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Submitted by Pat Moore D-1814

The late Jimmy Godwin D-126 was a real pioneer of the sport and established multiple DZs in Florida. HIs organization was called Paragators. Kissimmee was the site of several Florida Parachute Council competitions. This is a shot of Jimmy competing in 1969.

I first met Jimmy Godwin in 1967 and ultimately competed at several meets at Kissimmee and later at Eustis. I recall Jimmy telling me that shortly after he took up jumping he met up with Doc Gaffney at DeLand. He noticed that Doc had a stopwatch mounted on his reserve. Jimmy asked him what it was for and Doc told me he watched it to know when to open. Jimmy replied, "You can see in freefall?". Apparently he had been closing his eyes and pulling by feel. Intrigued, JImmy bought a stopwatch but couldn't figure out how to mount it on his reserve so he welded two pieces of angle iron to his helmet and mounted the watch right in front of his eyes. Unfortunately it was oriented to the right instead of vertical. Jimmy told me that the first time he jumped it, he kept inclining his head to the right to see it and put himself in a flat spin. I don't know if he was pulling my leg or not but it's plausible. I really liked Jimmy.

jimmy godwin