As 1976 rolled around, my other three partners in crime and I had seen Paul (and Linda) many, many times in both London and New York.
We were very aware that we were an extremely special club that had no other members, and we were happy to keep it that way. We had also come to develop a bit of a mysterious persona with Paul, as we always managed to show up wherever he was, and he could not figure out how we knew in advance. We popped up at the airport (JFK) to meet their arriving flights and send them off for their departures, we were at Lee Eastman's apartment (Linda's father) when they pulled up in a taxi, we were outside the Stanhope when they were checking in. As another example, we had become great friends with everyone at the family run luncheonette we went to every Saturday. They knew all about us and our adventures with Paul, and of course we all shared the common experience of having been touched by a Beatle. The staff told us that on a return trip for lunch one day the year before, Paul sat in a booth in the back. As he looked over his shoulder at the owner's family pictures taped to the side of the bakery cabinet, he was surprised to see our pics with him hanging there as well. Again it seemed we popped up everywhere and he was always one step behind us. Although this had been going on for several years already, we still had him shaking his head. It truly bothered him that he couldn't figure out how we did it. It became a running joke between us, with him repeatedly asking "But how did you know?" every time he saw us. Our response was always that we were psychic and.... just.... knew.
Meeting them at the airport was a bit more of a challenge, but one we conquered regularly. At a time when the world was a very different place, it was possible to just call an airline and get reservation information (complete with names of the travelers and times of the flights) by just asking a few questions. So it was that one of us (usually me, because the others were too nervous and I had no fear) would call the big three - TWA, British Airways and PanAm - and ask to confirm a reservation for the last name McCartney. Occasionally they would use an alias, and yet we would still uncover the ruse and confuse him even further. We gathered an awful lot of information before they had even packed a bag.