NATIONAL NEWS

For at least a day, all the world is ‘Margaritaville’ in homage to Jimmy Buffett

Sep 2, 2023, 3:02 PM

In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Susan Hudnall pins a condolence note about ...

In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Susan Hudnall pins a condolence note about Jimmy Buffett's passing to the front window of the Margaritaville Cafe in Key West, Fla., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in Key West, Fla. Buffett, who popularized beach bum soft rock with the escapist Caribbean-flavored song “Margaritaville” and turned that celebration of loafing into a billion-dollar empire of restaurants, resorts and frozen concoctions, died Friday, Sept 1. He was 76. Hudnall, a visitor from Urbanna, Va, said she had seen every Buffett show in the past 20 years within a 100-mile radius of her home. (Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

KEY WEST, Florida (AP) — All the world was “Margaritaville” on Saturday, from Key West to New York City and beyond, as legions of fans mourned the passing of beach-bum balladeer Jimmy Buffett at the age of 76.

Buffett’s eponymous hit song has long been the anthem of Florida’s Key West, where Buffett once lived and built his enduring legacy.

“Everybody equates that song with our city,” said Clayton Lopez, a Key West city commissioner. “I mean, when you say Margaritaville, you’re talking about the city of Key West.”

The community planned a remembrance Sunday along Duval Street, home to some of Key West’s most well-known eateries and music venues, including the Chart Room, a dive bar where Buffett sang early in his career.

“He’s doing another show now, but it’s in the sky,” said Jimmy Weekley, who owns Fausto, a restaurant that is one of Key West’s landmarks.

Buffett’s fandom was widespread, and tributes poured in Saturday.

President Joe Biden sent condolences to Buffett’s family “and to the millions of fans who will continue to love him even as his ship now sails for new shores.” Former President Bill Clinton wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that Buffett’s “music brought happiness to millions of people.” Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys wrote: “Love and Mercy, Jimmy Buffett,” and Paul McCartney called him “one of the kindest and most generous people.”

Matt Urben, a self-described Parrothead, as Buffett fans are known, and a Brooklyn resident, awoke to news of Buffett’s death. He joined fellow fans in New York City to reminisce.

“I actually got emotional,” said Urben, 32, who said he’d seen 48 Buffett concerts since his college days. “They were really special and really fun. … Just so many stories and so many memories.”

Afterward, he and a buddy headed to the Margaritaville restaurant in Times Square — part of the Buffett business empire — which describes itself as “an island-inspired oasis in the middle of New York City.”

When “Margaritaville” played, Reid Johnson sang along. By no means a Parrothead, he said, “I’m very familiar with his music.”

Jeanne Fetner had traveled from Northern Virginia with her daughter Avery to visit colleges in New York City when she heard the news. She went to Margaritaville to celebrate Buffett, whose ode to a beef patty and bun, “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” is her favorite song.

Fetner recalled a visit to Key West years ago on spring break.

“My friends and I went to Buffett’s house and rang the bell on his door,” Fetner recounted. Buffett’s daughter Savannah appeared and told the group, “My dad can’t come out but he wanted to thank you for coming,” she said.

Tracy Smith, from Tampa, Florida, arrived at the Times Square restaurant with her daughters in between Broadway shows.

“We made a trip here to pay a tribute to Jimmy Buffett, too,” she said while sipping on a margarita.

“I bought all his music,” she said, “I love him and I love his vibe. He makes people happy.”

_____

Calvan reported from New York City.

National News

Associated Press

Billion-dollar Mitsubishi chemical plant economically questionable, energy group says

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A $1.3 billion chemical production facility to be built in Louisiana by Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi is economically questionable and unnecessarily increases greenhouse gas emissions, according to an energy think tank report released Monday. The proposed Mitsubishi plant is “the wrong project, at the wrong place and time, with the wrong financial […]

24 minutes ago

Associated Press

Watchdog who criticized NYPD’s handling of officer discipline resigns

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of an oversight board that investigates allegations of misconduct by New York City police officers announced her resignation Monday, ending a tenure in which she had publicly criticized the NYPD’s handling of a major disciplinary case and sought to expand the panel’s authority. Arva Rice, the interim chair of […]

1 hour ago

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at her campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Del., Monday, July ...

Associated Press

Democrats plan to push ahead with virtual roll call ahead of their convention, with Harris favored

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic Party plans to push forward with a virtual roll call in which delegates to its convention can choose a presidential nominee before they meet in person next month in Chicago, with Vice President Kamala Harris heavily favored now that President Joe Biden has abandoned his reelection bid. The convention rules […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Safety regulators are investigating another low flight by a Southwest jet, this time in Florida

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials are investigating an incident in which a Southwest Airlines jet flew as low as 150 feet (45 meters) over water while it was still about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from its intended landing spot at the airport in Tampa, Florida. The pilots skipped over the Tampa airport and landed instead […]

3 hours ago

FILE - A motorist passes by a flag of the Islamic State group in central Rawah, 175 miles (281 kilo...

Associated Press

UN envoy warns that threat of terrorism is `resurging’ with attacks by Islamic State extremists

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The top U.N. envoy for Syria told the Security Council on Monday that the threat of terrorism is “resurging” with attacks by Islamic State extremists set to double this year, endangering civilians already facing a “protracted state of displacement and dire humanitarian conditions.” U.N. Special Envoy Geir Pedersen said Syria is […]

3 hours ago

Police vehicles park outside a JCPenney as they respond to a reported shooting at NorthPark Mall in...

Associated Press

Local sheriff says shots fired inside an Iowa mall

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Shots were fired inside an Iowa mall on Monday, a local sheriff said. There was no immediate word on any injuries. Scott County Sheriff Tim Lane confirmed the shooting Monday inside NorthPark Mall in Davenport, an east-central Iowa city near the border with Illinois, KWQC-TV reported. Authorities haven’t said if there […]

3 hours ago

For at least a day, all the world is ‘Margaritaville’ in homage to Jimmy Buffett