It was freezing for Gainesville. On TV, there was a full-on freak out over frost. I zipped up my jacket and went in search of a library which, all jock factory jokes aside, is a very nice library. Libraries, actually. The George A. Smathers Libraries. And within them is the The Department of Special & Area Studies Collections.
It’s housed is an almost silent room with high ceilings and warm wood. There’s fine art displayed under glass. There’s serious work being done. Ahead of me, a professor asked for an old book chronicling Nazi atrocities. I asked to see the Jimmy Buffett collection. Felt like maybe I should be holding a cooler. Wouldn’t have been able to keep the cooler anyway. You couldn’t even keep your backpack at the desk. Had to take notes in pencil.
This was last January. I was in the neighborhood, working my way to Key West for a wedding. I’d discovered that in a box marked Misc. there was a contract to a 1975 show in Portland at the Euphoria Tavern, and I thought it might make a fun story. Jimmy named his first two boats after the Euphoria, and you can get a Euphoria daiquiri at various Margaritaville restaurants, bars, resorts, casinos, etc.
The Mercury ran the story this week in advance of Tuesday’s Buffett show at the Moda Center. Even managed to track down someone who was at that ’75 show. That was back when the band looked like this: