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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Buffet’s music inspired childhood

Patting on pounds of cheap drugstore makeup, donning leis and a hula skirt. I sat at my vanity getting ready to go to my first concert. At the time, most sixth graders considered Jimmy Buffett to be just some old guy that their parents occasionally listened to. But for me, his music was everything. Every beach day, every road trip, every backyard party and happy memory was set to the steel drums and funky beats playing on Radio Margaritaville. When we were finally ready to leave, my parents and I took a cab to the North Charleston Coliseum. As the yellow crate rolled to a stop in the asphalt lot in front of the coliseum, I could feel the tangible excitement floating from the crowd of middle aged, tipsy Jimmy Buffet fans.

We funneled with the crowd from the lot to a security check point area, to the ticket box and finally into the hallway of the Coliseum. Of course, my dad made us stop no less than 20 times on the way to say hi to friends and acquaintances. I am always impressed with the number of people he manages to run into anytime we’re out in public. After a few more run-ins, we finally made it to the doors of the concert arena. Mom paused, shuffling the things in her purse, looking for the tickets she had printed out earlier that day. She pulled out a folded piece of printer paper. “Row D, E, F, C, Ah ha, row H” We meandered our way through the crowd and finally found our seats. My eyes shifted up to look at the flock of parrotheads that surrounded me. I was easily the youngest person in the crowd by at least 10 years.

But that didn’t matter. I was quick to talk to the people around me, making friends with people who were decades older than me. I jumped and sang to “Fins” and “Changes In Latitude” with my new friends and waved the flashlight on my mom’s phone during a “Pirate looks at 40”. That night, I left the North Charleston Coliseum with more Jimmy Buffett T-shirts than any sane person needs, excited to show them all to my friends at school the next day. Now that I’ve gotten older and goneto more concerts, I have realized how rare it is to find an artist with such a welcoming fanbase. Jimmy didn’t just use his music to talk about living an easier life on the coast. He used his upbeat songs to preach the importance of community and kindness. I’m sad to know that that was my last Jimmy Buffett concert, but I’m forever grateful to have been able to experience his music and fanbase in person. Like so many, his lyrics and melodies left a lasting, definitive impact on my life.

Rest in peace, Jimmy Buffett.

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