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Welcome to Sweetn6E's Place!

"... 'cause nothing matters in this whole wide world, when you're in love with a Jersey Girl..."

Me and my daughter Rachael.


LEON RUSSELL WILKESON

1952-2001

The music world lost a great talent and I lost a friend on July 27, 2001. Leon, thank you for your friendship and for sharing your talent with the rest of us. You were a gentle soul in a sometimes hard world, and you always managed to see the good in everyone and everything. I will treasure your friendship forever and will never forget the laughs we shared. You will be missed but never forgotten. I know God had a halo waiting for "the man of many hats" when you got there.

Special thanks to John M. from MA for this picture. More Leon pictures and stories will be posted soon.

Me and Leon after the show in Jersey, June 2001. Little did I know this was the last time I'd ever seen Leon. I miss you, my friend.

We had front-row seats to this show, and looking back I am so glad we went. Who knew....?

We spent quite a few hours with Leon after the show. Leon loved the crocodile sign behind us (I thought he was going to offer to buy it from the place). Shortly after this picture was taken, Leon invited us to listen to a preview of the new CD the band was working on at the time. Four tracks had already been recorded, and Leon was so excited and proud about the new material. He kept replaying the songs over and over (Leon was notorious with a remote control), pointing out riffs and chord progressions while playing air bass guitar and singing along with the lyrics. He was so proud of the music he was helping to create...

I'll always remember Leon the way he was that night ("I FOUND MY LIGHTER!!!") and his wakeup call to us the next morning for breakfast. And I'll always keep the crate of Louisiana hot sauce (complete with plastic crawfish) Leon gave me that night "as a memento of this evening." I miss you, Leon my friend.

This was also the same night, June 2001. We spent hours listening to music with Leon.

Here are some more of my personal photos of Leon. More to come soon.

Pretty scary, huh? Actually the Heinekens didn't belong to either of them. Both Mike and Leon are O'Douls Amber drinkers. This was in Long Island.

Every time we saw Leon, it seemed like he had a new stereo or electronic gadget to show us. Here Leon was showing Mike how his new back massager could help headaches. The look on Mike's face is priceless.

Skynyrd on stage, June 2001 at the PNC Arts Center.

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Hi, I'm Karen. I'm single, 30-something, and have lived in Northern New Jersey all my life, about 12 miles west of New York City.

Let's see, what's new in my life since I last updated this page.... besides rediscovering the joys of Jersey boys, that is ;)

Went to see Skynyrd at the Beacon in New York on December 12th. Talked to Johnny and Rickey a bit backstage before the show and they were really happy to be in New York at Christmastime (although the fact that this was their last show of the year before heading home might also have had something to do with their cheerful demeanors). It was nice to see Bobby Hilfiger again too. I may get around to uploading some pictures one of these days.

On November 29th, my friends from .38 Special were also in NYC, this time at B.B. King's. I thought Don Barnes' voice had never sounded better. Backstage after the show I met some NYC firefighters who were there as guests of .38, which only served to further my opinion that these guys are truly a class act (don't let that "wild eyed southern boy" thing fool you - these are real southern gentlemen here). Again, when and if I ever get some free time, I'll upload pictures from this show to the page as well.

On March 13th I went to see my friend Johnny Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd lead singer) and his brother Donnie Van Zant of .38 Special perform together at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York City. Johnny and Donnie recently released their second CD together, "Van Zant II" and went out on a mini-tour in support of the new CD. They sounded great and looked like they were having a great time together. Their first single from the CD - "Get What You Got Coming" - was getting good airplay in the NY/NJ area. Both brothers will be out on tour with their respective bands later this spring and summer. Below is a picture of us taken backstage before the show.

These pictures are from the 2001 Volunteer Jam at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ (my absolute favorite concert venue). It was a gorgeous June night, perfect for music under the stars.

We not only had front row seats, but we also had full-access backstage passes and were able to watch the show right from the stage - what a great way to watch a great show! Those Wild Eyed Southern Boys are looking and sounding better than ever - by all means, don't miss their show if they come to your town!

