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Monday, June 28, 2010

How Jimmy Buffett Helped Me to Love the Gulf Coast:

Treat Her Like A Lady  

I have been a Parrothead since 1975, when I attended my first Jimmy Buffett concert at the age of 17.  The concert was at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene, Oregon in the Cow Palace.  Jerry Jeff Walker was the headliner and Jimmy Buffett was the close second.  (I think I went with my friends, Paula Scott and Scott, but I'm not sure.)  I lived across the street from the fairgrounds, so, who knows, maybe I went by myself.  Or with a date.  We sat on our coats on the hard, cold, concrete floor.  And then got up and danced.  I don't remember, really who else was there, I only had eyes for Jimmy.  And for Jerry Jeff. 

Anyway, around that time, my little bro had loaned me a JB cassette tape and I loved it.  I really loved "Behind Door Number Three".    So, that must have been on A1A.  I found it hysterical.  I was hooked.  I also thought that "My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, and I Don't Love Jesus ... Oh My Lord, I Don't"   was pretty funny too, which was on  Havanna Daydreaming, but by that time I had met my first husband, who was also a Jimmy Buffett fan, and had lots of favorites then.  (Trust me, it helps, but you cannot base a marriage on a mutual love of Jimmy Buffett.)  I did go to lots of JB concerts with him though.  And he went to many more without me, after THE DIVORCE.  Cuz, he had the big bucks and I didn't. 

I have been to where the oil spill is, a decade before it happened.   My ex-husband took me on a fun trip to New Orleans in 2000, after I divorced his successor.  It was an awesome trip.  We stayed in the French Quarter; went on a Bayou alligator tour; we went to the Bellagio, in Biloxi, boarded a stern wheeler on the mighty Mississippi;  and took a bus tour that included above-ground graveyards and a mansion by the heir of Sears and Roebuck.  We also went to Margaritaville in New Orleans, and my hand painted chair had the song title, "Come to the Moon".   We had a blast. Thank you for taking me!  (Not that he reads my blog, but just in case.)

Anyway, after 30+ years of being a Buffett fan, Jimmy has definitely influenced me.  Even today, my personal philosophy is a blend of Jimmy Buffett and the Holy Bible.  In a lot of ways, they are not that far apart, really.  Jimmy writes about what he knows and loves.  He loves the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean and the Mother Ocean; his work, family, love and friendship. Jimmy also writes about his adventures and his childhood.  I would call that life.  Jimmy Buffett celebrates his life through his songs and books.  Amen to that.  I love his songs, listening to and singing them at home and on tape or CD in the car (since they are rarely played on the radio).  My three children were brought up on Jimmy Buffett songs.  The girls had it from both sides; my son got it from me.  We are Parrotheads, and very proud of it.  When I sing karaoke, I sing Volcano, Cheeseburger in Paradise and Come Monday.  By the way, Cary's Jimmy Buffett song is The Perfect Partner  and, if he knew all the Jimmy Buffet songs, I would like to think that when he first met me, this song would have come to mind, Smart Woman in a Real Short Skirt Woman in a Real Short Skirt Okay, so that is a summary of the background of my Jimmy Buffett experience.  

This morning, my new friend Leigh, who has the blog named "Bloggeritaville",  wrote a post  about going down to see the oil spill disaster firsthand.  Leigh and I both share a love for Jimmy Buffett and his song, "A Pirate Looks at Forty"  .  We also share a love for that beautiful part of our country, where the oil spill is devastating the ocean and the environment. 

After I read Leigh's post, I got to thinking, if it were not for Jimmy Buffett and his songs, would I even know that much about the Gulf Coast?  Would it be in my heart?  Would it have mattered to me if I had went to visit it in 2000 or not?  Would it have hit home like it did when the hurricane devastated New Orleans?  (Believe me, that did effect me.  I sat there in horror and tears before the t.v. watching the devastation; the people drowning; the people being held hostage in the football stadium and those dying on the bridges.  I already had plans to have my Cary take me there so that I could show him around.  Hopefully we will still be able to go there sometime soon. For some reason, Mississippi is always on Cary's mind, and he longs to return there.)

So, which songs gave me a picture of the Gulf states through Jimmy's eyes?  Here are some of them, though I am very sure that there are many more:

A Pirate Looks at Forty
Who's The Blond Stranger
The Stars Fell on Alabama
Frankie and Lola
Biloxi   Biloxi
The Captain and the Kid
Treat Her Like a Lady
Trying to Reason with the Hurricane Season

(Here is a list of all Jimmy's songs and lyrics, if you want to check them out: )  Okay, for now, enough about me and my stuff and how Jimmy Buffett introduced me to where the oil spill is ruining the Gulf Coast. 

To paraphrase Leigh's request, I am asking you to all please pray for this horrendous oil spill to be stopped.  Please also pray for the U.S. Government and the Administration to do their very, very best to clean up the mess immediately!  Please pray for those in charge to stop blocking the progress that the gulf coast residents are trying so hard to go forward with.  Let us get the shores cleaned up, the animals saved, and the fishing and tourism industry restored.   The ocean belongs to all of us, and should not be held hostage in a political move.

Thanks, you guys, for your help and for your prayers.  They really want you to go down there on vacation too, even if you cannot swim in the ocean.  There are lots of other things to do.  You can even help clean up the beaches if you want to.

Take care,



Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

What a wonderful post. Jimmy dreams...huh?
We all have learned alot and all have alot to learn from JB.
Thank you for sharing that!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Leigh. Thank you! I started it last night and it took a lot editing. I don't think it flows right, but I had put so much work into it I didn't want to quit. Probably should have been two posts.

That said, I do believe that the Gulf Coast is in my heart due to Jimmy Buffett's songs.

FairfieldHouse said...

A great post about the Gulf! I have never been but my Da (who was a captain of tugs and oil tankers) spoke fondly of the area and someday I hope to get there.
This is my first visit to your lovely blog via Tales From Bloggeritaville but I will be returning.
I also posted about "MY" ocean:

- Deborah

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Deborah, thank you so much for your kind words! I hope that you get to go there and visit too. I would love to go back.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Jimmy Buffet is a hoot. He's big in Key West (we lived there back in the late '80s), and we visited his Margaritaville restaurant on one of our cruises. Very fun place.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Wow, Lisa, that must have been really a fun time to be living there. As for Maragaritaville, I've been to the one in New Orleans, like I mentioned, and the one in Las Vegas. Which one did your cruise take you too?

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