RIP Jimmy Buffett

Posted on 09/05/2023 in misc

We were camping this past weekend, with no cell service at the campground. I got the news about Jimmy Buffett's death while sitting on a large rock at the summit of a mountain we had just climbed. The Internet joked that dying on the Friday of a long weekend was a very Jimmy Buffett way to die. I think hearing about his death out in nature with somebody you love is a very Jimmy Buffett way to hear the news.

I don't have deep memories of his music growing up. My dad was a "put the country music station on" kind of music fan, so I probably heard his music as a child. My first memory of his music is around age 8 or 9, snickering as we sang along to "Let's Get Drunk and Screw." "Margaritaville" was a staple of my high school party days, probably courtesy of the older siblings of some of my friends. We may have been high school metalheads, but we were high school metalheads living on a tropical island. Jimmy's tunes resonated.

Our Daughter Delaney was born in 1996. Jimmy's daughter Delaney was born in 1994. We didn't name her after Buffett's daughter, and truthfully neither of us knew that fact or were familiar with Buffett's song "Delaney Talks to Statues". But one of my wife's friends introduced her to that song when Delaney was born, and our Delaney dancing around the house to that song is a strong memory that we'll have forever.

I was well into my 40s when I finally made it to a Buffett concert. We attended two concerts in the 2013-2016 time frame, having a great time at both shows. His key skill on stage seemed to be making people happy, and he was damn good at it. The vibe at his shows was just one big party, with everybody happy and having a great time. The music was secondary to the event. His songwriting skills were probably under rated. His persona was happy go lucky slacker, but he didn't become a billionaire by slacking through life.

Celebrity deaths very rarely even register with me. I was certainly not a Parrothead, but Jimmy's death is hitting me a bit (as evidenced by this rambling post). Having nothing better to do than hang out at the beach was certainly aspirational for most of my adult life, although today I'd choose the mountains over the beach.

I guess I just assumed when I got to that stage of life, Jimmy would still be there entertaining us.

"Some people never find it
Some only pretend
But I just want to live
Happily ever after, now and then"
― Jimmy Buffett

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