Thursday, December 5, 2019

We Still Remember You - Article

On 18 October 2019, I arrived in McComb, Mississippi, to attend the dedication of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Monument. Before my arrival, I exchanged emails with Miles “Pat” Nelson, and at my request, he set up an opportunity for me to interview two of the many folks who helped make the monument to reality. Dwain Easley and Bobby McDaniel were among the first people to arrive on the scene after the crash in 1977. This article is a result of my interview with all three, as well as other people I met in the days I was there. A diary of this experience is available here.

The night of 20 October 1977 was clear, a blanket of stars shared the sky with a first-quarter moon. Except for the occasional sound of a barking dog and a nearby Coast Guard helicopter on a training mission, it was a quiet night for those who lived near Gillsburg, Mississippi. Then at approximately 6:45 PM, the stillness was broken by the sound of a Convair CV-240 as its fuselage made first contact with the treetops. The aircraft failed to locate a clearing for an emergency landing and was losing a desperate battle against gravity after the engines stalled due to a lack of fuel. In addition to the flight crew, the aircraft carried members of the band and stage crew for Lynyrd Skynyrd, who were on their way to a concert in Baton Rouge.

Eventually, the aircraft came to rest after plowing directly into an oak tree, which compressed the passenger section of the plane to less than half its regular length, which stacked people on top of one another. There has been much debate over the timing of the fatalities from the crash, but either immediately or just after the plane came to rest three members of the band (Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines), and assistant road manager he Dean Kilpatrick were dead as well as the flight crew. The crash severely injured most of the remaining 20 people on board.

Dwain Easley
Gillsburg resident Dwain Easley was 26 years old then, and he was among the first to arrive at the crash site to assist. “The first thing I remember hearing was a helicopter going over real low. Almost as soon as it went over, the phone rang, and it was my aunt and uncle, they saw the plane going down toward our house. We went outside to see what was going on, but where do we look?” Since the aircraft had no fuel on board when it crashed, there was no fire to identify the crash site. Luckily, the Coast Guard helicopter returned and started making slow circles over an area in the woods behind Dwain’s house. “The woods were getting dark, but I could still see clearly, and we took off running.” Two Coast Guard helicopters used their searchlights to provide light to the crash area to help with recovery. However, both lacked equipment for rescue/recovery, so they were not used to transport the injured.

In the time between the crash and when Dwain arrived at the site, three of the band members were able to climb out of the wreckage and took off into the woods, possibly toward the light of a nearby house, looking for help. When Dwain arrived, he was one of five or six people who had found their way to the crash site. “The wreckage looked like an accordion… Being one of the first ones there, I started to climb on top of the wreckage, but I’d never rescued anybody in my life. So, I reached down (into the aircraft) and started grabbing one of the guys by the arms and started to pull. But I couldn’t budge the guy; then I tried another one.” Gerald Wall, a law enforcement officer, noticed the people were still wearing seat belts and told Dwain. Using a knife, Dwain cut through the webbing and was able to lift the first survivors out.
“There was nothing inside the plane that didn’t have blood on it, and it looked like there were thousands of playing cards scattered everywhere.” Pulling the survivors from the plane took a few hours as each had to be lifted out and carried to a small clearing away from the wreckage. Dwain focused on rescue rather than whom he was rescuing. He admitted he wondered what a bunch of hippies was doing on an airplane. It wasn’t until all the survivors departed for the hospital that someone told Dwain whom he helped rescue. He was familiar with the name of the band and their music.

Bobby McDaniel
Bobby McDaniel attended three separate Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts before the night of the crash. After
hearing about the crash, he turned on the CB radio to get direction only to be instructed to go to his family farm.  On his way there, he was approached by an ambulance driver, telling him they could not get to the site due to thick mud and a creek blocking access. “They asked me if I knew another way in, they said, ‘Bobby knows those woods he’ll get us another way in.’ So, I get in the ambulance and direct ‘em down a logging road on the south side.” After getting as close as possible, Bobby jumped out of the ambulance and ran into the woods toward the crash site.

“There was already rescue going on by the time I got there.” Because of some first aid training from the Boy Scouts and as a member of the civil air patrol, Bobby helped a doctor set up a triage point and helped coordinate the transport of survivors out via 4X4 trucks to the waiting ambulances. “At first, it was only one stretcher,” as a result, moving the injured from the crash site for transportation to the hospital was slow. Additionally, every stretcher had to cross a small creek to get from the crash site to the ambulances.

