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Pinch-Me Moment For Die-Hard McCartney Fan From B-N

Sarah Lindenbaum of Bloomington on stage this week with Paul McCartney in Newark, New Jersey.

It was a dream come true for this vegetarian librarian.

Sarah Lindenbaum of Bloomington was in the eighth row this week for Paul McCartney’s concert in Newark, New Jersey. She was holding a bright yellow sign reading, “Ballroom Dance For A Vegetarian Librarian?” in hopes it would catch McCartney’s eye. (McCartney is famously vegetarian, as is Lindenbaum, and the ex-Beatle released the solo song “Ballroom Dancing” back in 1982.)

The sign got his attention. He asked her to come on stage for some playful banter, an awkward solo ballroom dance, and then a hug.

“To be honest, I felt like part of a performance and the experience went by in a blur,” Lindenbaum said. “I wish I could bottle this feeling. It's only now starting to sink in that the encounter really did happen."

While on stage, Lindenbaum even gave Bloomington a shoutout.

“Where you from, Sarah?” McCartney asked. “I’m from Bloomington, Illinois,” she replied.

Lindenbaum is a visiting assistant professor and outreach librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University. She was in New Jersey this week because she’s doing a research visit at Princeton.

The McLean County native is a lifelong Beatles fan who “had every lyric of every song on every album memorized by age 11.” She loves McCartney’s solo work too, and she’s seen him in concert three times. She even collects books on The Beatles and McCartney.

Her fandom reached a new high during the concert Sept. 12.

“My husband said to me afterwards, ‘So if someone asks you what the best day of your life was, are you going to say your wedding day or the day you met Paul McCartney?’

‘I replied, ‘Um.’” she said.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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