Down around Biloxi
Pretty girls are dancing in the sea
They all look like sisters in the ocean
The boy will fill his pail with salty water
And the storms will blow from off towards New Orleans
We went across country when I was young. Maybe we were moving. We often were. My parents had an 8-track player in the car, and they had 3 8-track tapes that trip. The Eagles Greatest Hits, Linda Ronstadt's greatest hits, and Jimmy Buffett's Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.
That phrase--changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, informs my whole life.
I love that whole album, and this is only one song from it, a small one you've never heard unless, like me, you have the whole thing on CD and mp3 player. I always had, and sometimes still have, this somewhat romantic notion about the Gulf of Mexico. I know it is a gross sticky warm bath in oily salt water but I love the Gulf.
But I've never been to the Mississippi side, only Texas.
Mississippi instead is a car trip through from Georgia to Texas. I still had a broken collarbone in a figure-8 sling and I was in a station wagon with too many people. And I was so happy to be.
We may not have even set foot in the state beyond a gas station. We were in a hurry to get home to Texas. We didn't have time to be tourists.No time at all.
So have I been to Mississippi? Kind of.