I found out she had my magazines from the '60s, I just thought, 'How did she get them and are they really mine?'"

Yarbrough said she found the four vintage magazines in 2014 when she came home one day.

She asked her father for them but he had said no.

"He actually said no because he was going to give them to me for Christmas," she laughed. "I don't think he ended up giving them to me; I think I just stole them."

The women concluded with the theory that the magazines must have gone from MacAlister's parents' house to a flea market.

Yarbrough traveled to San Antonio with lights and cameras so she could document their meeting for her YouTube channel.

When Yarbrough made it to MacAlister's home, she instructed her not to talk about anything dealing with the Beatles and the magazines until the cameras were rolling.

Once Yarbrough pressed record, MacAlister was brought back to her 17-year-old Beatles-loving self.

She admitted her love for Ringo.

She talked about her top favorite Beatles songs "She Loves You," "Michelle" and "A Hard Day's Night."

And she spoke about the unforgettable time she had while attending the Beatles concert in the Sam Houston Coliseum on Aug. 19, 1965.

The Beatles fans from different decades clicked right away.

"We had a natural common bond," MacAlister said. "We got along perfectly, like we have been friends forever."

Yarbrough, who was part of the "Next Generation Panel" at The Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago, said she is grateful people are getting to hear about MacAlister's story.

She said she likes hearing people's stories, especially about people who have had awesome music experiences and don't think about them anymore.

"Your youth is never actually gone, it's just covered up by grocery lists and bills," Yarbrough said. "We are all young as long as we keep each other young."

MacAlister said Yarbrough is a good person to start a friendship with and hopes they can get together again.

She described their story as an unbelievable experience.

"It was great, it really was," she said. "When Tess and I started talking, it was like reliving the adventures of my youth."


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