Oil spill effects cast wide ripple

Clyde Davis

“JB & Friends: Live from the Gulf Coast!” You can watch the show LIVE on CMT, or listen on Radio Margaritaville.

To demonstrate support for the people, businesses and culture of the Gulf Coast, CMT will telecast a free musical celebration live from the beach at Gulf Shores, Ala.

CMT Presents Jimmy Buffett & Friends Live from the Gulf Coast will air on CMT on Thursday, July 1, from 8-9:30 p.m. ET/PT. Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band will be joined in the concert by his friends Sonny Landreth, Zac Brown Band, Kenny Chesney, Jesse Winchester and Allen Toussaint” [Margaritaville website]

Very seldom do I openly promote a TV event, but this is the exception, not because of the organizer (whom I adore) but for the cause.

Alabama Gulf born Jimmy Buffett has, admittedly, made millions by singing about a lifestyle, painting a fantasy, that most of us will never see but which we sometimes get to experience for a week or two.

It’s therefore fitting but not surprising that he would be the force behind the first of, what may be many, benefit concerts to aid the cause.

The cause by now is well known. The oil rig explosion threatens wildlife, tourism, businesses — the cost is too large to grasp or, at this point, to even assess.

Suffice it to say that I told my 10-year-old grandson, who lives in Panama City to hang onto that sea turtle necklace I gave him; it may one day be a relic of an extinct species.

Diving, snorkeling, fishing, sailing — this was where I planned to sign my grandson and me up for buddy lessons in scuba (that’s where a kid brings a certified grownup diver buddy and is allowed to learn younger). Perhaps we will have to find another venue.

The beach east of Pensacola where my buddy John does his morning run is affected — John says as you run, you inhale the fumes of an ocean that smells like oil.

My own first memories of the Gulf of Mexico date back only to the age of 30; when I was a kid, Florida was a distant land where only the wealthy went.

It’s going to be a solid crushing tragedy if this outdoor lovers’ paradise becomes a no-mans’ land.

That’s why it’s so important to watch for, and to hold up, signs of hope and recovery like Buffett and his buddies are trying to promote.

Fingers of blame can be pointed by the lawyers and bureaucrats who understand more than we common water lovers. Our task is to watch for opportunities and ways to help, to hold up the banner of hope.

I promise to keep readers of this column informed, as opportunities develop.