In the following hours, others arrived to assist the survivors and the recovery of the dead. Several hundred gawkers also came once it became widely known who was on board the aircraft. Once all the survivors en route for treatment, both men departed the scene — the following morning, they discovered the importance of the incident.

In the week after the crash, many people showed up to visit the site. Then traffic slowly faded to a trickle.  In the years since the occasional pilgrim would still knock on the door looking for the crash site. As time passed for Bobby and Dwain, their memories of the night remained vivid; it is those memories that kept a flicker of an idea alive in the back of their mind.

Bobby credits one thing with getting the ball rolling on creating the monument, social media. “At each anniversary for the past six of seven years, I used to go back there with two long-necked Budweiser beers, I’d drink one, and I’d leave the other one there for Ronnie and the boys. On the 38th year, I was back there, and someone had left a dozen roses, so I took a picture of it and put it on Facebook.” A friend of Bobby’s who was a photographer for a newspaper asked to be with him the following year.  The photographer and Bobby spent the 39th anniversary in the woods.  No one ever showed with more roses, but speculation on who brought the roses caused attention, and the survivors started to contact Bobby and other folks in Gillsburg. 

Miles “Pat” Nelson
When asked what drove starting something 41 years after the fact, Dwain explained, “A year ago, someone mentioned that most famous plane crashes had a marker. So, I wondered why we didn’t?” At about the same time, Mike Rounsaville contacted former legislator Miles “Pat” Nelson to inquire if they could get state money to put up a marker. Pat told him probably not, but there was no reason they couldn’t raise the money for a simple marker. At this point, they were only looking at putting up a small sign on the road near where the crash occurred. 

All they would need for the sign was $2300, but then “…someone presented a better idea -- why not, a Mississippi Blues Trail marker?” Bobby explained.  The price tag at this point jumped to $9800. Pat put forward the idea to create a GoFundMe page to raise the money; the idea also landed him the position of Fund Raiser. Pat approached Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center to join the effort since they already had a foundation set up to facilitate handling donations and expenditures. It was about this time that the Lynyrd Skynyrd Monument Project formally stood up with Bobby as its President and Dwain as the Vice (Board members not mentioned here are listed below).

Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center
“In the first week, we had the $2300,” according to Pat, “It took another month or two to get to $9800”. At this point, some confusion occurred in the process. SMRMC wanted a display at their site as well, since all the survivors were taken there first. The LSMP discussed a second Blues Trail marker, but no application was submitted. When the Board went to the state committee who approves Blues Trail markers, they found them receptive. Not only did they already have the money to cover the cost, but they also had the wording needed for the plaque. The narrative by Ken Morris, Karen Nelson (no relation to Pat Nelson), and an anonymous Skynyrd fan was expanded and used for the final Memorial. The state committee approved the Lynyrd Skynyrd Blues Trail Marker unanimously. 

Before the state committee could officially release the information, word got out about the approval. There was some consternation over the early announcement, but the more significant issue was that the unofficial version talked about two markers rather than just one. The state committee withdrew the approval, according to Bobby, officially they said  “, Lynyrd Skynyrd is not a blues band, and there is no Mississippi connection.” Bobby called them back and gave them eight or nine blues-based song titles and provided survivor Ken Peden’s name as the Mississippi connection. The committee advised Bobby it was too late for this cycle and to resubmit the application in three months on September 15, 2019. There was no way they could wait and hope to have it in place by the 42nd anniversary, “We went a different direction,” Pat explained.

Rather than waiting on the Blues Trail committee, the board decided to create a similar sign for installation on the side of the road. When they pitched this to the state highway department, they were told to place the sign roadside would require legislative approval. Spirits were low at being blocked yet again.

Bobby was going to meet with local property owners to see if they would allow the sign to sit in their yard. When Bobby approached Dwain, he was surprised to learn Dwain and his wife had discussed the matter. “Well, not in the yard but just a few hundred yards down the road,” Dwain went on to explain it was a piece of property not in use and that he would be willing to donate to the cause. “That way, the state is completely out of it.”

