A tribute published by Gary Simpson in the Gainesville Sun on Friday, July 3rd, 2020.
The area fishing community lost a good friend last Sunday [June 28, 2020] when Eddie Joe Parrish passed away. He and I went way back to the days when we both attended a Sunday school class taught by my mom.
While working at Chiappini’s Service Station in Melrose, Eddie made the most of his fondness for helping kids catch fish. Several years ago, he came up with his annual “Great Worm Giveaway” that started as a request for area fishers to donate their plastic worms to kids who could use them to catch fish through their summer vacations. Hundreds did come into Chiappini’s for their free worms, but through the years, the donations grew to include rods, reels and all kinds of other tackle. Eddie’s popular program enabled tackle of all kinds to flow from fishers whose time on the water was growing short, into the possession of kids whose fishing was just beginning.
We can’t know how many children Eddie introduced to fishing or how many thrills he helped them experience. His was a simple but noble calling.
[Gary Simpson, a veteran tournament angler, writes a weekly sports column for the Gainesville Sun and operates Gary’s Tackle Box at L&S Auto Trim, 5721 NW 13th St, Gainesville, FL 32653, (352) 372-1791]