Jimmy Buffett has died. (For future reference if the link breaks, this is to the NY Post story I saw bout it after seeing his name trending on
For most people, this is a bit of a sad celebrity aside.
For me, however, it’s bringing up all sorts of thoughts, primarily, “should I try to tell my mother about this?”
This is the day after I bought tickets for my wife and I to travel down to Biloxi to see her later this year. She’s in memory care. When I can get in touch with her, it’s never a sure thing that there’ll be a coherent conversation.
There are periods of lucidity, but most of the time, if a conversation starts, it goes nowhere quickly.
So, why would this have been important to me (and her)?
My parents followed his career, and were fans. They’d started following him as he’d peek in to his, alma mater, The University of Southern Mississippi. My dad was there 1969-73. My mother was in and out as her husband was off doing things in the Army as one of the last class of Lieutenant Dans for Vietnam. (He was in Infantry Officer Basic at Fort
BenningMoore when the Paris Peace Accords were signed. (His Infantry Battalion was quickly rerouted to Okinawa with the end of hostilities. This also relates back to something my cousin and I were discussing, as he wants to meet up with my wife and I when we come down this fall. I have a strong suspicion that the Po’boy shop near his house is named for a guy who purportedly called my dad a draft dodger because he went to college to be an officer instead of enlisting. My dad wanted to be like his grandfather, who’d been an Army officer during World War I.)
My dad ended up spend nearly the next quarter-century on active duty as an Army officer. I have memories of Jimmy Buffett tapes coming through tinny speakers.
My mother got on a plane for the first time in 1973 to join her fresh 2LT husband in Okinawa after the redirection.
He’s now in Arlington. She’s back in memory care in Mississippi.
Do I even bother to try and tell her about it?
I really don’t know.
The music and lifestyle with which he made a name for himself really aren’t my cup of (“tea” would be in appropriate, so put in whichever boat drink you like…).
Though there were mentions in earlier parts of his career, I didn’t care much for the Marijuana references. I still have never smoked weed, despite my time in broadcast, and having MS!)
So a puzzling day two of what should have been a four-day weekend for me. Fair winds and following sea to Mr. Buffett. I want some coffee.