One of the other issues requiring approval was the use of the band’s name.  Even though it was a tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd, they would need permission to use the name. Scott Smith, who was on the board, said he had a decades-old phone number for Judy Van Zant, Ronnie’s widow. In a favorable twist of fate, it was still a good number, so Pat left a message for Judy. When she returned the call, not only was she agreeable to the use of the name she had only one question: can I come to the dedication. “I told her, 'hell yeah', and a month or so passed, but in the end, we had a letter from Vector Management giving us permission to use the name.” Vector would also donate to the cause on behalf of the current band. At this point, the plan to establish the memorial was becoming known, and donations came in from both entities and individuals. Many, $15 donations were given through the GoFundMe page, arriving from 17 different countries due to the GoFundMe page being shared across several Lynyrd Skynyrd fan pages and on social media.

With legal and permission issues handled and monetary needs met for the larger monument, the pressure was on to make the 20 October deadline. Brookhaven Monument, a local company whose mainstay is cemetery memorials, stepped up to meet the challenge with a design created by Dave Pace and Kevin Laird. Dave recalled, “I asked the Board when they needed it, and they said October 20th.  I said, next year, right?”  The Board confirmed they meant 2019, with less than 90 days Dave and his team feverishly went to work.

While the stone was selected, Rich Hagen of Illinois, created the graphics etched on the back of the monument. Ground preparation and installation work began at an accelerated pace. “I was here just three weeks ago and helped lay the sod,” Rita Witcraft a fan from Iowa who chanced upon the dedication, said. Freshly poured concrete surrounds the monument, and three Georgia black granite monoliths explain the birth of the band, the crash, and the rescue efforts. On the reverse side are graphics of Lynyrd Skynyrd in front of the ill-fated Convair and individual pictures of the band members who perished.

On 20 October 2019, a thousand fans and family gathered for the monument's formal dedication.
Bobby McDaniel led the ceremony, which included words from local dignitaries as well as Judy Van Zant.  After the official unveiling, fans spent hours taking pictures of the memorial as well as the family of survivors who had attended. As people stood in front of the large stones, reading the words, and reaching a hand out to touch the monument, the internal emotion each felt obvious. Some were smiling and laughing at the joy the music of the band had brought. Others were holding back tears from the loss, which occurred 42 years prior.

In one of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s most famous songs, Free Bird, is the lyric: If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me? Just 400 yards from the fatal crash, at 7364 Easley Road, stands seven tons of carved and etched granite that screams “Yes,” in spite of the passage of time and obstacles overcome.

Afterword: The first stop for all survivors was Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center. A second memorial now exists at his emergency room entrance. Dedication will occur in November.

Board members not mentioned elsewhere:  Krystina Anderson, Tina Brumfield, John Reinheimer, Jamie Wall, Brenda Martin, and Steve Lawler.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

We Still Remember You - Diary

Preface:  This is one of two versions of what happened during my pilgrimage to the Lynyrd Skynyrd Monument dedication.  It is more personal, whereas the other is a 1500-word article prepared for a leading music magazine and, therefore more “journalistic.”  To get it all, you should read both – but that is up to you.

18 October 2019 

This trip started simple, gratitude, and appreciation for the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd. It became something else as I realized my reasons were more profound and more heartfelt than I first thought. As my sojourn morphed into a musical and spiritual pilgrimage, I began to think about why someone would create a memorial in the first place -- was it to capture history for future generations before it vanished or was it to say thank you to those who perished? I needed answers. So, I reached out and asked if I could talk to some of the folks who made it happen. Luckily, they agreed and gave me full access to all events. Add in a twist of fate, which I can only label bizarre, and my project turned into a bit of freelance journalism.

As I sit in O’Hare IAP waiting for my connecting flight, I am trying to decide how best to put my mind and heart in the right place for the weekend. Saturday is full of interviews, that night a tribute concert, with the dedication of the monument on Sunday. A wide variety of things to prepare for and digest. I knew very quickly I was not going to be able to cover it all in 1500 words. That is what will be submitted, but much more will be needed to do all of this some level of justice. That is the genesis of this diary, to share my full experience – I may not capture enough for some folks, but I want to capture what these events made me feel and hopefully allow those who could not attend to live it vicariously.

As with any good story, it starts with research, and to that end, I have read fifteen different accounts of what happened before, during, and after the crash. Most have similar threads running through them, and the tales of the survivors and those close the band reveal the heartbreak and pain they carry with them today. Those accounts will be the basis for some of the questions asked during the interviews. But that is the journalism part of this – what about the musical soul I wanted to rekindle in myself?

