I was in a happy mood as I bolted out of the office for lunch at Julienne Tomato in downtown Petoskey. I started the car, flipped the radio from sports talk to NPR. Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’ was playing. Thinking I accidentally turned it to my daughter’s rock station, I hit the NPR button again. Still ‘When Doves Cry’. The announcer broke into the song with the news. Prince had died.
Although never a huge fan, Prince has always held a place in my heart. My high-school sweetheart WAS one of Prince’s biggest fans in the Detroit area. In 1988 she dragged me to his concert at Joe Louis Arena and, once there, talked us down from the top of the lower bowl to the floor in front of the stage where I got to meet Detroit Piston John Sally. Later that year she caught wind that a man on the city’s north side was selling bootleg copies of ‘The Black Album’. Again I escorted her. This time to a rundown apartment with sheets hanging over the windows. The man offered us a joint, which we refused, before playing the album for us. He charged her what I thought an ungodly sum of money for a record; she gladly paid.
NPR played “Little Red Corvette” next, my favorite. I left the parking lot and noticed the city covered in a thick fog. It seemed fitting. I put lunch on hold and headed to the marina. I never made it to lunch.