I’m too young for all of those things.
At the same time, am I too old for today’s trends? I don’t like rap, tolerate hip hop and sometimes get called “sir” in bars. I use TikTok but find most of the viral stuff on it really stupid.
And while I am hardly at – or even near – the stage of sitting on the couch petting an old dog reminiscing about the “good ol’ days,” I do wonder on occasion if I am too young for having missed a partying heyday or too old to fully enjoy today’s PubClub type of lifestyle. In sports parlance, I might be a “tweener,” someone who came along either a little too early or a little too late.
I mention this because I was talking to a girl in a bar the other day and told her that a Jimmy Buffett band was playing in town. “I’m too young to like Jimmy Buffett,” she said and the conversation ended faster than you can say “Margaritaville.”
Now, I had never considered that people could be too young to like Jimmy Buffett. To me, he represents the beach and bars lifestyle and being a beach bum at heart, well, that’s me. Sure, a lot of today’s Parrotheads are nearing retirement age but anyone who has been to one of his legendary pre-concert tailgate parties can verify there’s a lot of young and fun people there, too. It was her perception of Buffett fans that most caught my attention.
Personally, I like to think of myself as being eternally young in which time runs backwards. I think more about tomorrow than yesterday. But I do wonder how much more fun I would have had if my party prime had been in the 70s or even 80s, or if I were in it today.
Whenever I get those thoughts, tho, I think back to what I have experienced, and there have been some pretty lively moments. I organized party buses to Buffett shows when Irvine Meadows had a giant parking lot full of RVs that set up pop-up bars starting at Noon for a concert that didn’t start until 8 p.m., and attracted a swarm of 20s and 30s great-looking people from all over Southern California.
I was there during the heyday of Sharkeez in Manhattan Beach, one of the best bars of all time if you ask me (as well as others who were there at the time). Weekdays were fun but it was on Friday nights that seemingly every fun person within a 20-mile radius would pour into the place and pour down drinks like the Shark Attack, which came with a shark floating at the top of a 64-ounce bucket loaded with several large straws for sharing. I would not trade those days for any era.
I was right in the thick of our annual Mammoth Mountain President’s Day trips, when 30 or so of us would spend the weekend at this California ski behemoth before lift ticket prices soared higher than the slope at the Cornis and the Yodler was THE Ski Apres bar. I went to Jazzfest in New Orleans when ticket prices were $40 – they are more than $100 now and $240 for three days – went to concerts before there was Ticketmaster and nothing else, was at Buccaneer Days on Catalina Island before they ruined the danged thing and sat in ballparks where I could get a couple of beers for less than a week’s salary.
And while I missed the heyday of travel writers, when magazines would pay $2,000 and up to go on trips and write articles, as well as the generosity of tourism boards which would send writers on all-expenses paid trips several times a year, I have been on a few of those FAM (familiarity) trips, most notably three times to Switzerland. On them, I skied the Swiss Alps and ate at a Michelin 5-star restaurant.
Almost as a bonus, I am living during the greatest run in the history of Alabama football with six National Championships since 2009 and a team that plays for another one every year. I watch the games at a rocking bar here in San Diego filled with other enthusiastic alumni (as well as a few current Bama students who pop into town) and even go to a game about every year in Tuscaloosa. Heck even the basketball team may win the National Championship this year.
So am I a “tweener?” Yeah, I am in many ways but on the upside of things, I’ve also been in the right place at the right time a lot, too. And I fully intend on keeping it that way.