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This story felt much different from Rash’s other stories.  The voice of the narrator seems to have less melancholy to it than the others, for some reason this story felt more depressing, which is strange considering when you really look at the story it’s a pretty pathetic place to be in life.  There’s something about the way the narrator explains everything that gives it an air of pride, that even though these people are at their worst, that there is a sense of home and uniqueness to it.  You could see it in his descriptions of country music too.  There’s what the Nashville wanted, and then there was down and dirty, what the narrator seems to consider “real” country.  There’s this same view of the Last Chance.  People are paying for their drinks with fillings, but the bartender doesn’t even flinch, because that’s just how it is.  But then there’s “Free Bird”, which everyone seems to identify with, and even though it was a huge commercial hit you can tell the narrator seems to have a connection with it too.  When he describes why it might have such an effect on people, this line made me think about the story in a whole different light: “Ronnie Van Zant didn’t have the talent of Gary Stewart or Steve Earle or Dwight Yoakam, but he did what he could with what he had.  Skynyrd never pruned their Southern musical roots to give them ‘national appeal’, and that gave their music, whatever else its failings, an honesty and an edge.” which is exactly how these people feel.  They may not have the same talent or “stuff” that makes up the great and successful people in this world, but they do the best with what they have, and that’s all they use.

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