Thanks to the internet, I retrieved my library of Lynyrd Skynyrd from Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd to Street Survivors from my home network As I thumbed through the titles on my iPod each one brought back multiple memories – some sweet, some not. Over the years, I allowed myself to get into the routine of listening to only the top tracks when I needed a dose of Skynyrd.  As a result, it has been years since I heard a few of the lesser-known titles I possessed. After my flight for Charlotte took off, I got a bourbon and tuned out the world – indulging my rock and roll soul starting with I Ain't the One.

It only took a few tracks from side one to remind me why this band’s music means so much to me. It wasn’t just the dynamite solos and riffs from the Three Guitar Army; it is so much deeper than just music. Everything fits. It was like each song was a song bit of Tetris, all the pieces and parts just fit together so perfectly from lyrics to drums to keyboards, and notably the guitar solos. Ronnie’s vocals were just excellent. He added such emotion and heart to every line.

Since each track triggered a memory or memories, my flight to Charlotte a roller coaster ride as I remembered both the highs and lows attached to each while moving from one album to the next. Tuesday’s Gone made the playlist more than once, but that’s okay. One time it was high, reminding me of dancing with a girl named Jessica while I was in college. The next time the song played, I remembered a low point when I was consoling a friend whose boyfriend just dumped her, and she couldn’t grasp why he would do such a thing when everything they had together seemed so right. It seemed like when I have several memories attached to each song, each was different emotionally as well.

After I arrived in Charlotte, I realized I had forgotten to retrieve the live album One More from the Road; I was able to get it loaded up before the plane took off again, headed for Jackson, Mississippi. I truly regret I never saw the original configuration of Lynyrd Skynyrd live, they were great. I can only imagine how awesome the shows must’ve been. Now with my spirit saturated by their music, and my mind reeling from all of the emotion and history I have tied to the band, I got out of the plane in Jackson and headed toward McComb.

19 October 2019

After getting my breakfast from the buffet, I sat down at one of the only open spots in the room.  It turned out to be lucky, as seated at the adjoining table were Gene Odom and his girlfriend. While Gene was not a musician, he was a close friend of Ronnie’s and traveled with Lynyrd Skynyrd and was on the plane the night of the crash. Gene is very adept at telling stories and has many in his arsenal. Like most storytellers, as soon as there is an audience, he will launch into one of his tales.

Among the most memorable from that morning, one about Ronnie catching his last 12-pound bass then how Alan Collins relied on the answers on someone else’s paper during a test. As he told the story about friends that have passed on, you could see a faraway look in his eyes as he spoke about people he earnestly loved and missed.

After breakfast, I went back to my room to finalize my questions for my interviews. I was meeting with three folks that morning: Miles “Pat” Nelson, Bobby McDaniel, and Dwain Easley.  I had been speaking with Pat for a few weeks and knew him as the “money guy” who was handling the fundraising for the monument. I recognized Dwain’s name from one of the articles I read and recalled that he was one of the first people to arrive on the scene. Bobby’s name was new to me, but I found him to be a very open and humble individual whose involvement was profound during the entire project serving as the Lynyrd Skynyrd Monument Project’s President.  Bobby was quick to give credit to others and to point out credit unduly given.  All three individuals quickly pointed to other people who accomplished great things in making this monument happen.

We met in a private room off to the side and spoke for over an hour. My questions started with the time before the crash. Because I was curious if they knew who Lynyrd Skynyrd was (all three had heard their music, Bobby had even attended three concerts) and then flowed through a cursory review of the crash. I felt that there was so much information out there already, I didn’t want just to rehash it all. While their stories were the same as a lot of what I had heard and read, they had particular information and nuances that existed nowhere else. That’s the difference between talking to an eyewitness in reading something secondhand; I will share these in the article.

The story of how this monument came together in less than a year is impressive. So many insurmountable factors worked against them, but it always seemed that every one of those negative things that appeared was quickly shoved out of the way and in some fashion not only did they overcome, each time they were blocked, the new route they took wound up making the monument better and bigger. This entire project started with the desire for a simple roadside plaque, but as a result of overcoming adversity is now a large nine-ton carved marble structure.  Phenomenal.

After those interviews, I spoke to several other people before attending the tribute concert and recognition of the first responders and survivors. The show was going to feature a Parkland Florida tribute band called Nuthin’ Fancy before the concert was a brief meet and greet with both survivors and the first responders who worked the crash over four decades years ago.

