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Perspective: Missing John Prine

Matt Ludin
National Park Service
John Prine, Yellowstone Park, 2016

Four weeks ago tonight, John Prine caught the April super moon and rode it to heaven. We knew he was sick with the virus and that his chances of recovery were slim, but it still hurt and it still does. I imagine he would have written some good tunes about our current state of being.

As a “young man from a small town with a very large imagination,” he “made up songs,” along his postal route in the Chicago area. I can listen to his lyrics over and over and still get a rush of mixed emotions from his stories that are funny, absurd, devastating — and sometimes all in one song.

John Prine introduced us to a colorful cast of characters:

Lydia - “reading romance novels in her room,” while Donald was “envisioning romantic scenes” from the “barracks latrine,” and them “making love in their dreams.”

Sam Stone returning from Vietnam with a “Purple Heart and a monkey on his back.”

And the couple from “In Spite of Ourselves”- She “swears like a sailor when she shaves her legs,” and he “drinks his beer, like it’s oxygen,” yet they’ll end up together, “a-sittin’ on a rainbow.”

Now my imagination is taking me up to Paradise where John is sittin’ on the banks of a pristine green river with his dad and granddad, fishing and whistling.

I’m Paula Garrett, and that’s my perspective and tribute to Mr. John Prine. We love you, man.

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