Living life between the barrel staves in Bourbon Country

Here We Are

buffett2 2009

Who would have thought this game,
this flame would still be burning
Who would have guessed that all these blenders
would still be churning
Not even we on our bended knees

could have ever blessed it
Not even I with my head in the sky
could have ever guessed it

“Here We Are”, lyrics by Jimmy Buffett from Take The Weather With You

In the heat of summer and the midst of the madness, I sat back for a moment to drink it all in. Kevin probably said it best, decked out in his Hawaiian shirt with a beer in his hand surrounded by 20,000 like minded individuals. “This is my happy place.”

I’m certain a psychologist or 21st century social historian has already written a thesis on the phenomena that are Parrotheads – otherwise upright, socially responsible individuals (except for the college age crowd), who for one night a year lose their inhibitions – and judging from the plethora of men sporting grass skirts and coconut bras – their gender identity. The barely controlled insanity that is a Jimmy Buffett concert has even been documented in culinary tomes – Olaf Nordstrom’s “The Margaritaville Cookbook” and “The Essential Book of Boat Drinks” both come swiftly to mind. Even Jimmy’s sister Lucy has gotten into the act with “Crazy Sista Cooking: Cuisine and Conversation with Lucy Anne Buffett”.

Margaritaville Cookbook Crazy Sista Cooking

Then there are the restaurants themselves, the aforementioned “crazy sista” has hers in Gulf Shores, Alabama, while older brother Jimmy has Margaritaville Cafe’s and Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurants around the globe. Even the frozen food section at the grocery isn’t immune, as Margaritaville products stock the frozen food section. Personally I like the Jammin’ Jamaican Shrimp sauteed with a little butter and lime juice, then rolled into a warm tortilla with a little shredded Parmesan cheese, but you do it your way. Oh, and then there is the line of beer, rum, drink mixes -and yes tequila! – along with a $350 frozen concoction maker available at your nearest kitchen store. Apparently, you are what you eat, and in Jimmy Buffett’s case, that means he’s successful.

buffett 2009

What really interests me though is the concert tailgate. The ubiquitous cheeseburgers are present, and I know plenty of people (myself included) who buy one and only one bottle of Heinz 57 a year. I can look at the calendar and tell you approximately when I’ll buy the next one too. The shrimp, well they’re just beginning to boil. Now I have met people who express their open disdain for Buffett’s music (not cultured enough they say, in spite of Bob Dylan naming him one of his favorite songwriters), and they usually cite the Parrotheads as another reason to frown on the whole affair. While I could do without the drunk college kids, I wouldn’t miss the rest of the circus for the world. Where else can you see Kappa Alpha freshmen with their arms around a brain surgeon chugging shots of tequila while the man’s wife, a school teacher in her own right, eggs him on while wearing what appears to be Toucan Sam and his twin brother as a brassiere? Heck, in our group alone this year we had an orthopaedic surgeon, his director of nursing, an industrial sales rep and numerous other members of the medical profession. Me? I’m a Strategic Projects Manager when I’m not cooking. But then again, if you’re reading this, we’ve already become acquainted.

But here we are, for a family reunion, costume barbeque
All the black sheep, family outcasts, and a freak or two…

… with our fins up and our feathers flashing
Here we are, with our coconut shell brassieres chanting

We’ve done our own bit of tailgating in the past (click here to see the Kentucky Tailgating Menus for more details). I had to do it at least once, it was one of those things that should be checked off of every respectable cook’s list of accomplishments. That being said, I kind of like the limo ride better, though I missed being part of the fun along Kellogg Avenue. Next year, I think we’ll have the chauffeur haul the grill as well.

Here we are, maybe it’s because in spite of all the
work we do
It’s the child in us we really value
Here we are

buffett3 2009

Here we are - Jimmy Buffett pre-show, Cincinnati 2009


One response

  1. Randy

    I’m a virgin blogger and it feels like the first time.
    Can you hear me now?
    I smiled when your emailed arrived. I was actually in anticipation. I smiled even more with your experience with Jimmy B.
    Where would we be without Woodstock.
    Charlotte is falling out of love with you unless she gets Salsa this season.
    Best to you and Zac.

    August 18, 2009 at 1:56 am

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