I spoke with several of the people who work in the hospital that night, and all of them had very positive things to say about the folks they met when they were brought in on stretchers on what was probably one of the worst days of their life. Lynyrd Skynyrd super fans filled the room, many were carrying copies of the Street Survivor album that was released three days before the crash. Others had pictures and programs from concerts that they had seen in the past. The feeling within the room was both electric and warm. All the attendees were ready to share the warmth they were carrying.

The program opened with greetings from local dignitaries, and then Nuthin’ Fancy played for approximately an hour. 

The band was quite good and included all the necessary musicians, including their own Honkettes, providing background vocals. After about an hour or so, the MC took the stage and moved on to the next section of the evening.

Each of the survivors came on stage and shared a remembrance, or thank you for the first responders in attendance. Of course, Gene shared another story – – this one about Leon and the fact they knew he was still alive when he reached off the gurney and grabbed one of the nurse’s ass. (Since Leon is no longer around to defend himself, I will say it might have been a reflex more than a deliberate action).  After the survivors, came the first responders and then the caregivers from the hospital as well. Dr. Lewis, who went out to the crash site to perform triage, shared a bit of what went through his mind that night and how memorable it was because of the spirit of the people who came to help.

The band returned and played another dynamite set. During the first set, everybody sat in their seats and listened to the music.  This time as soon as they started, the crowd rushed the stage and stood dancing in front of the band as they performed. They ended all with the segment that included Sweet Home Alabama, Simple Man, and Freebird. All too soon, the evening ended, and as I watched people exiting the building, everyone soon to be carrying the joy of the moment, which somehow seemed to have a layer of sadness underneath it. Yes, it was great to hear the music and talk about the band with people who felt the way you did, but now each person was returning to the real world where they were alone again. It was like walking away from the warmth of a campfire into the cold of the night.

20 October 2019

Before I drove out to the monument side, I went to Southwest Regional Medical Hospital to get a picture of the building. I was surprised to see the stone marker was already in place near the Emergency Entrance. According to the text on the stone, it was presented on 19 October, but I heard various rumors that an official ceremony was not going to take place for another month or so.

Driving out to the monument gives you a sense of the denseness of the forest in the area. The trees are so thick you can’t see much beyond the front row. I can only imagine it is a pilot’s worst nightmare to be forced to land in something like that. Getting to the monument is easy, and I can imagine visitors in the future will appreciate the thoughtfulness of placing the memorial close to the road for ease of access.

I estimated the crowd to be about 1,000 people. While waiting for things to begin, a DJ was playing Lynyrd Skynyrd music and announcing some of the locations from which people had traveled to be there. At least one person flew in from Alaska; several were from California, Maine was represented, as well as Florida.  A local church was providing free bottles of water to the crowd.

Bobby McDaniel took the stage and provided a summary of how the monument came about; he also introduced the members of the board who worked brought the monument to reality. I was able to meet the designer, Dave Pace.  Someone from Brookhaven Monument also spoke about what it took to bring all of this together. Consider this, the physical monument and the site was created, constructed, and unveiled in under 90 days. An amazing effort.

Bobby then introduced Judy Van Zant, Ronnie’s widow, who, in turn, introduced her grandchildren as well as Steve Gaines’ daughter and two of his grandchildren. Judy then provided a few words about the warmth of the people who made all this possible and then unveiled the monument.

The monument consists of three towering slabs of Georgia black marble on the front side.  The text on each piece covers a different topic: the beginning of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the crash and the recovery. A small stone in front speaks to a reunion that took place in 1987 when several of the survivors came back to gain closure. On the backside of each of the slabs are engraved pictures of Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, and Dean Kilpatrick. Finally, off to the side is a marble bench provided for fans who want to take a moment to reflect. The monument is quite beautiful and impressive.

For the next few hours, fans came up to the monument and took pictures, some reaching out to touch the stone with extreme reverence while others were joyful at the fact the monument was now a reality, and they were there to be a part of the event. I can understand both sets of emotions. The monument stands as a tribute to those lives lost and saved the day of the plane crash; therefore, it holds a tinge of sadness as well as joy so many did survive. At the same time, I think Ronnie would’ve wanted it to be more of a party in celebration of the magic he and Lynyrd Skynyrd created. It was a fine line; at one point, I saw a woman smiling and gleeful as she had a picture taken in front of one of the slabs only to see her reaching out with tears in her eyes to touch the portrait of Ronnie a few moments later.

