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Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington chased dreams like anyone else, but what set these childhood friends lightyears apart from the rest of the world was the fact that they didn’t just chase their dreams – they caught them, by any means necessary. Whether it was forming Lynyrd Skynyrd as youngsters kicking around Jacksonville or positioning Lynyrd Skynyrd as one of the most fiercely respected and hardest working bands in the rock pantheon, when these two set off in pursuit of the impossible, it happened.
In the four decades since Ronnie Van Zant’s death, we’ve often wondered where life would have taken him had he been given more time to chase and conquer a few more dreams – but his old friend Gary knows exactly what he’d be doing, and the very thought of it makes us smile.
In a 2012 interview with Jacksonville.com’s Tom Szaroleta, Gary revealed that one of their long talked about dreams was to own a fish camp:
“It was his and my dream to one day own a fish camp and lay back, watch the guys come into fish, go out and catch bass anytime we wanted to. That was the way in this life to make it – own a little bitty fish camp.”
Fishing, as we’re sure y’all are well aware, was one of Ronnie’s favorite pastimes and a time honored way to unwind from the rigors of rock and roll life; in fact, even just watching video of him fishing and chatting about “Free Bird” is relaxing! Ultimately, it’s this last glimpse into what Gary thinks his friend would be doing today that brings us the most joy and will surely do the same for you:
“I think he’d be right there on the front porch, rocking with about 100 dogs, telling stories, still singing and playing.”