Leonard Skinner died yesterday. When I announced that to a group of my friends this morning, one of them said “Wow, you mean the teacher?” That was an immediate indication that this guy was probably around my age, as Mr. Skinner is/was a rather obscure part of 70s pop culture.
If you clicked the link above, you’ll see that Leonard Skinner was the man whose name was used to name the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. As one who grew up in the Midwest during the 70s, that band and its music was a big part of my life. I played lead guitar for a high-school garage band, and Free Bird and Sweet Home Alabama was part of our playlist.
I found it interesting that my friend said that he remembers exactly where he was when news came that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane had crashed, killing several members of the band. I remember where I was when John Lennon was shot. Shortly after Reagan was shot, I walked into my college dorm room to find about 30 people gathered around my roommate’s TV (since he had the only big color TV in the dorm). And folks older than I have similar memories of the Kennedy assassination.
So…RIP, Mr. Skinner.
If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on, now,
‘Cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see.
But, if I stayed here with you, girl,
Things just couldn’t be the same.
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now,
And this bird you can not change.
Lord knows, I can’t change.