D.W. Ulsterman Answers Question On What His Favorite Prince Song Is…

Seems the death of Prince continues to percolate. After doing a post on the artist’s passing, some readers wanted to know what my favorite of his songs was. Apologies for the delay in responding, but I’ll go ahead and let you all know here instead of answering individually.

The one I come back to most often is Raspberry Beret, simply because it’s the most personal to me as it somewhat relates to how I met my wife and it has a carefree, youthful exuberance that has held up very well over time. (perhaps better than I have!)

See, I worked at a five and dime gas station as a teenager. The job required I get up at five in the morning, shower, dress, and make it to the store by six. I would then work two hours before taking off to try and make my first period class in school. The place I worked was basically the teen hangout as it was a small rural town with not much else besides Main Street, the center of the town, and then expansive open areas of various homes and farms. (I lived on a farm. The whole nine yards – cows, horses, chickens, a big red barn, dirt bikes, fishing, pigeon shoots, etc.)

So during my morning shift I would see many of my other classmates who were by then driving cars. They would come in for gas, or a snack, some gum, whatever, and I’d be there sweeping the floor, stocking the shelves, or wiping down the gas pumps outside.

Now I had long admired the girl who would one day be my wife, but our worlds hadn’t yet entirely intersected. She was older, (as most my girlfriends were. Not sure why that was, but it was) and in the graduating class ahead of mine. Every now and again, she’d stop in to get some gas on her way to school and I’d watch her from the corner of my eye and think….hmmmmm…like to get to know her better.

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I was working part time in a five-and-dime
My boss was Mr. McGee
He told me several times that he didn’t like my kind
‘Cause I was a bit too leisurely
Seems that I was busy doing something close to nothing
But different than the day before
That’s when I saw her, ooh, I saw her
She walked in through the out door, out door…
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She in turn, I later found out, had taken to noticing me as well mainly due to her taking pictures for the yearbook and seeing me perform on the basketball court as the starting varsity guard. (I was obsessed with basketball at the time, and pretty good for a six-foot white boy.)

We had a first date, one in which I tried very hard to make certain I was the perfect gentleman, having garnered something of a reputation by that point. She wasn’t having it though, and by the end of the date, planted on me the most remarkable kiss that made it seem as if all the other kisses that had come before were hardly worth remembering.

I never forgot that first kiss with her though…

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The rain sounds so cool when it hits the barn roof
And the horses wonder who you are
Thunder drowns out what the lightning sees
You feel like a movie star…

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Young love that in this example continued to develop and eventually become the love of my life.

Two weeks ago we celebrated our twenty-third anniversary.

RASPBERRY BERET.

ulsterman