It was my first day of treatment. I was in a very strange place in my life obviously, and very apprehensive of what was to come. I remember walking into the tv room in the detox center and saw this guy with long hair wearing a hawaiian shirt watching something about the CMA musical festival on TV. He turned to me and said that he was supposed to be playing there right now. I took one look at him and was like where the heck am I? This guy is really on something and I need to get out of here. I was sure this wasn't a loony bin and that only addicts and alcoholics were supposed to be here, not scizophrenics. I was knew this was detox so figured maybe he had just gotten there too. He introduced himself to me and said his name was Billy. I decided it was probably best for me to go back outside and walk a little bit. I had already detoxed and being around someone on something at that point was very aggravating for me.
A few days later as I entered the world of the "normal" people and into the cabins with people out of detox, I heard people saying that a guy from Lynryd Skynyrd was in treatment with us. I of course was immediately interested, but really didn't care to much. I went about my day to day and kept running into Billy. He always said hi and that "There's just something about Sara." He was really sweet and we started to chat when we saw each other. One day I was talking to him and one of my guy friends whispered to me that that was him. I asked him what he was talking about and told him this was my friend Billy, we had met on the first day. This is when people really started calling me the brunette with blond roots. This was the guy everyone had been talking about. This was Billy Powell, an original member of Lynryd Skynryd.
Of course everyone wanted to know him and be his friend. I didn't care who he was. We instantly had a connection with each other and he became a very special friend to me. One day he was signing pictures for some of the nurses and he handed me one.
We continued our relationship after treatment. He came by my hotel when he was in town, sometimes just for a hug. The last time I saw him was in 2007. He played a concert here in Nashville at the Bridgestone Arena. It was so much fun! We got backstage passes and had 10th row seats for Lynryd Skynyrd!!!
Here he is doing what he did best. We of course spoke many times after this, but I never saw him again. He passed away from a heart attack in January 2009. He was an amazing person and I am so blessed that I was able to have him in my life, if only for a short time.