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home : columnists : columnists October 22, 2017


9/16/2017 4:00:00 AM
'Yesterday' with Trooper Marks
Photo providedThe photo is posted on the Carmel Clay Historical Society Facebook page, from the Indianapolis Star, of state troopers escorting the Beatles to the airport the day after Ringo Starr’s visit in September 1964. Noblesville’s Jack Marks is the trooper to the right of Ringo, according to the historical society archives. Marks had saved a copy of this picture.
Photo provided

The photo is posted on the Carmel Clay Historical Society Facebook page, from the Indianapolis Star, of state troopers escorting the Beatles to the airport the day after Ringo Starr’s visit in September 1964. Noblesville’s Jack Marks is the trooper to the right of Ringo, according to the historical society archives. Marks had saved a copy of this picture.
Jack Marks
Jack Marks

By Betsy Reason
Editor


Noblesville's Jack Marks always had a story to tell. And he had old photos or memorabilia that went along to prove most of his stories.

One of those tales was about how the retired Indiana State Trooper gave The Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr a sightseeing tour, including a ride back to his farm in Noblesville to meet Marks' family.

Through the years, that story has passed around the community as well as the State Police Post. I even heard State Troopers talking about it at this year's Indiana State Fair, wondering if Marks' story held true.

I actually wrote about Marks' memories of the Ringo Starr visit at least twice during my years as a reporter and lifestyle editor for The Noblesville Ledger.

Marks invited me into his farm west of Noblesville, and we sat at his kitchen table, talking about the Ringo Starr visit, which he said, everybody was always curious to hear, no matter how many times he told it.

His story took place more than 50 years ago, when The Beatles played two shows at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Sept. 3, 1964.

Marks, at the time, was an 11-year veteran of the Indiana State Police and The Beatles' assigned security officer during their Indianapolis visit.

He joked about getting paid to watch The Beatles. His daughters were definitely envious.

The night of the show, after midnight, Marks made sure band members got back to the Speedway Motel without any riots. Not able to sleep, Ringo Starr started talking to Marks and then invited himself to "go with" Marks on a ride. So he climbed into the back seat of Marks' car.

They toured Speedway, Monument Circle and wherever else they could see at night. Ringo Starr said he was hungry, so Marks then suggested that they just go back to Marks' house in Noblesville, wake up his wife, Doyne, and have her fix breakfast. But Marks had forgotten that it was the day that their prize-winning Morgan horses would be shown at the State Fair, and Doyne was up early in the barn, getting them ready to show.

Needless to say, she wasn't so impressed with her husband's famous visitor, and invited them to get their own breakfasts. Although, Marks' daughter was thrilled to wake up and meet Ringo Starr. They had coffee, then went to breakfast in Carmel at the former Ben's Island Restaurant, where Ringo Starr signed autographs after he dined.

Once back at the Speedway Motel, there was concern when Ringo Starr was missing. But soon Marks would drive one of the limousines carrying The Beatles to the airport. Marks said just before the plane took off, Ringo Starr asked to see Marks, saying "Thanks for a good time" and that he "was treated well and appreciated it."

Despite all the time spent with Ringo Starr, Marks never got his autograph or snapped his photo. And he asked his kids not tell their friends about Ringo Starr's visit, in fear that the family would receive unwelcome company.

Jack Marks' memory is one of many written in freelance writer and photographer David Humphrey's book, "All Those years Ago: Fifty Years Later, Beatles Fans Still Remember." The memory is also shared by the Carmel Clay Historical Society, which has posted on its Facebook page a photo of Ringo Starr with Marks escorting the Beatle.

Jack Marks, I know your friends and family and former co-workers have enjoyed hearing your stories retold over the years. And that your wonderful stories will live on.

That's why I'm writing about this in my column today.

Jack A. Marks died on Wednesday at home. He was 88. He retired from the State Police after 25 years as Lt. Commander of Pendleton Post, then later worked as an investigator for the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office. He was a Mason.

The funeral will be at 4 p.m. today (Saturday) at Randall & Roberts Funeral Center on Westfield Road in Noblesville, with visitation beginning at 1 p.m.

-Contact me at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.



Related Stories:
• Jack A. Marks





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