The rain was heavy with purple haze when I heard the news that rock star Prince passed away in his recording studio outside of Minneapolis.
I’ve admired his music for years.
But I’ve also respected him for being the local hero who never left town.
To some, Minnesota is another ‘fly over’ state on your way to California or New York.
Though to Prince, it was home.
And also his community.
He reportedly stayed here for family and friends, and liked our four seasons.
“I wanted peace around me,” he said in one local interview.
Prince had been a good kid growing up who played basketball with his high school team.
And then there was music.
He was a boy who knew just what he wanted.
Years later many in the community would stop by at last minute concerts put together at his studio.
And they’d also find him around town.
Last Saturday I hear he stopped at a classic new and used record store and was buying old Stevie Wonder tunes.
And that night he appeared at a party, where the community was invited to join him at his recording studio.
Just two nights ago he was busy listening to musicians at the local jazz club.
Many here found him to be a quiet man, and I thought the same sitting near him one night at an Italian restaurant.
And I’ve heard he was kind, letting neighbors ride their horses on his property, and in his role as an employer with a studio.
Tonight Prince’s community is celebrating his life with love, and with light.
Our bridges, office buildings, and the Twins stadium are shining bright with purple.
We take good care of our hometown heroes.
And even better, I’m told when the rains finally quit this evening a brillant rainbow appeared above Prince’s recording studio where fans were gathering to share stories.
My wish is that a river of peace will continue to flow for him on the other side.