Meeting of the Minds, Oct 20-24, 1999

By Ken Jenkins

Click here to see pictures from Meeting of the Minds '99.

Using Jimmy's 400 words or less style that he uses to sum up his life on the back of A Pirate Looks at 50, here's what happened...

There were a lot of missed planes, late planes, etc, but it all came together incredibly well. Key West is a small community, so coordinating amongst all "our people" was not necessary. Just go down to Duval street and you're bound to run into everyone you know, and sure enough, it happened every day. The weather was indeed beautiful, and my only regret was not staying longer. Got to meet all kinds of people from clubs everywhere too numerous to mention. Spent tons-o-time on the streets of Key West (especially Duval St) partying and having a great time with everyone. There was definitely something in the air (or maybe the beer?) that just made everything and everyone come together so perfectly. Already making plans for next year.

The drive down from Miami to Key West was at times breathtaking. I've never seen such beautiful water. It's worth the 160 miles just to take in all the scenery. It's something everybody should do once.

Immediately upon arrival, we proceeded to go see St Somewhere at Hog's Breath What a great band! Then it was on to Scott Kirby's CD release party at the Pier House. Another very talented artist. Got his cd and had it autographed. Got to see Jackson Quigley get on stage with Koko Loko and sing Please Take Your Drunken 15 Year Old Girlfriend Home Jackson told me that most of the pictures I gave him are in his book JimmyDotCom. The Landshark's Band was at Sloppy Joe's (our default meeting place) every night. Yet another very talented band. Never got tired of listening to them. I can definitely see why Jimmy hired them as the house band at Orlando Margaritaville. They can work the crowd about as good as Jimmy!

Islandfest on the pier was awesome. Got to see more of Scott Kirby, the Peter Mayer Group, as well as another great performance from Club Trini, The winner of the Jimmy Buffett look-a-like contest had an uncanny resemblance to the man himself. All of his posse following him around with shirts reading "Jimmy's Security" was a great touch. Hell, even his real name was Jimmy. The Key West sunset's were spectacular. Saw St Somewhere again at the listserv party at Rick's. Got to see Looney of the Jerzey Boys again. Saw Dave from West Palm Beach (Dave, you better go to both WPB shows!).

Got to see one of my favorite local KW musicians -- Michael McCloud. Bought his new CD and talked all my friends into buying the Gretastits CD. Got to talk to him a few minutes and he told me stories of "the old days" and how Jimmy stole his bass player. Spent $210.00 in the Margaritaville store.

Then I headed next door to the Margaritaville Cafe to meet up with my friend Darryl about 11:00am. So we're sitting there in Margaritaville trying to decide if Jimmy's going to show up (we all know how that ended) when who should stroll in and sit right beside us, but Capt Tony. I have met Capt Tony before, but never in such a casual setting. Capt Tony is a spunky old man. As he said himself (as he's hitting on every woman in sight), "I'm 84 years old, what do I have to lose..." Capt Tony talked with us for quite a while, told us about the old days when he was mayor (nobody went to jail for 3 years!) , about the story behind Last Mango In Paris, and all kinds of cool stuff. It's characters like Capt Tony that inspire the adage "a legend in his own time" He was only too happy to talk with us, take pictures, sign autographs, basically anything anybody wanted (especially the females -- he tried to buy all us guys taxis so we'd leave him alone with the women).

We then headed back to Capt Tony's Saloon (and ran into Capt Tony again) and then on to the Street Festival for much more music. Partied with lots of fun people from the Richmond Parrot Head Club and the Triad Parrot Head Club. About 6:30 we started gathering around Stage Two for Jimmy's much rumoured appearance. We had good seats, but not even Fingers Taylor's scheduled appearance happened because of an illness in the family. Iko Iko, was good, but the crowd was expecting Jimmy and it showed... The parrotheads were packed in extremely tight around the stage. It was, quite frankly, miserable, but you gotta do what you gotta do just in case Jimmy shows up... I briefly thought I had won the grand prize, but the the winning ticket was 082854, not mine -- 682854. Oh well...

Fantasy Fest was starting to kick in, so the freaks were on the streets. Damnit why didn't I stay longer! Sunday morning came and it was time to go home. Flights off the island were canceled and overbooked. The airlines were handing out free tickets left and right, but we all made it (especially since I drove back to Miami) back to reality. I honestly hadn't give the "Real World" one moment's thought the whole time I was down there. Had completely forgotten there was even a World Series in progress. At least now I know -- four days isn't enough. Next year will be at least a week.