Jimmy Buffett was born in Pascagoula on Christmas Day 1946, but moved away with his family to Mobile before starting school.
If the world renowned singer/author/entreprenuer/actor would have remained in Jackson County however, he may well have been celebrating his 50th reunion with his former classmates this weekend.
And his relocation at such a young age didn’t stop one member of the Pascagoula High Class of 1964 from reaching out with an invitation.
Danny “Toad” Smith, one of the committee members for the reunion, sent Buffett a message earlier this year through mutual friends to gauge his interest in attending the event, even though Buffett never attended school in Jackson County.
Smith got a bit of a surprise as a response.
“He sent us a 45-second DVD, recorded on his boat while he was tuna-fishing in Nantucket Sound,” Smith, who like Buffett was born in 1946 at the old Jackson County Hospital, said. “I had no illusions about the probability of his attending, but figured, what the heck, what if he happens to be in the area?
“Along with his regrets that he couldn’t attend he sent his best wishes and mused that had his father had not decided to move to Mobile when Jimmy was five, he might well have graduated with us in 1964 at PHS rather than McGill lnstitute in Mobile.”
Smith, through the help of a friend that works behind the scenes at the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, was able to get a Pascagoula High School Class of 1964 T-shirt to Buffett after his show at the Acura Stage in 2012. Normally reluctant to take such gifts from fans, he accepted the shirt since it came from Pascagoula.
Buffett has maintained ties to Pascagoula over the years through relatives including his grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. In a short chapter he wrote for the book, “Growing Up In Mississippi,” Buffett describes summer vacations at his grandmother’s house in Pascagoula on Parsley St., “free of the grasp of the Mobile parochial school system.”