About Us

This is our story.

It was 1992, the country was in the midst of an economic recession. Inflation was high.
Consumer confidence was low. Sound familiar?

Not to worry. Jimmy Buffett brought his traveling carnival show, “The Recession Recess
Tour” to venues throughout the land. That Summer, Jimmy made a stop at Jones Beach
on July 7 and that’s where our story begins.

Marty McAteer, a parrot head who lived on the Isle of Manhattan, saw that Scott
Nickerson started a Parrot Head Club in Atlanta and thought that’s just what the Big
Apple needs.

On July 7th Marty worked the pre-concert tailgate, which in those days didn’t start until
late afternoon. He pressed the flesh and passed out flyers spreading the news that the
New York City Jimmy Buffett Parrot Head Club was forming to volunteer for
community support and to party just like Bubba does. A club was formed.

Monthly Happy Hours took place at the Chelsea Grill in NYC.

The first non-Happy Hour club gathering took place at B. Dalton Booksellers in
Manhattan. It was a stop on Jimmy Buffett’s book tour for the release of “Where is Joe
Merchant”. The club grew quickly on that day in September.
Here’s Charter Club Member Lon Ormanian getting his copy of “Where Is Joe
Merchant?” signed by Jimmy Buffett.

Marty quickly learned that he could not use Jimmy Buffett’s name and the club’s name
was shortened to the New York Parrot Head Club. A little later that year, our club was
listed as one of the first six Parrot Head Clubs nationwide in the Coconut Telegraph.
In those pre-internet days, Marty knew how important it was to keep club members
informed. He started a mailing list and sent out bulletins as needed.

Soon there was a Holiday Party, a Super Bowl Party and indoor beach volleyball. Then
the first Club charity event, a collection of coats and Winter gear to benefit NY Cares
took place. That laid the groundwork for this Buffett-centric social club that now
“partied with a purpose”.

Marty was at the helm of the club for two years During that time the club grew by leaps
and bounds and attracted parrot heads from Long Island, Northern New Jersey and
Southwest Connecticut.

By February of 1993, the bulletins morphed into the “Parrot Press” a monthly newsletter.

That summer, when Jimmy brought the Chameleon Caravan Tour, his management
company set aside tickets for tickets members of parrot head clubs to purchase, as a perk
for doing community service. We no longer were at the mercy of Ticketmonster.

Later in 1993, the New York Parrot Head Club became the first club in the nation to
adopt a highway, Route 114 in East Hampton. A contingent of club members traveled to
New Orleans for the second annual Meeting of the Minds. We also served as volunteers
at the NYC Marathon. Shortly after that, a second Holiday party took place.

Changes were about to occur. Marty and his family decided to move from Manhattan to
the land of “blue skies and ultra-violet rays”.

Before he left, Marty made sure that a smooth transition would take place. He handed the
leadership of the Club to Lon Ormanian, Tom Dalton, Jim Fama, John Kwiatkowsi and
Joe Lombardi. It took five people to fill Marty’s flip-flops.

With the change in leadership, it was felt that the Club’s name should be changed to be
more representative of the region that it served and it became the METRO Parrot Head

Later that year, Tom Dalton designed our first club logo. Once there was a logo, club
merchandise became available. Tom served as the “Merchant of Metro” for many years.

John Kwiatkowski served as the first New Jersey Coordinator. Under his leadership, the
Metro Parrot Head Club became the first club in the nation to adopt a beach… Sea Bright
Beach. Metros heard Mother Ocean’s call and the event was well supported for a number
of years.

In 1994, club member Maureen Bishop when suggested that the Club participate in the
Festival of Trees to raise money for United Cerebral Palsy on Nassau County, Metros
jumped at the chance to decorate a tree in a tropical/beachy/Buffetty theme. All these
years later, Metros, lead by Nancy Forberg are still making the Yule Tropi-cool.

In the mid-1990’s a March of Dimes Walk-a-thon was held in Sag Harbor. Our Club
volunteered to staff a rest stop. The parking lot at the North Haven Village Hall became
a tropical paradise. In 1996, Jimmy Buffett got wind that we would be there and he
stopped by to say hello and thank us for our efforts. He also gave us a heads up about a
yet to be announced “All For The Sea” concert at Southampton College.

We had to clean up our adopted a highway during the summer month and we couldn’t let
that happen without a gathering. Thus the annual Family Picnic at Fresh Pond Park came
to be. The picnic centered around the Keets. In 1996, when the summer Olympics were
held in Atlanta we had a Keets Olympiad with a tropical twist. Featured, amongst many
events, was a coconut shot-put toss, and a lime & coconut bocci ball.

It turns out the Keets weren’t the only ones who enjoyed relaxing in the creek at Fresh
Pond Park.

In 1996, Jimmy Buffett released the Banana Wind album which featured the song “False
Echoes”, a tribute to his father, who was battling the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The Metros were moved by that song and began participating in Alzheimer Walks in an
effort to raise funds to find a cure. That support continues to this day, thanks to Linda
Masten and Larry DeGennaro, who lead our efforts. Here’s our crew at Eisenhower Park
way back when.

Metros have participated in Meetings of the Minds since its inception in New Orleans. A
number of Metros marched in the MOTM parade down Bourbon Street. Our banner
logged a lot of miles.

The following year, when MOTM moved to Key West, the Metro Parrot Head Club was
the first club in the nation to have t-shirts specifically made for Meeting of the minds.

Thirty years later, the Club that Marty founded continues to thrive. Lifelong friendships
have formed. Marriages have occurred. We’ve celebrated births and mourned the
passings. Now our keets are having keets.

Partying with a purpose has continued and has reached levels that Marty never dreamed
of when he was passing out flyers at Jones Beach. It turns out that Jimmy Buffett is
aware of our efforts and has extolled Metros “the people my parents warned me about”.

Thanks for coming down this far. Today is Monday.