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Dispatch From the Road: Presents to Send Jimmy

What do you get the man who has everything?

I’ve been working for Jimmy for 16 years now and each year I face the task of finding the right Christmas and birthday presents for him. Keep in mind Jimmy is not a fan of the one present gift, for all you Christmas babies out there. He understands what it’s like for a kid to be shortchanged on their special day. I’ve heard him talk about it. I don’t know what it’s like to have a birthday on Christmas, but if I only got one present that day I’d know something wasn’t being celebrated.

You have to remember Jimmy is a kid at heart. That’s the best place to start when gift shopping. He’s also clever and likes gadgets or things he can use when he’s working n’ playing. It’s not the price of the gift, but the thought behind it and how it relates to him, that’s important. Isn’t that what all gifts should be? Jimmy has gold records, homes, planes, boats and guitars. I’m glad he’s been able to buy them because it saves me from trying to buy one for him. This leaves me with some basic guidelines that I’ll share with you. Reading, flying, surfing and fishing. If you can cover one of those you are on your way to making the boss happy.

A few years ago, Jimmy was in Nashville a week before Christmas for some studio work on Songs From St. Somewhere. I picked him up at his hotel on the way to dinner and had his presents ready. The first one he opened was a New Orleans Saints shirt. I know this doesn’t fall under the guidelines but a football fan knows JB is a diehard Who Dat. The second present is what got Jimmy laughing. It was a book on how to talk like a pirate. It had words and definitions for all kinds of things. He flipped through the pages laughing, trying to see if I knew what he was saying. That was a good feeling to know I got him something entertaining.

This year I went with reading and surfing. His birthday present is The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd by Richard Zacks. It’s a researched book that talks about how Captain Kidd wasn’t a cutthroat pirate but a successful sea captain from New York hired to chase pirates. Jimmy’s Christmas present is the perfect shirt for his Sunday surf sessions. If he ever takes a picture with it on you’ll know who got it for him. The only thing I have to do now is find out where Jimmy is so I can send them. Maybe next year I’ll get him a watch with GPS tracking so I’ll know where he is at all times. The Buffett Crew would like that.

Fins Up to all of you this Holiday Season, and Happy Birthday Bubba!

–Heikki Larsen