Chapter 27 of Growing Up Floridian, “Who was Jimmy Buffett’s Unpopular Poet?” takes a look at my early connection to Jimmy Buffett, and Buffett made an interesting connection to an artist who was famous a bit before his time.

Don Blanding  (1894-1957) was a poet, novelist, and artist of the Tropics. He wrote Floridays in 1940.






“To You”

A book of sounds and scents and sights
Of Florida-days and Flori-nights,
Flori-stars and Flori-moons
And Flori-suns of Flori-noons.
Flori-fragrance on the breeze
And blended blues of Flori-seas.
Patterns drawn with pen and words
Of Flori-folks and Flori-birds.
An hour of friendly chit-and-chat
Of flori-this and flori-that
With pictures when you care to look.
I hope you like this Flori-book.

Don Blanding, “Im Mo Ko Lee”
Fort Pierce, Florida, 1941.
From Foridays.

“To Jimmy Buffet” (In the style of Don Blanding)

Buffett’s songs of rhythms and aromas and crazy ways
Of Flori-beaches and Flori-bays,
Flori-boats and Flori-jets
And Flori-casts of Flori-nets.
Flori-catches in the Keys
And bleached blondes in a Flori-breeze.
Measures sung with guitars and drums
Of Flori-tales and Flori-chums.
Melodies of camaraderie in tropical climes
Of Flori-bliss and Flori-rhymes
With images that grab your eyes
And take you on trips through Flori-skies.


by Jimmy Buffett 1986
For Don Blanding, Wobby Wiemer and “Groovula”

I come from where the rivers meet the sea
That’s part of why I’m so wild and fancy free
I was early into crazy ways
My folks said, “;It’s just a phase”;
They were hopin’ for better days

Now in my line of work I seem to see a lot more than most
Write ’em down, pass ’em around
It’s the gospel from the coast
Reflections not just replays
Takin’ time to escape the maze
Lookin’ for better days …

Pale invaders and tan crusaders
Are worshipping the sun
On the corner of walk and don’t walk
Somewhere on U.S. 1

I’m back to livin’ Floridays
Blue skies and ultra violet rays
Lookin’ for better days

I’m back to livin’ Floridays
Blue skies and ultra violet rays
Lookin’ for better days, lookin’ for better days
Lookin’ for better days
Lookin’ for Floridays

(Better days, better ways)
Everybody’s lookin’ for
(Better days)
Somewhere beneath the shinin’ star
(Better days)
Take me won’t you take me to
(Better days)
Sure could use a few
(Better days)