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Jimmy Buffett (1946-2023)

Along with many of you, I'm mourning the death of Jimmy Buffett. As a card-carrying Parrot Head, I've been playing his music constantly since the bad news came on Saturday morning. And I've been thinking about roads not taken; his, mine, and maybe some of yours. Jimmy famously turned a beach bum lifestyle into a billion dollar economic juggernaut. From all accounts, he spent formative years in that lifestyle, which allowed him to write, sing and compose with authenticity. People sensed in his music and novels what he actually experienced, giving us the vicarious vibes of sun, sand, margaritas and, most importantly, a general indifference to what was happening elsewhere. In our rat-race twenties and thirties, Jimmy laid back, "living and dying in three-quarter time" and "growing older but not up." How many of you had a summer, year, or decade when you put the future on hold and simply chilled out in someplace off the grid? The closest I ever came was in 1968, when I spent the summer on Nantucket as a cop. But the police chief expected us to pull double shifts, which didn't leave much time for the party life. Instead of blending margaritas, Buddy Small and I caught up on our sleep. Looking back, I see the summer of '68 as the chance--my one chance--to waste away in Margaritaville. I missed it, but Jimmy's music let me savor it in my imagination. Sail on, Jimmy, until the day we meet in that "One Particular Harbor."


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