Like Liv Tyler's character, Arwen, in The Lord of the Rings, Catherine would show up, tab of acid on her tongue, and then quickly disappear.
She was a free spirit and liked to hang out downtown with us Open High School kids. Open High was definitely open and we were often openly high. It was an experimental high school at the time (mid 1980s) where our classes would be throughout downtown and in community buildings, churches and private businesses. The brief time I was there I was in the Maggie Walker building. I had fun but I knew I was never gonna graduate because I'm a crap student. I transferred to a private school that saw me to my diploma thank God.
I wasn't sure if Catherine went to Open High or just liked to visit at odd hours. Sometimes she was barefoot and dressed for a Dead concert hanging with her girlfriend, Virginia. Evidently Catherine went to a posh all girl's private school uptown. Didn't matter. I was always happy to see her and developed a secret crush on her.
Before FB, Instagram and Snapchat you had to be mobile to see your friends (especially a girl you were interested in). I started on foot, bus, bicycle and then graduated to a moped. I'd spot Catherine uptown, downtown, at a show in the Fan...glimpses of her beauty here and there.
And then I never saw her ever again. I found out from some kids that she died from alcohol poisoning after attending a concert. Just like that...gone. Looking back...she couldn't have been any older than 15 or 16. Devastating. I can't imagine what her parents went through. What her friends went through. I was in the periphery mourning her silently. I can still see her face to this day. Absolutely flawless...beautiful, to quote George Michael.
I wrote this song in New York City...I called upon her beautiful face. Its a simple song but a way for me to gently close the book. Gone before she even got a chance to begin. Rest in Peace, Catherine Flippen. Love, Phil
Song Title: She Never Cared | Credits: Phil on lead vox and nylon string guitar | David Soltes, bass vox and lead classical guitar | Matt Tye percussion/drums and high harmony | recorded by Bumblebeast | Music and Lyrics by Philip Hyland (BMI)
Below is David Soltes laying down his lead guitar parts.
Extra Credit: Learn about Open High
Extra Extra Credit: Who was Maggie Walker?