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Mailbag: Life Advice from Jimmy Buffett

Allen Ramsey

September 8, 2023

A legend has passed, but we can all still appreciate what he brought us.


Welcome back to the Mailbag!

Here's a column that likely won't register with many of our younger readers, at least not right away, but stick around anyway because this one is short and we're handing out some free advice at the end. 

For many of us, Jimmy Buffett's passing this week was the loss of another legend. 

We grew up on Jimmy. His smooth sound and mellow vibes never failed to put us in a happy place. 

Jimmy was the one who, on one of those miserably hot Lubbock summer days, would kick on with a song about having a cold drink on a beach somewhere and you could almost feel the cool sea breeze. 

Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy Buffett
File: January 2008

He brought moments of respite to a lot of people over the years, and he'll be missed. 

We learned from Jimmy Buffett as well. We learned about enjoying life and not taking it too seriously. We learned about a lovely little place called Margaritaville, and why you always keep a shaker of salt handy. And we learned that making decisions to enjoy life comes at the price of not blaming others for those decisions. 

For the record, that's what we learned from just ONE Jimmy Buffett song, and there are nuggets of wisdom in many, many others. 

Sadly, the biggest lesson we learned from Jimmy may have come from his passing. 

Four years after being diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma, Buffett passed away last weekend. 

His passing is a reminder for those of us who love the sun, the beach and generally being outside as much as possible, that some precautions are needed. 

So, as we get ready to pack the Jones Saturday evening, and we head toward cooler temps and more outside activities, we're going to pass out the same advice we got from a popular graduation song in the late 1990s: “Always, wear your sunscreen.”

It's my firm belief that Jimmy is somewhere enjoying a cheeseburger in paradise. 

You deserve it, Jimmy. Rest in peace. 

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