Prince - Our Journey as Tribute To Purple Reign at Paisley Park

 

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to get through this thing called “life”.  Those are the words spoken so clearly in 1984 by Prince, one of the greatest musical entertainers of all time.  Prince Roger Nelson started his circle of life in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 7, 1958 and completed his circle on April 21, 2016 at the age of 57 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

Prince thumping his guitar in Louisville, Kentucky in 1980 like he always did - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                                        

Prince, being creative on his speaker in concert December 30, 1980 in Louisville, Kentucky just 2 years after he came onto the main musical scene - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                               

 

After he became an international musical artist known as Prince, he was able to own several homes in Minneapolis including a suburb home that he proudly name Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minnesota.  

 

One of Prince's houses but his main house who lights use to turn purple when he was home - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Three weeks after his death, I found myself with a high school classmate driving from Illinois, through Missouri, Iowa then to Minnesota to pay our last respects to Prince, the Purple Reign of Entertainment.

Katrina Shannon, Artist and Founder of Life's Big Pictures shows her great creativity for our tribute to Prince - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                              

Katrina Shannon and Renee Sudderth, classmates since 3rd grade take a road trip to say Farewell and Thank You Prince for your legacy - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

 

My road partner, artist and Founder of Life’s Big Picture, Katrina Shannon and I have been friends since 3rd grade. We have had two well documented trips that included experiencing life in the south by visiting cotton fields and talking to those who once picked cotton. Please refer to my Splash Magazine article “Martin L. King Jr. and Cotton Picking Years Connection”, January 2014.

   

Our second adventure was visiting Ferguson, Missouri (Dec 2014) after the youth Michael Brown was killed by a cop in August 2014. So many negative stories were written until I decided to write about the positive stories that were taken place and share it with our Splash readers title Ferguson, Missouri-The Healing Process Begins”, December 2014.

  

A special job assignment led me to Illinois and that’s when I picked up Katrina in Missouri and we were on our way through the Mid-West being amazed at all of God’s nature and man-made displays.

Vehicles reminding us of the days of "Bonnie and Clyde", the bank robbers who burned up the roads in the mid west (1930's) - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

        

The 130 feet tall Wind Turbines that are giant blades rotating for the Mid - American Energy Rolling Hills in Iowa - An Energy Saving Product - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

         

Quaker Oats, one of the locations from Iowa's Interstate where oats are processed into our cerels and snacks - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

          

A tribute to the Air Force planes at an exhibit from the Interstate in Iowa - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

 

We went in circles twice, trying to find Paisley Park. We saw the street sign with arrows going in both directions. We were confused and said which way to go. By that time, we looked to our left; all we could see was purple. Then, we knew we had found Prince’s palace.

 

Road partners, Renee Sudderth and Katrina Shannon's first site of Prince's home known as Paisley Park - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

       

                    

            

 

It took our breath away seeing all the purple souvenirs, balloons, etc. that fans had left at his beautiful white compound fence/gate. We were glad we arrived 3 weeks later after his death because I was told people had to park miles away and walk to his compound. We were able to park across the street and walk up to his home area.  We were so amazed at everything.

 

One of Prince's fans masterpiece - Photo Courtesy of Renee Suddderth

    

 

One of Prince's fan creation - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

     

 

A beautiful photo of Prince and his surroundings - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

We met people from everywhere. We were shocked to meet someone from Sweden. It was a pleasure meeting fans and hearing their stories about why they loved Prince and what he meant to them.

A mourner with her purple purse, saying her goodbye - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                                             

  

A fan's creativity of Prince riding his motorcyle in his Academy Award Winning Movie "Purple Rain" (1984) - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                                                                                 

A nice tribute for Prince - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                                               

The "Purple Rain" Dog came to pay his tribute to Prince - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

One story was that Prince was a devoted Jehovah Witness who would go knock on doors witnessing about Jehovah and people would be surprised. He was known to ride his bicycle with or without friends. Several said he would love to get in the mood to have a concert. He would have someone announce “Prince is giving a FREE concert in his home and he wants you there”.  That was awesome.

 

Renee Sudderth standing by one of her favorite display - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                        

 

Fans summed it up in a few words how they felt about Prince - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                                 

 

A beautiful Symbol creation for Prince - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

    

Katrina Shannon, Artist and Founder of Big Life's Picture who created the poster, she's holding for Prince's tribute from Katrina and Renee - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                          

  

Renee Sudderth being part of Prince's Memorial - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

  

After taking a lot of photos, talking to fans and friends, we went down the street from Prince’s house to the nice clean Chanhassen Inn. Service there was perfect and we enjoyed it from the desk clerk to the rooms. It was highly recommended by the locals and we glad we listen.

The next morning, we went back to take more photos and talk to more people. It was just a pleasure talking to them. When Katrina and I felt we had truly paid our last respect to Prince, we slowly and peacefully left Paisley Park.

 

Sunday, May 8, 2016 about 3 weeks after Prince's death, Renee Sudderth and Katrina Shannon drove across country to pay their last respect to Prince - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                              

  

Katrina Shannon posing by one of her favorite art pieces created by a gifted fan - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Before we headed back to Missouri and Illinois, we stopped to view the beautiful water fall at Minnehaha Falls Park. It sits on the shore of the Mississippi River and is breath taking.

                                             

   

A beautiful view of Minnehaha Falls at the Park, approximately 15 miles from Prince's house - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

 

Afterward, we were ready to see the place that I first heard about in1992 after I had just returned from Korea. It was a mall with a large carnival in the middle of the mall that included 520 stores and 3 floors making it the second largest mall in the world. This is known as Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota approximately 15 miles from downtown Minneapolis.

 

Mall of America, the second largest mall in the world is located in Bloomington, Minnesota approximatley 15 miles from Prince's house - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

When I entered, all I could say was WOW! WOW! WOW! I was amazed.

 

One of the beautiful attractions for the kids at the Mall of America which has a carnival in the middle of this 520 stores mall - Photo Copy of Renee Sudderth

            

One of the beautiful attractions for the kids at the Mall of America which has a carnival in the middle of this 520 stores mall - Photo Copy of Renee Sudderth

    

Renee Sudderth posing at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

                 

At the "Mall of America" store named "American Girls" is where little girl's dolls are treated like they are real princess - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

After we were through acting like kids again, we headed back down south but later had to drive in a terrible rain storm in the dark. Through it all, we prayed and God was with us and returned us back safe to our respected places.

 

Katrina and I will never forget our special Mid-West drive to say farewell to Prince Roger Nelson who made his great marks in this life. We all are born to live and live to die so we have to accept Prince’s death and always remember what joy and inspiration he brought to us through his extraordinary music and his enormous charitable donations and activities. What will we remember about you?  

                                                         

God's sunset has set on the Mid West adventures for Renee, Katrina and Prince. REST IN PEACE PRINCE- Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

 

Copyright © 2016.June This story written by Renee Sudderth for Splash Magazines. It is not to be sold or reproduce without written permission of Renee Sudderth

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