Goodbye to All That

updated 09/02/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/02/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

SCRAWLED DURING THE HECTIC DAYS of Beatle mania, John Lennon's drawings and love letters to his first wife, Cynthia Powell, have been locked away in bank vaults for years. Now, Cynthia plans to auction some of Lennon's writings at Christie's in London on Aug. 29, along with a trove of memorabilia including a drawing done during a Lennon LSD trip, antiques from Kenwood, their house in Surrey, England, and an acetate of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." "I've enjoyed these things for 30 years," Cynthia says. "But it's time for a change."

Shaky finances may have prompted Cynthia, 51, to sell the collection, expected to fetch about $100,000. Divorced in 1968 after six years of marriage and the 1963 birth of their son, Julian, Cynthia received a paltry £100,000 from Lennon. In ensuing years, her income was "never stable," says Cynthia, whose London restaurant, Lennon's, served Rubber Sole but flopped. After appearing at some recent Beatle fests, Cynthia decided, "I'd had enough. I thought, 'Do I want to be wheeled onto television programs in a wheelchair at 70, discussing the Beatles and John?' I just can't face that."

Cynthia, who lives on the Isle of Man with her business manager and companion of 10 years, Jim Christie, 47, insists she doesn't want to forget John—nor could she. "All my memories are intact," she says. "But the past is over now."

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