After the .38 set we were invited to a private reception tent set up backstage where the guys from .38 sat and talked and took pictures with us. While there I also had the pleasure of meeting Tammy Van Zant, Ronnie's oldest daughter, who is such a sweet person and very down to earth. Here are a few pictures from the show - more to come as soon as I scan them!

This was our view of the show.

This is me and Tammy Van Zant, Ronnie's oldest daughter and one of the sweetest gals you'll ever meet, backstage after .38's set. Tammy and her aunt Jane Van Zant came up to the show to surprise Donnie for his birthday weekend.

Jane VanZant, Mike and me after the show.

While backstage during Dickey Betts set, we ran into another Southern Rock notable - Mike "Supe" Granda of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, just hanging out and enjoying the music. Here's a pic of me and Supe (that's Larry Jundstrom behind us).

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In May I took a wonderful vacation to Punta Cana on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. Imagine if you will a palm-fringed, powdery-soft, white sand beach stretching for miles, with warm, crystal-clear turquoise waters gently lapping against the shores... a soft tropical breeze, merengue music in the background, and a smiling Dominican waiter handing you a complimentary tropical rum drink - and you're picturing Punta Cana. We stayed at the all-inclusive Barcelo Bavaro Palace Resort and can't wait to go back. Below are just a few pictures from that trip - I took so many that I think I'll need another page to put on all the ones I'd like to share!

The pool at the Palace (complete with a swim-up bar)

Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana - view looking south from in front of the Palace.

Rachael among the coconut palm trees in front of our hotel room.

Last spring we cruised to the Cayman Islands, Cozumel, and New Orleans. Snorkeled with stingrays in Grand Cayman (approximately 50 of them, and I even hand-fed them) and swam with dolphins in Cozumel - truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Gotta go back to New Orleans one of these days too. I guess you can tell I like to travel... any suggestions for my next trip? Please write and tell me!

Rachael feeding a stingray in Grand Cayman (that shadow below her is a male stingray - the females are 5 to 6 FEET across).

Another place I visited recently and truly fell in love with is Seattle and the area just north of it on Puget Sound. What a beautiful place... the Cascade Mountains to the east and the beautiful islands in Puget Sound combine to make a little bit of heaven on earth. Another place I'll be back to visit again someday.

Deception Pass in Northwest Washington state, linking the mainland to Whidbey Island in Puget Sound. I had the best local tourguide in the greater Seattle area. Went to the top of the Space Needle, got an intimate tour of Whidbey Island, rode the ferry, walked around Pike Place Market, drank LOTS of Redhook ESB and Alaskan Amber, and ate an inordinate amount of salmon and Dungeness crab. And believe it or not, the sun shone for the ENTIRE FIVE DAYS I was out there!!

Although I've seen beaches all over the world, one of my favorite places is still my Jersey Shore. I spent most weekends there this summer and never want to leave once I'm there. One day I hope to live near the ocean all year 'round.

Anyway... thanks for stopping by to look at my page. Please sign my guestbook or drop me a line to let me know you were here. I'd love to hear from you!!

Love, Karen


Sweet's Skynyrd Pics

Southern rock in New Jersey? Hell, yeah! One of my all-time favorite bands is Lynyrd Skynyrd. From "Pronounced" in 1973 to this year's "Edge of Forever", there's a song to suit whatever mood I'm in. Here are some pictures of the boys from Jacksonville:

Me and former drummer Jeff McAllister, October '98, Beacon Theater, NYC.

Me and guitarist (and Blackfoot founder) Rickey Medlocke.

But you can't talk about Skynyrd and drummers without talking about Artimus Pyle. Former long-time drummer Artimus now has his own band, APB (check out their website at www.apbband.com). Mike and I took a roadtrip to Virginia Beach and ran into Arti in the parking lot of our hotel. Above is a photo of me and Artimus taken in Newport News, VA during that trip.

Artimus practicing a new instrument?? Ya never know when you playing a neon Bud sign might be needed..... this was also in the hotel parking lot!

Me and Skynyrd lead singer Johnny Van Zant, PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel NJ, June '97. I've known Johnny for about six years and he's a great guy and terrific father as well as a talented musician.

