Listening to Southern Rock and Roll

Bird Droppings March 17, 2011
Listening to southern rock and roll

Today as I am sitting quietly typing and listening to The Allman Brothers Band playing. Yesterday I received an email from a friend who had just moved it seems there were few jobs in her immediate area and application after application had turned up zero prospects. On a whim she went looking in next county and three openings and three interviews and in what she consider her ideal school, the principal after her interview came into parking lot before she could leave and offered her a job. Sometimes there are reasons for things to be as they are and why we end up where we do and meet who we meet and the journey continues.
Years ago I worked in Macon while in seminary, at the Macon Day Care center. Everyday limos would pull up with attractive jean clad young mothers and their children. An attorney like figure would pay in cash each week for the five or so children and The Allman Brothers Band’s children would be like every other child at school after the limos left. I always wondered why with their money they chose that center where nearly all were welfare children. I never thought to ask way back when. All the band’s school age children went to public school as well which was interesting in a time when most white children were scurrying off to private schools back in the early 1970’s.
Another little tidbit way back when I started a program called Beehive project a Saturday recreation program and temporary care facility for severely disabled children and adults and guess where first check came from? A call one day came to come down to the Macon Boys Club and surprise, The Allman Brothers Band was a big supporter of Macon Boys Club donating that same day a quarter of million dollars for a new center but also a ten thousand dollar check for Beehive Project which were the only two programs receiving checks. Sadly I did not get a photo as I received the check from Dicky Betts and Dwayne Allaman and or copy the check.
Today as I am listening to The Allman Brothers Band and I am reminded of a funny thing many years back in a graduate school law class, the professor raised a point about the four things you have to do if you live in Georgia.
1. Go to the Masters to at least see the course
2. Go to Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day
3. Go to a University of Florida versus University of Georgia football game
4. See an Allman’s Brother Band concert
So as I thought about his ideas I looked over how well I have done in over thirty years living in Georgia. On number one, I don’t golf but have seen originals oils of all masters’ holes at a studio in Callaway Gardens and seen the course live. A leading golf course painter has his studio and art gallery there and by chance or coincidence I was looking at another artists work at his gallery. On item number two I have been to Savannah enough times. The paper mill smell keeps me away although living in Macon Georgia for several years that was a common smell in the evenings as well. Number three is difficult for me and is a critical one since my middle son i\graduated from Georgia Tech the arch rival of University of Georgia in every sport. I have to cheer for Tech now. So I am left with number four and have seen the band only eight or ten times maybe that will make up for other three. I have also rocked the band member’s kids to sleep and spoon fed their kids at lunch and shook hands with the band members at the Macon Boys Club.
Also for all the true Allman Brothers fans I have been to dinner with Sandy Blue Sky along with some other friends. “Blue Sky” by Dickey Betts is dedicated to his then wife and for southern rock fans, a really good song. Well everyone will now run out and grab the Live Fillmore East album actually CD since albums are long gone. I started wondering if southern rock is environmental or genetic as each of my kids has compiled their top 100 songs of all time on their computers and it amazes me they each have several from the Allman Brothers Band, midst popular and more contemporary bands as well as such little known songs and groups as Lowden Rainwright III and the Dead Skunk song.
Coincidence as I sit wandering today back to meeting The Allman Brothers band and my professors statement and to a friends search for a job, the journey continues and the pieces will fall in place.

“Walk along the river, sweet lullaby, it just keeps on flowing, It don’t worry bout where it’s going, no, no. Don’t fly, mister blue bird, I’m just walking down the road, Early morning sunshine tell me all I need to know.” Dicky Betts, The Allman Brothers Band

Reading the words to Dicky Betts song and thinking about my own life, and the people I have met along the way. I can not help but think back to the music and words and a philosophy of life that perhaps inspired this song. Years back living in Macon with the Ocmulgee river running through town and spending many days myself walking along the river I wonder how many times I saw that bluebird or sunshine and I wonder how did it affect my own direction in life. Please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your heart.