I cannot fathom that in five short months, 'Come Monday' will turn 50. I still vividly remember the summer of 1974 when I worked for my Grandfather, helping with construction in Inman and Spartanburg, South Carolina. My job was to sand, caulk, putty, clean up, and paint. I worked nine to five, Monday through Friday, and made $50.00 a week. That was a lot of money to me back then. I was a mere 13 years old and happy to work as hard as possible, for I was saving up my money to buy my first electric guitar. While at work, I listened to the radio all day long, WORD from Spartanburg, South Carolina, to be exact, and Come Monday graced the airwaves a lot that summer. I can still close my eyes, smell the sawdust, caulk, and paint, and feel the putty and sandpaper beneath my fingertips.
I remember one house we worked in that summer for a few weeks. It was a two-story in progress and sat close to a beautiful home next door. The home was attractive, but my eyes were drawn more to the beautiful swimming pool in the backyard. Yes, it was a hot summer, and I loved to swim, but I was more interested in the attractive young girl who lived there, who would swim with her friends every day. I worked hard to impress my Grandfather, but the girls and the music were distracting. (Some addictions start early.) In an odd coincidence, all my memories of her, which have stayed with me all my life, revolve around 'Come Monday.' Jimmy's beautiful melancholy love song embedded itself deeply in my heart that summer and has never left. In case you are wondering, I never had the opportunity to meet her. I would have been too shy to say hello anyway.
I have been listening to Jimmy's music all day today while working, but when 'Come Monday' began playing early this afternoon, I had to pause, look out the window, listen, and reflect. Upon doing so, I suddenly realized that the lyrics would never feel or mean the same to me again. For 49 years now, whenever I listened to my 45, cassette, 8-track, album, CD, MP3, or stream of 'Come Monday,' it filled my heart with many emotions; even when some were sad, I still gained comfort, because I knew things would be alright once the long Labor Day weekend was over. Then came today.
For countless people like myself, whose lives were deeply touched, changed, and even guided in part by the music, lyrics, books, and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, the Monday our then-young Troubador sang about will never again feel as carefree and comforting as it did just four short days ago. The L.A. haze will remain, and from now on, we will all have an aching space by our side that will stay unfilled, for our hero will not be returning come Monday. The Hemisphere Dancer has flown its last voyage into the sunset and taken our beloved Frank Bama with her.
Those of you who have followed my writings and concerts with A1A this past weekend know how difficult this has been for me, as I understand it has been for those who have taken the time to read this far. So much has changed in three short days - three short days that have seemed like a month. I have spent Labor Day 2023 listening to Jimmy Buffett's music and continuing to go through endless emails, messages, texts, voice mails, and social media posts addressed to me. It is nearing the end of the day, and unexpectedly I am starting to see a distant ray of light. No, we will never again have the chance to see Jimmy work his magic in concert. As heartbreaking as this is, today, I have been thinking deeply about the music, magic, friendships, relationships, laughter, tears, and endlessly beautiful memories he gave all of us. These memories are treasures and can easily last for generations.
Ah, the stories we can tell, and eventually, we will, through smiles without tears. In time, the storm shall pass, the heart of Margaritaville will beat again, and there will be songs to sing forever in tribute to a man who touched millions. No, the coming Labor Day weekends will never be the same. The following Mondays will sting, but eventually, the blender will start to spin. We will once again find our one particular harbor, and all live happily ever after every now and then.
Count all your blessings, remember your dreams....
September 4, 2023