New license plate inspired by singer with SC connection

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles now has available six new specialty license plates.  They include the Cattlemen’s Association, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Korean War Veteran, South Carolina Aviation and The Parrot Head.  The Parrot Head plate was created by the Parrot Heads, a charitable organization comprised of Jimmy Buffett fans.  Buffett has been a recording artist since the ‘70s, known for hits such as “Margaritaville.”  Proceeds from the sell of the $30 plate go to the Palmetto and Upstate chapters of the Alzheimer’s association.  Venning Morrision is a Columbia teacher by day, but is also a leading Parrot Head.  “It’s really just an organization where people go in and relax and let their hair down a little bit, have a few laughs, then go to bed and go the work the next day and make high-powered decisions.”

Even Jimmy Buffett fans may not know that the entertainment icon has a South Carolina connection.   His wife is from Columbia and her family still lives there.  All specialty plates are available from the DMV.  The Bronze Star and Silver Star plates are available free of charge to medal recipients.  Morrison says Buffet’s music drives the organization.  “You know, Buffett’s music is kinda the way the world should be…let’s don’t fuss, let’s don’t fight, let’s just sit back and have a good time, sit back and enjoy life, do good things, and it’s a relief for them.”

Parrot Head associations are located in Columbia, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Spartanburg, Greenville, Rock Hill and Aiken.  Morrison says the Parrot Heads are often misunderstood.  “I’ve often said that if you go to most parrot head clubs that you’ll find more college graduates at them than you will at a fraternity or sorority.  So…a lot of people don’t look at that part of what the Parrot Heads do.  They just look at the music and say, ‘Well these are just like dead heads, but Buffett fans…’  Charity is a big part of it(for Parrot Heads).”  Morrison says the Parrot Head organization should not be confused with “Deadheads,” loose-knit followers of the Grateful Dead band.  Representative Skipper Perry of Aiken started the effort to create the Parrot Head specialty plate in 2006 and it took two years to become reality.  Click here for more info about the organization (that stands for parrot heads in paradise). There are more than 200 clubs located in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, and the Caribbean, which have donated more than $13 million to charity over the last six years, and given a total of more than two million volunteer hours.  Check out the SCDMV website for information about all the available specialty tags.