Joe “Bubba” Phillips (Hellfish #7) has announced his retirement as the Midwest Regional Director for Team Flying Hellfish. Bubba has served in this position since around 1997 - about 16 years. He has really been the face of the Hellfish and one of its most colorful characters throughout his service in his
Bubba has been the “Mother” of the Hellfish tent at The World Free Fall Convention at both Quincy and Rantoul, Ill and subsequently at Summerfest at Skydive Chicago. Bubba has been our rep to numerous boogies involving similar organization like the Rodriquez Brothers, the Muff Brothers, etc. Bubba has also been the irreplaceable host for numerous Toga Parties at Boogies as well as at our home DZ, Skydive Tecumseh (MI). Bubba is of course margarita maker extraordinaire sometimes ably assisted by P.F. (HF #494) and Rex (HF # 50). Bubba and Ed Devine (HF # 18) invented the Hellfish temporary tattoo as a promotional device. Of course his partners in crime, Michael Wolfe (HF # 15) and Brian P.F. Johnston (HF # 494) took the art of applying tattoos to new levels no longer promoting the Hellfish so much as simply promoting debauchery. Bubba is long renowned for his expertise in getting attractive females to disrobe. He would wander thru the party tent at the WFFC with his helmet cam with the semi official logo “Bounce Productions”. The girls thought they were going to be in a “Girls Gone Wild” video and cooperated accordingly. The tattoos were just a logical extension of these humble beginnings.
Bubba is a staunch defender of his friends and is well remembered for the night some drunk took a swing at Rocky at the WFFC as Bubba and Rocky were driving by on Bubba’s golf cart. Bubba got off the cart and promptly decked the guy with one punch.
Bubba has obviously left a huge hole to fill as the Midwest Regional Director. He has hand selected his successor, Aaron “Mini-Me” Burwell (HF # 794) as the new Midwest Regional Director. Since it will take two people to replace Bubba, Rex Bertrand (HF #50) will act as Aaron’s Assistant Director. Aaron has already eagerly embraced this new role by funneling several skydives. Just kidding...seriously, Aaron has hosted the Hellfish Tent and Toga party for the last two years at Skydive Chicago Summerfest. He has been assisted by Becca "3-Way" Burns (HF # 908) and Rex. Aaron is involved with Hellfish T-Shirts and is now issuing Hellfish cards and numbers. Aaron has also made a personal financial committment to all these endeavors and will be an outstanding Director. Please thank Aaron the next time you see him for taking on this thankless job.
We will all miss Bubba’s leadership in the organization but hope that he will continue to join us for Boogies and Toga Parties. A big HellfishThanks to Joe “Bubba” Phillips for his faithful service in holding the organization together all these years.
by Marty MacDonald (HF #2)