A long time ago and in a galaxy far, far away...
It was the best of times and it was the
worst of times...
Once upon a time...
These are all well known beginnings to
great stories. Some beginnings however are not so well known, like how PHINS Parrothead Club of Jacksonville was started.
I was asked to dust off the cobwebs in my mind and relate our humble beginnings to you. So here goes! It seems
like just yesterday.....
good adventures they start with family and friends. We found ourselves hanging out on weekends cooking out and listening
to music. The music most frequently heard was Jimmy Buffett. It seemed to set a backdrop for our laid back style
on any given weekend. Life was good! Jim Coss and I had just started playing softball with Danny and Justin Weldon.
Believe me, they really just “allowed” us to hang out with them during the game and drink beer after the game.
OK..., there was drinking going on before, during and after the game. We had a blast. After the season was over
Jim and I realized we were pretty good at it, (the drinking part) and we wanted to share the fun with our group of friends.
So, we started the Parrothead softball
team! The core of the team and fans consisted of me, Jim, David Nelson, Danny Weldon, Justin Weldon, Bill Madden, Joe Madden,
Mike Albert, Jay Hamm, Henry Varnadoe, Glenn Stone and any others we could talk into playing. Along the way we picked
up a few other draft picks like Pat Shartran, Wayne McDowell, and Jon Byrd. What a memorable season we had. We
didn’t score our first run until the 3rd or 4th game but we had a lot more fun than most of the teams we played.
We became pretty much a legend (in our own minds) and always ended each game with a Parrothead style party afterwards.
It was somewhere about that time that I saw a notice in the Coconut Telegraph about how “Official” Parrothead
clubs were starting to form. It just seemed like the right thing to do, so we did it! We had no idea about how
to set up a club with bylaws and meetings with agendas. We thought, “Rules, we don’t need no stinkin’
rules” all we needed were friends and a good time. Luckily we had our wives to keep us straight. At the
heart of the organization and our group of friends were Debbie Renfroe, Bonnie Coss, Walter and Terry Woodlief, Loraine Nelson,
Phyllis Madden, and Mary Albert. (Special note: I know there were others that I forgot to mention. I apologize, remember
I am old and it was many beers ago. Please forgive me)
the early years we were like nomads taking our meetings from place to place. The only thing consistent was having fun with
anything we did. Some how people were able to find us and our numbers grew. Along the way we made new friends and watched
our old friendships grow. We also watched our children mature, (sometimes more than ourselves).
From these humble beginnings we give to you PHINS Inc. of Jacksonville.
We certainly have grown far beyond what we could ever have dreamed. The rest is up to you!
Jim Coss, Co-founder