The Scott Shaw Blog

Be Positive

Pictures in Your Mind

The radio stations are making a big deal about the fact that today would have been Prince’s sixty-third birthday. They’re playing a lot of his music and the songs that he wrote that other people recorded and/or music he influenced. All good…

I was never really a fan of Prince back in the day. It was later that I came to appreciate his music. Certainly, he was a very talented individual and he really influenced the evolution of music. I did watch his movies when they were released, however. I thought it was very cool that he put his friends and band mates in his films even though they were not professional actors.

Though we were born the same year, the only connection I have to Prince is that a girl I went to Hollywood High School with, Lisa Coleman, played keyboard for him. I guess you could have called us friends back then. She also played a pivotal part in the movie Purple Rain. I never saw her after high school.

The thing that set me to thinking about all of this is, as I was driving they were continually talking about Prince on the radio and I thought back to this one vision I have of my high school graduation. Me, I didn’t want to go. I thought it was stupid. But, that was the only way I seemingly could get my diploma so my mother forced me to go.

I went to this alternative/experimental school that existed within Hollywood High School. You had to get your parent’s approval and all that. But, at the time, it was very revolutionary. It was really a lot like courses at a university, as they were all seminar based. Plus, we did a lot of field trips; like we would go down and watch trials at the L.A. Courthouse when we were studying criminal justice and stuff like that. It really prepared me for university life and I honestly don’t know that I would have graduated high school had I been forced to encounter the traditional program as my existence, even by that point in my life, was so far removed from traditional school.

But, before I get too far off target… I have this very clear memory of Lisa coming up to me at the graduation ceremony we had in Griffith Park and congratulating me. It was just one of those passing moments, forgotten by most, I’m sure. But, for some reason, it has forever stayed in my mind. Why? I don’t know. But, in my mind it is like a very clear photograph that you look at and it reminds you of a time and a feeling way back when.

I believe we all have those moments remembered. …Little spots that are etched into our memory for no good reason. Yet, they are there. For me, all this talk of Prince set me to remembering.

All this caused me to come home and dig out the one or two photographs I have of that ceremony that mother took with one of those Kodak Instamatic cameras that were all the rage in the 70s. They took terrible pictures! There I was with my long hair, dressed in my denim suit with bell-bottom pants and wide lapels on the sport coat. That made me smile. The photo barely in focus and faded, not like my memory of Lisa, that is very clear. …Aside from the bell-bottoms and the size of the lapels I still look and dress pretty much the same some forty-plus years later. Happy

Every now and then I think it is good/fun to remember the moments way back when. It provides us with a taste of who we used to be and how we used to feel. Maybe it can remind us of the path we hoped to take and where we ultimately ended up. Maybe it can help us refocus and reclaim the direction we once thought we should be on. Maybe… I don’t know?