Jimmy Buffett’s Secret Donations Finally Made Public
A large portion of Louisiana's Labor Day Weekend was spent contemplating blenders and a lost shaker of salt. This as Louisiana "Parrotheads" like their not-so-distant cousins around the Gulf South and the rest of the world raised a frozen cocktail to the late Jimmy Buffett.
Buffett died on Friday and for many, it was as if we lost a member of our "squad". Buffett's good times and easygoing beach-based music were the soundtrack for those who have been known to travel to the Redneck Riviera and don a Hawaiian print shirt from time to time.
While most of the tributes for Buffett will come from musicians or those who embraced and were influenced by his music there was another side to Jimmy Buffet's life that unless you did a little reading between the liner notes you might not be as keenly aware of.
Buffett was a pilot. I would hazard to say he enjoyed being in the air almost as much as he enjoyed sailing the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. In fact, the departure procedure from the Palm Beach Florida airport is named after him.
Ask any pilot who's ever flown out of Palm Beach if they know about BUFIT ONE Departure. There's even an instance where his plane was mistaken for a drug smuggling plane and the aircraft took fire as it was attempting to land in Negril, Jamaica.
In addition to being a pilot, Jimmy collected vintage aircraft. Some of those aircraft you may have already seen if you've paid a visit to the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile Alabama.
Back in 2022 Jimmy Buffett anonymously donated The Grumman Goose and the Boeing Stearman that are currently on display at the park's aircraft pavilion. You can read more about the donation in this Facebook posting by the USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park.
If you pay a visit to the display you'll see a Hawaiian Shirt and a wreath on display near the Grumman Goose. The post from the Memorial stated that,
When the aircraft first arrived at the park, in 2022, Buffett wished to remain an anonymous donor. As the world mourns his passing, we are pleased to finally be able to share his generous contributions to the park.
The USS ALABAMA, the fourth and final member of the South Dakota class of fast battleships was built for the United States Navy in the 1940s. The vessel was moved to its current location in Mobile Bay in 1964.
You know, back in the 1960s as the State of Alabama was making arrangements to have the USS ALABAMA moved to Mobile there was a major effort by school-age children to raise money for the project. I wonder if a young Jimmy Buffett wasn't one of those schoolagers who saved and shared his pennies so this iconic namesake of the state could finally "come home".
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