Have 30 years really passed?

Purple RainThis week marks the 30th anniversary of Prince releasing the soundtrack to Purple Rain.

I remember going to see the movie when it came out and thinking:

  • Awesome soundtrack
  • Awful movie.

I still like Prince and his music, but I’ve never again watched the movie.

This year also marked the 30th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA — still a great album, if you ask me.

But neither Purple Rain nor Born in the USA are the reason for today’s post. I’m more interested in their 30th anniversaries. How can it be? Thirty years?

On July 5, I’m planning to make a trip back to my hometown, a place that I seldom visit anymore even though it’s only 155 miles away. Members of the Chariton High School Class of 1984, some of whom terrorized teachers into new careers before my classmates could sit in those classes the next year, will celebrate their 30th anniversary. They have invited the classes of 1983 and 1985. Many of my classmates are planning to go, so I am going, too.

And I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t remember when I last saw most of these old Chargers even though I keep tabs on many of them via Facebook.

Steve Webster
Steve Webster

One I was really looking forward to seeing again was Steve Webster, a member of the Chariton High School Class of 1985. He died last month at age 47. He was mushroom hunting, had a heart attack and rescuers couldn’t get to him in time.

It’s easy to think about your mortality when a classmate dies. And you know you’re no longer 17 when people start marking the 30th anniversary of  albums that came out in your junior year of high school.

BruceBorn1984But this is meaningful to me because I have this image in my memory of the teenage Steve dressed in a white T-shirt and blue jeans with a red cap in his hip pocket, doing a pretty fair portrayal of Springsteen. It must have been at an assembly or something. Or maybe my mind has made up the whole thing. I’m not sure.

It was what was on my mind this morning. And I’m pretty sure it will be again on July 5. It’s too bad Steve won’t be there.