Like Liv Tyler's character, Arwen, in The Lord of the Rings, Catherine would show up 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. 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. I had fun but I knew I was never gonna graduate because it was unstructured and I am not one to monitor my own educational schedule. 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. 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 about her...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:
Words & Music by Philip Joseph Hyland (100% BMI) / Published by Kona Music Publishing (100% BMI) / Executive Producer, Greg Mayberry
Produced and Performed by Phil Hyland
Featuring David Soltes, lead classical guitar and bass vocals
Phil Hyland: lead vocals, steel 6 string and nylon
Zack Mendenhall, bass guitar
Matt Tye, drums and back up vocals
Recorded by Matt Tye / Mixed by Keith Burhans