I’ve sat on this news for just about a week. Gathering my thoughts. Thinking of memories from concerts past. Since high school, I’ve been a Parrothead. Our second spring break at Myrtle Beach our junior year included a giant sheet with a Margarita and all our names on it. We arrived and quickly renamed the house we rented to “Margaritaville” by hanging that giant sheet off the front of the house. I mean how else could be wasted away again, if we didn’t name the place, right? Ah, the years of Sun Country and Bartles and James Wine Coolers. Please, let me tell you now, they were far superior to your “White Claw.” We always had fun….in case you can’t tell from this photo….

We literally loved Buffett as much as we loved Jerry (Garcia)–some more than others. The Jimmy Buffett lifestyle was one we all wanted. We wanted to sit in the sand with a drink in our hand. His style has influenced many other musicians as well –I’m looking at you Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney.

We (I quickly discovered it was Suzanne and me) quoted Buffett constantly, even in our Senior picture in our yearbook. Though we did NOT spell his name right! I’m only seeing this right now. HA!

While I don’t remember how MANY times I went to a Buffett concert, I do remember my first. Charlotte Independence Stadium, with Paige McClellan Patton and Paige Byrd Humbert and various others. I think Gary John, Cathy, Bobby, David to name a few (that I remember or have seen in my other photos). This was the equivalent of seeing Jimmy at a high school football stadium. It was small and cozy. At least until the thunderstorm rolled in, the natives got restless, and some asshat hurled a beer bottle at the stage. It was only then Jimmy had enough. It was all fun and games until someone got out of hand. The concert ended and all the wet mutts clamored back to their cars. Drunk or tipsy, and needing to dry out. Funny thing, I remember Dr. Dog was there, but not Mary Powell (his daughter and my oldest friend). She lived in Charleston at the time.

“I like mine with lettuce and tomato….Heinz 57 and French fried potatoes!
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer….Well, good god almighty, which way do I steer…”

I saw Buffett many times after this first concert. The one thing I have noticed is that I didn’t take pictures of the others. He always put on a great show. His music will live on in our hearts (and our ears). Though drinking is part of my past, I raise a glass (or a cup of coffee) to the man who had a plan to live life on his own terms, to live every day to it’s fullest, and to pull himself out of his darkest hours with his own music. We can learn a lot from him.

Perseverance and chasing your own dreams is the key to happiness. Thank you, Jimmy Buffett. You sure had it right….

It’s those changes in latitudes,
changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.
With all of our running and all of our cunning,
If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.

May we all keep, “rocking and a rolling on a Livingston Saturday night!”

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