Is it Purple?

“I like your necklace,” said the grey-haired homely looking woman. She was with her teenage son, the two of them touring colleges together. So far, they had been to San Diego and another school out of state that I can’t remember the name of right now. They lived in Texas and had been on the road for 24 days already. Next, they were headed to Stanford and Berkeley. He’s a math and science sort of student I learned. The duo had already visited several National Parks, 12 if I remember correctly.

When I say homely, I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. I’m merely describing her so you get the general idea. She wasn’t fashionable or hip by any means. I mean that she had just above the knee loose khaki shorts on, some old-lady looking shoes, a patterned peach colored loose button up cotton collared shirt (I thought of JCPenny’s or Sears), a bit of a frumpy old-lady bob sort of hair style with a large nerdy straw hat on. She held a large orange umbrella to block the sun. No make-up. A dry yet sunblock covered red nose, and glasses that sat just above her plump cheeks. She was very friendly and smart, and we had been chatting as we waited in line for the shuttle bus to get to the next hiking trail at Yosemite. I could tell she was a no-nonsense woman, nerdy lookin’ or not, I could tell! She was with it honey! Ten minutes or so of college talk passed by before she even noticed the necklace I was wearing.

Her son looked to be around 16 or so, very well spoken and very laid back and friendly. What a nice kid! He was thin, with acne, braces and long light-brown/blondish hair going down his back.

“I like your necklace,” she said.

“Thank you. I thought it would be nice to have Prince with us on this trip,” I said as I grabbed the silver Prince symbol pendant hanging from my necklace, rubbing it softly.

We said a few comments about him. The usual ones. ‘He really was a genius.’ ‘So sad.’ ‘I’ll never get over it.’

“Way back,” she reminisced, “a group of my co-workers at the time had a saying. We said it for years: “Is it Purple?”

‘Is it purple?’, meaning ‘Is it good?’  Whenever they wanted to know if something was a good idea or if it was a good plan or a good place, etc., they’d asked each other first, ‘Is it purple?’

“It was totally a Prince thing,” she confirms.

“Wow, I love that”, I confess.

“Yeahhhh…” we both said as we looked off into the trees and mountains, taking our own few seconds to think about him.

I turned back to say something about the shuttle bus to lighten things up a little, and realized tears had welled up in her eyes. She was trying to compose herself. I think one or two tears may have actually escaped and ran down her cheek.

We both took a moment to get it together and then spoke of something else. We saw the shuttle bus round the bend shortly after.

“I’m Stacey.”

“I’m Maia.”

We shook hands, smiled and wished each other a great rest of the day.

A little bit of everyone loved (loves) Prince a whole lot.


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