Wednesday, April 17, 2024

It has to be five o’clock somewhere!


My Front Porch

Sam Houston is a syndicated columnist and newspaper executive. He is also an author, playwright, actor, and entertainment producer/promoter.

It has to be five o’clock somewhere!

Over the past weekend a music icon left this world. There is little doubt he is wearing angel wings, but I picture he is also donning a Hawaiian shirt and flip flops as he passes through the gates of heaven.

Jimmy Buffet was more than a musician or an entertainer. He was a lifestyle.

He is being lauded by the press as an extraordinary businessman who from very humble beginnings created hotels, restaurants, and a musical entertainment empire. His net worth at the time of his death exceeds $600 million; a far cry from the first time he went to Key West. Traveling with Texas music legend Jerry Jeff Walker, the friends spent the better part of two weeks fixing up Jeff Jeff’s 47 Packard so they could make the trip from Miami. It was the very start of Jimmy Buffets’ life journey to Margaritaville and what a wild ride it was.

Presidents, captains of industry, and everyday folks from all walks of life stopped when they learned of his death. They took a moment to pause and relive the memories of his music and the experiences they associated with hearing his songs.

Elton John, Willie Nelson and no less that Sir Paul McCartney took the time to post a special tribute to the man they called a close personal friend and a musical genius.

Jimmy Buffet was more than an entertainer. He was an escape artist. No, not another Houdini who could free himself from being handcuffed and locked in a straight jacket. Rather, Buffet was a transformer who through his music would allow people to escape from the stress and burdens of everyday existence.  His melodies could unlock the heavy chains of life and allow people to smile and rejoice. In the Church of Margaritaville, Reverend Buffet preached that having harmless fun was ok. He showed people it was alright to stop and take a breath, enjoy their friends and the world around them, and relish the beauty and pleasures which life provides us.

Fans who went to his concerts, became known as “Parrotheads” and though his most successful music was created nearly 50 years ago, it is hard to find someone who does not know the words to at least some of his songs.

When Buffet and Alan Jackson created, “Its Five O’clock Somewhere”, a tribute to having a drink to relax and enjoy the day, it became a mantra for a wide segment of the population. It allowed them to demonstrate that while they did not mind working hard, they wanted to step back for just a second, relax, and have peace of mind.

Yes, I was a fan. While I enjoyed the music, I think what I enjoyed most was seeing the reaction of others to the songs and the aura. Jimmy Buffet made “fun” cool. He made casualness acceptable; He impacted people through his music like few the world has ever seen.

It will be a lesser world without him, but he will rest in peace knowing that somewhere in the world, someone will be having a drink and toasting him and giving thanks for his amazing gifts. After all, it is 5 o’clock somewhere, isn’t it? It does not get better than that.

Thought for the day: “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”. Jimmy Buffet

Until next time…I will keep ridin’ the storm out…