Alas, the heat wave has ridden out of here and soon will be replaced with some refreshing temps – ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. But, even if this sultry heat wave persisted until today, the Jimmy Buffet groupies, a/k/a “Parrotheads” would still be partying heartily at Comerica Park in advance of his concert. Since the Tigers are not in town this weekend, great efforts were expended to recreate “Margaritaville” by trucking in tons of sand, fake palm trees and other tropical-type paraphernalia into a lot near the ballpark, all to lend atmosphere to the annual free beach party. All day the Parrotheads have been sippin’ pina coladas and other parasol-type drinks and dancin’ around in grass skirts, colorful leis and coconut bras – and that’s just the men! Sure sounds like a lot of fun!!
I’ve always had an affinity for my feathered friends, as you know from reaching this blog, and that includes parrots. As a kid, I’d stop on the way home from school, or ride my bike over to Feed Rite Pet Shop to giggle at the antics of the two Amazon Parrots that sat on huge perches behind the counter of the store. They were each chained by one ankle to a wooden cross-bar, and no one could get too close to them, due to their sharp beaks and claws, but it was great fun to listen to their squeaks and squawks and massive vocabulary. It goes without saying that when they imitated YOUR voice, you wanted to slip one into your bike basket and take it home. But parrots, delightful as they are, are kind of messy and more high maintenance than a parakeet or canary. Years ago, our neighbors became the proud pet parents of a lime green Parrotlet named Herkimer, after their daughter graduated college, and met her future husband, who unfortunately was allergic to feathers. Oops!! Herkimer was her dorm room pet all through college, but soon adapted to life at his grandparents’ home and was an equally delightful, though much-smaller version, of his counter-parts at Feed Rite. Somewhere in my albums and scrapbooks, there is a snapshot of me, taken at Florida’s Parrot Jungle, my arms outstretched, looking like I was about to take flight. I was laden down with parrots of every color in the rainbow. Their trainer was standing nearby in case the photo opportunity turned bad when a hungry parrot tried to take a bite of an ear or a nose. The picture above was taken in 1982 in Nassau, one of the ports of call on my Panama Canal cruise. This pair of parrots were the guardians of the gate at the park and they were just as delightful as my little buddies back at Feed Rite so many years ago.
“If we weren’t all crazy we would go insane.” – Jimmy Buffett, from/Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes