Lynyrd Skynyrd

As part of our area's "The Coast Is Clear" campaign Lynyrd Skynyrd put on a free concert Sunday on Okaloosa Island.

I'm a die hard Skynyrd fan and as soon as I heard they were coming I decided that come hell or high water I was going to be there.

The high water part of that thought turned out to be almost prophetic.

A few hours before the show it started raining and for almost three hours we were pounded with torrential rain.

Lucky for me I have connections.

My BIL has the contract to clean our County's beaches so as part of the event he had to be there with his crew to keep the trash cans empty and clean up the beach after the show.

Which meant he had a roped off, covered pavilion for his staff, and the parking lot in front of the pavilion was blocked off for his ATVs and the big trash truck.

So even though it was pouring rain we were able to hang out under the pavilion and wait - hoping the rain would stop and the concert would not be cancelled.

EMS had the other side of the pavilion.

We were happy on our side with sub sandwiches, chips and boiled peanuts but those EMS people were really happy.

They had a grill set up and were cooking burgers and dishing out potato salad and baked beans.

The Island Girl was as excited about seeing Skynyrd as I was but the Youngest was more excited to have an "official" ID tag from Sandman.

The torrential rain stopped a little before the show was to start and even though small cells of light rain kept coming no one cared.

As soon as the rain slowed down the beach started filling up.

I wish I had pictures but because of the rain I left the camera at the pavilion when we headed down to the beach for the show.

The newspaper has some pictures today but the rain kept them under cover a lot too.

The rain finally stopped and out onto the stage came Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I realize that only one of the original band members remains but I didn't care.

Lynyrd Skynyrd was on the stage 100 feet from us and they ROCKED.

I'm sure you could hear the crowd from miles away after they played Sweet Home Alabama.

They played for about an hour and then said their goodbyes and left the stage.
Even though I knew they'd do an encore I panicked for a minute and told the Island King that I wasn't leaving until they came back and did Freebird.

I wasn't the only one.

The crowd started yelling "Freebird" and it got louder and louder and louder until you couldn't even hear yourself think.

Back onto the stage they came and the crowd went absolutely wild.

Dancing in the sand, the waves behind us and Skynyrd rocking Freebird in front of us was an incredible experience.

It might have been rainy but it was a day we'll never forget.