Thursday, October 30, 2008

Show & Tell Friday

Did you grow up in the south? Did you enjoy Southern rock? Yep, this is a little different from my musical tastes these days, but back in the 1970's the secular music world got taken by storm by the group I am going to feature in my Show and Tell today.

Back in 1970, a 16 year old young man had a gym teacher named Mr. Skinner. This young man, along with his friends, were frequently put on suspension by the coach because their hair was too long. In rebellion, they dropped out of school and began a musical career. As a joke, they named their band after the gym coach. Who am I talking about? Well, the student was Ronnie Van Zant, and the group was named the Leonard Skinner Band - after Coach Leonard Skinner. They soon transitioned the name to the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band. They cut their first demo in 1970. Free Bird went on to become their anthem. 1973 saw their megahit Sweet Home Alabama hit the charts. Their fame and popularity grew and grew, making them the premiere Southern rock band of the decade. In 1977, the band's private jet ran out of fuel inflight and crashed in Mississippi. Ronnie Van Zant and three other band members were killed in that crash. That brings me to today's post.

Ronnie Van Zant is buried not far from where I live. As you enter the cemetary you are met with a beautiful rendition of Jesus, the Christ. Take the drive to the left and you come upon this next scene.

This is the tomb of Ronnie Van Zant. Even after 31 years, people still leave flowers, cards, and notes at the grave - die hard fans who don't want to forget.

Below the the inscription is a flying bird - the symbol recognized with the name "Lynyrd Skynyrd."

The first time I visited this memorial was in the late 70's. I was touched by the words engraved on the bench in the next photo. You will notice the bench and wording was offered by C. Daniels - Charlie Daniels and the Charlie Daniels Band.

On the right-hand side of the monument is another bench with the following words. They are from an Emily Dickinson poem entitled This World is Not Conclusion.

Hopefully this post was not too morbid for you. I thought that if you were a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan you might enjoy seeing these photos. I will leave you with their words:
If I leave here tomorrow
would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on now,
there's too many places I've got to see.
If I stayed here with you girl,
things just wouldn't be the same.
Cause I'm free as a bird now,
and this bird you can not change.
Lord knows, I can't change.
Won't you fly high free bird.
(To join in with Show & Tell Friday, just go to Kelli's page here.)


Kathy said...

What a beautiful post, Alice!

JanMary said...

Thanks for visiting.

A fascinating post - thanks for sharing.

hip chick said...

When I was in high school the song free bird was played on the radio every 15 minutes. It got to the point where I never ever wanted to hear it again. A few years ago I happened to hear a live version of it for the first time in probably 25 years and it knocked my socks off. I had completely forgotten how great of a song it was. Last night as I was driving home from work I heard it on the radio for the first time in about 2 years. And now I find your post.

Dianne said...

I remember that tragedy well as it was the year I graduated from high school. It is a nice final resting place for Ronnie. You seem so touched by it. I get that feeling in Arlington in Washington, DC, but also a feeling of regret at the Kennedy graves.
Thanks for visiting my blog!
Happy Halloween!
~The Secret Gardener

Chez Nous said...

I've heard the name Lynyrd Skynyrd but I didn't know anything more about the band until today. Thanks for sharing - it was very touching to read and see the photographs.

Elizabeth G. said...

I didn't know any of this. In fact, since my husband is a fan of this group, I had him come read your post. It was very interesting to both of us and I loved how you showed us pictures of the gravestone, etc.

Did you know that Charlie Daniels was from Wilmington, NC? That is near where my people settled. I love Wilmington.

Now, I live in Utah, so I am out West.

Take care and thanks for stopping by my blog.

God bless,

Elizabeth G. said...

Hi, again. I see that you homeschool...By any chance, do you homeschool Jr. High age? If so, do you have any words of wisdom to impart about it?

Just wondering - Elizabeth

Lisa Ann said...

I still like their music. I didn't know the story though. Great post!

Elizabeth G. said...

hi, it's me again! :)

Thank you for all of the useful information about homeschooling a Jr. High student. Would you classify yourself as eclectic or an unschooler? I have two unschool friends encouraging me to do homeschooling their way and I'm just wondering about it...Or is it that the older a child is the more interest-directed one's teaching should become?

Have a great day!

Mam said...

I think it's a wonderful post. I just love all the inscriptions and the song lyrics. I'm glad you came to visit my blog, too. The Coke center in Atlanta sounds like fun -- but - I'll take mine straight, if you please!

luke and wyatt's mom said...

I just found this post about the "other" Van Zants! (We get asked all the, we're not related!) I've never been to this site-thanks for all the photos.

Charlie and I actually met Donnie Van Zant (in an elevator in Orlando, of all places). He was wearing a "Van Zant Been There Done That" T-shirt and Charlie said "You must be one of the Van Zants in the Band. I'm Charlie Van Zant." To which Donnie replied, "You must be the Van Zant we read about in the paper who was on the school board and deployed overseas!" The mutual recognition was pretty funny!

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