Later, with the property owner’s permission, I was part of a group to be guided through the woods to the actual crash site. Note: Anyone who thinks they can wander around and find the crash site is wrong. Getting to the site is not simple. Our first stop was the birch tree, where several people have stopped to create their monument by carving into the tree. From there, we went to the actual location where the plane ended up. We arrived just before 6:47 PM, the time when the plane crashed 42 years earlier.

Bobby McDaniel said a few words and then led a prayer. As everyone took a look around the area, many folks had brought Jack Daniels and various other libations to share and toast with, another thing I think Ronnie would’ve found very appropriate.

The walk-in had been a bit boisterous and loud; the walkout was more somber and reflective. Again, it was the bittersweet reaction to the event as the sadness overcame the joy.

After we got back to the “camp,” several people broke out guitars and started playing. It was one of those shared experiences pop up out of nowhere, and instantly everyone finds himself intimately a part of what’s going on. The entire weekend had that feel to it. Before the end of the weekend, I knew a dozen or so people by name, had conversations with many more who will remain nameless.  The entire time I felt I was part of a shared community that came together to celebrate the band. A band that still lives on as the greatest southern rock band of all time: Lynyrd Skynyrd.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Pilgrimage

Any regular reader of this blog knows of my love of music. As I often say, the music of the 70s, 80s, and 90s provided him the background soundtrack that still accompanies my life daily. I am a fan of many bands and the music they make.  I have been lucky enough at this period in my life to take time to go back and see most of those bands live, which I have documented here.

Lynyrd Skynyrd's music has always been significant in my lifelong soundtrack. Even though the original line up of the band was only around for a few years, the music created during those years still stands up against anything being produced now or in the future. Even now, their music is probably heard somewhere in the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In 1977, the airplane the band was traveling in ran out of fuel and crashed. This disaster left Lynyrd Skynyrd without Ronnie Van Zant, lead vocalist who most of the band’s lyrics, Steve Gaines, a one-third of the Guitar Army who also wrote songs and provided vocals, and Cassie Gaines, one of their strongest voice of the Honkettes, their trio of background vocalists. For many, this was the end of the band, although a majority of the remaining members, after a period of recuperation, began to perform again.  Aside from losing a great group, for at least a while, the event was significant for me because I was supposed to attend one of the concert dates later on the tour. As a result of the crash, I never got the chance to see the original lineup.

A couple of months ago, I heard about a group that was raising funds to build a monument at the location where Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane crashed. Being a fan of their music, I went to Go Fund Me and made a donation. Then I started thinking about doing something a bit more involved. 

Since the dedication wasn't until 20 October, I had little time to plan out a trip so I could attend the event myself. Ever since I made that decision, I've had people ask me how I feel about going down there for it. The only word I can come up with to describe it is bittersweet. Yes, it is a sad event that is being memorialized, but at the same time, it is a time to remember some genuinely great music that was made and those responsible for making it.  I think that shared remembrance will provide an eclectic joy to all the people who attend.

This event is providing me with the chance to be together with a lot of other people who appreciate the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd the way I do. As part of the weekend, they even have a Skynyrd cover band (Nuthin' Fancy) performing on Saturday night, I think it will only add to the magic.

My next entry will be about my experience that weekend, and a few of the people who decided that creating a memorial and eventually seeing it built was something worthwhile. Considering it's been over 40 years since the crash, that's a long time to hold an idea and not give up until you see it completed. I look forward to telling you all about it.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Three Paperclips & a Grey Scarf Audiobook Released

The audiobook of Three Paperclips & a Grey Scarf is now available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. 

Audiobooks are great for times when reading aphysical book just isn't possible. You can also play them through Alexa, which allows you to can listen to the book while you're cooking or doing something else. 

The book is narrated by William P. Ryan, who does a great job bringing it to life.

For a limited time, you can get one of five copies of the book in exchange for posting your honest review on Audible. Nothing too fancy just a few sentences giving your opinion of the audiobook. Send an email to if interested.

But wait, there's more! In partnership with Audible, a special promo offer is available to new users that will allow you to get the AudioBook for free ( a $14.95 value) as part of a 30-day trial membership with Audible.

Click here for the USA

or here for the UK