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Here is my Skynyrd story. Hope it doesn't bore y'all. I became a fan at 16 yrs of age as I walked into San Diego's Clairemont Bowl Foosball room with Sweet Home Alabama playing over and over. I loved the band and played the music endlessly. You understand I'm sure. I saw them every time they came through town( San Diego) or near. Devastated the day of the crash, my best friend"s birthday, the year we graduated high school,1977. Continued to buy the records and play the music til this day.
Throughout my younger life, every time I faced some kind of adversity, a Skynyrd song would come on the radio and I knew, with confidence that everything would work out. It always did, until June 4th, 1993. My new wife was to give birth to a son I was told I could never have. Our perfect pregnancy turned into a difficult birth. On June 4th,in San Diego, it rained. It was a full moon. My Grandmother had a stroke in the waiting room waiting for her Great-Grandchild. My son was born with 3 webbed fingers on both hands and Downs Syndrome. I had been wearing a 'Second Helping ' T-shirt that day as insurance of continued " Skynyrd Luck ' Of course we ( I ) were horribly devastated. I removed that shirt and placed it in my closet for 20 years, unable to wear it again.
What I had thought was the worst day of my life has proven otherwise. My son, Preston ( after Preston County, W Va ) is the joy of my life. After multiple surgeries his fingers are separated. He is very high functioning. He can snow ski off the tops of the Sierra Mtns, surf, swim like a fish, dive off high dives head first, baseball, basketball, softball........etc Preston danced with his high school dance team. He can play the piano and performed for his whole school, receiving great applause and cheers. He has sung publicly which is his biggest challenge ( speech ) He can dance really well and has joined flash mobs and organized dance performances around town. Theater, drama, dance, entertainment, comedy are his life. The point being the worst day of my life has given me the greatest joy I could imagine.
I can remember walking through a store when he was young. Sweet Home was playing and he pointed up at the speakers and said " Dad, it's your music! " I had know idea of his awareness of what "my music' was. IT WAS Skynyrd music for the majority of my life, 16-54 years old.
Point of story. Preston Cale will be wearing that " Second Helping" T-shirt on Thursday Sept.19th when the boys play Humphrie's in San Diego. We will be in the 7th row center. He will be the one in a faded light blue Skynyrd T-shirt worn by his dad on the day he was born, 20years earlier. I will be the bald guy next to him with tears rolling. Simple Man is my song for him. We will be out by " that big ass bus " trying to meet the band beforehand and hope for pictures with them. And I must warn every one, we will be ROCKING HARD! He enjoys life and fun is his main goal. We give that extra chromosome hell everyday.
I'm hoping some how, some way, the band will see this story and open the door on that big ass bus just to say "hi ", come on in, have a seat, take a picture, enjoy the show. I know what the show will be like, he has no idea what he's in for. We've rocked with the Who, Bob Seger, Neil Young, and CS and N. They are all great but NUTHIN' like my band, LYNYRD SKYNYRD!!!! Thanks for listening, tell the band. We are READY. AND WAITING in San Diego. D Cale.