Through the past thirty plus years, Jimmy has schooled us in the fact that much of what he is has to do with his Catholic School upbringing. Many of the lyrics I have listened to for all these years were influenced by Jimmy’s early years spent at St. Ignatius Catholic Grammar School in Mobile, Alabama.

And since much of my personal interpretation of being a Jimmy Buffett fan was influenced by the fact that my early years as an Internet Parrot Head were spent living up to my screen name “Bubbafreak,”  that when I found myself down in Gulf Shores two weekends ago, doing some Internet research prior to going out to do a little exploring in Jimmy’s old hunting grounds, I came up with several ways to fill my afternoon prior to going to Will Kimbrough’s show that Saturday night.

There was of course Jimmy’s Crazy Sista’s restaurant LuLu’s just up the road. And Jimmy’s parents lived in Daphne and then their later years in beautiful Fairhope, Alabama. A search also produced his niece’s Yoga Studio and the fact that Jimmy’s parents were buried in a certain cemetery in Fairhope. I’m not really into yoga, and visiting his parent’s grave site was just too weird, and seemed to be an invasion of his privacy. But I wasn’t too proud to try to find his grammar school! So, I fired up the GPS, and I was on my way.

After taking these photos, something special happened. As I was walking to the back of the campus to the sports field, I ran into three little girls walking their dog. As we stopped to talk, they ask me what I was doing. I told them I was visiting the school because Jimmy Buffett went to school there. Now, my experience told me that these cute little ladies would probably not have a clue to who Jimmy was. You can imagine who surprise I was when all three of them got big smiles on their faces as they happily told me they knew exactly who Jimmy Buffett was. In fact, one little girl said, “And my teacher Ms. Harriet Fagen was his teacher.”

It was a beautiful school in a beautiful setting. And just like Jimmy, it had aged well. Buffett and I are exactly the same age, and my grammar school didn’t look this good when it was new. I’d hate to see what it looked like now. I came away from my visit thinking that Jimmy had a great childhood and great parents. Now wonder he’s such a happy person and so successful.


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