Billy Powell and me in NYC.

You know the line in "What's Your Name?" that goes "... it seems that one of the crew had a go with one of the guests..." Well, meet the crew member Ronnie was singing about -- Craig Reed, a.k.a. CEO of Diddley Squat, backstage at the Beacon Theater.

In honor of yet ANOTHER Yankee World Series win, here's a little-seen picture of me, David Mantle - son of Yankee legend Mickey Mantle and serious Skynyrd fan - and my dear friend, Ellen Powell (aka Mrs. Billy Powell) on one of the Skynyrd tour buses.

"I got 600 miles to ride to do one more show..."

After finishing up their Beacon Theater gigs, the bus is ready to take the band to their next venue. This is me with road manager Rick Howe in Times Square.

SKYNYRD & ZZ TOP, OCTOBER 8, 1999 -- CONTINENTAL AIRLINES ARENA, EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ

On Friday, October 8th Skynyrd played the Meadowlands at the Continental Airlines Arena as part of their national tour co-headlining with ZZ Top, which ran through March 2000.

The Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies opened the show, and then Skynyrd took the stage. I've got to say that the crowd was definitely a Skynyrd crowd that night!! The band looked and sounded great. ZZ Top was good but somewhat of an anti-climax after Skynyrd.

Mike and I stayed at the hotel with the band on Thursday and Friday nights and had a great time hanging out with them. Unfortunately my camera malfunctioned and the entire roll of film I shot was pretty much ruined. However, we had better luck on the next road trip....

SKYNYRD ROAD TRIP - JANUARY 2000

Saturday, January 22 - Providence, Rhode Island

Sunday, January 23 - Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

For this trip Mike and I headed north, braving sub-zero temperatures, snow-covered roads and I-95 in the process. On Saturday we saw Skynyrd at the Providence Civic Center and we agreed it was the best show we've seen this tour. We stayed with the band at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Providence and had a great time. On Sunday we hit the road once again and headed to Long Island to see them at the Nassau Coliseum. Another good show, if not quite up to the one in Providence, and this time we didn't stay for ZZ Top's set. But we did get to spend quite a bit of time with the guys back at the hotel afterwards. Here are some photos from that trip.

Me and Johnny Van Zant at the Long Island Marriott.

At the hotel, Leon was getting interviewed for a music website and when the interview was over Leon challenged me, Mike, and the interviewer to a pinball game (and he kicked our butts, too). This is a picture of the interviewer, Mike and Leon - the pinball wizards.

Mike and Skynyrd backup vocalist Carol Chase at the hotel after the show.

After the hotel lounge closed, Leon asked me and Mike to help him with a tape he was making for Gary. Leon appointed me "Executive Producer" and he and Mike were my "Executive Assistant Producers." These are some pictures from the session, dubbed "The Extra Paper Sessions" by Leon.


Last April I found paradise on my trip to Hawaii - the only place in the world worth a 10+ hour plane flight! Below is a double rainbow I saw on Waikiki Beach, framing Diamond Head in the background. You'd think with TWO rainbows I'd double my chances of finding that pot of gold, wouldn't ya?

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Check these out too:

Sweetn6E in Hawaii
Check out some pictures from my recent trip to Hawaii
The Freebird Foundation's Official Skynyrd Site
Tour info, lyrics & discography, chat room, etc.
APB (All Points Bulletin) Band Page
Artimus Pyle, Mike Estes, Greg Baril, Tim Lindsay
Sweet's Miscellaneous Pics
More of my pictures can be found here
Pacific Harley-Davidson Page
A cool place I visited while in Hawaii! You can get some great H-D things here.
The Dialectizer!
Plug in an URL of anyone's homepage, pick a dialect (try "Jive") and see what happens
Urban Legend Reference Page
So did you fall for the "avoid the malls on Halloween" hoax? Check here before falling for one of those internet hoaxes or urban legends again.
B.B. King's Blues Club in New York City
Who's playing this month?
Flight Tracker
Track the progress of a flight in the air - very cool (and a lot quicker and more accurate than calling the airport)

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Sweetn6E@aol.com

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