On Tuesday evening, about 50 people showed up at his star.
They signed a birthday card and ate birthday cake, and
Sienna Niniz, 13, of Highland Park cried because she would never, ever
get to meet him.
On the outside, such a scene can seem crazy — too much devotion and time
But something happens in the middle of it all on the pavement, when the
sun starts to set and the sky over Hollywood turns first gold, then
Candles flicker. People start to sing.
"Imagine all the people..."
floats through the open windows of passing cars.
Big city turns into cozy living room.
Santa Monica activist Jerry Rubin has organized gatherings for Lennon
since 1981, the year after the singer was killed. He does the same for
George Harrison, who died of cancer in 2001.
Rubin, 68, wore shorts and a green T-shirt with a blue peace sign on it.
He stamped blue peace signs on the hands of all who came. And when he
noticed that the decorators of the cake provided by Capitol Records had
iced Mercedes logos instead of peace signs, he cut pieces of cardboard
off a box of plastic forks to make them right.
Most in the crowd were familiar to him, he said. Chris Carter, host of
the "Breakfast with the Beatles" radio show, who always cuts the cake at
these gatherings, described those assembled as "the hard-core Apple
Philip Lopez, 40, fit the bill. He came from La Puente with his wife, Fatima, and their 5-year-old son, Lennon, who said he liked the Lennon song "All the People."
"It means a lot to be here," said the older Lopez. "It's not just about his music. It's about what he stood for: peace, love, coming together."