(Inspiration for “Candy Apple Red”)

This week has been one of nostalgia for my old high school days of Los Amigos in Orange County in southern California. I’m pretty sure it has to do with my songwriting class and thinking back to my music teacher, Mr. Vaughn (who had some connection to the Carpenters). It’s led me to reconnecting with classmates on Facebook, posting pics, and sharing memories.

Yes, I was a choir singer and soloist. Yes, I was my high school’s first editor-in-chief of the yearbook. Yes, I had my hand in the school paper. But the best memories are of the people and the friendships I formed. Not only those but the friends I’d made during the year and a half I’d gone to school in Santa Ana just before that.

LosAmigos1Singing with the choir (me, top right, second in)
Mr. Vaughn conducting

And so browsing my yearbook, I ran across this “letter” signed by my friend Cathi. It reminded me that it’s been a long time since a friend said these words to me. Maybe because we’ve moved a lot or lived in transient places or maybe it’s just that you’re more likely to make these kinds of friends when you’re that age.

cathiyearbookletterCathi’s “letter” in my yearbook before moving away

I remembered how we’d worn red dresses when we made cold calls on businesses trying to sell them ad space for the yearbook. And the guy who’d stopped his car to say to us, “Where’s the festival?” Not knowing what he meant by that, we giggled. 🙂

LosAmigos4Cathi and the “girls of the month”

LosAmigos2Me as editor-in-chief and staff putting advisor to bed symboblic of putting the yearbook to bed.

Recently, Cathi and I had reconnected and she’d read my novel Real Women Wear Red. She said she’d enjoyed it and that she could see me in that book. In that letter, she said she’d never forget me and looks like she didn’t. It’s also nice to know I haven’t changed all that much.

Thinking about that friendship and my other friendships, I was inspired to start writing this week’s song for my songwriting class. It should be something about a friendship like that and like the women of Real Women Wear Red. 

But red is more than just a color – it’s wearing candy apple red shoes like the girl I admired in elementary school – it’s wearing red dresses with my friend Cathi in high school – it’s a friend on Facebook, a diehard pink fan, now wearing a pair of red sunglasses to match her red purse complete with red toe polish. Love it! It’s about friendship.