Al's funeral will be on Monday at the St Louis Church in New Orleans.
Al Copeland story time...........
Early 90's and the level of excitement at the Key West World's had definitely faded from the "glory days"..... The bars were quiet and the streets half empty. A favorite hangout of the true racers was always the beach bar in the Pier House..... We were sitting there one evening with about a half dozen people lamenting the fact that in past years there was always so many more people at the place, when Copeland and his entourage showed up...... at about Midnight. Al yelled "Where's the PARTY?" and proceeded to settle in and join the B.S. Within maybe 15 minutes the place was crowded almost to the old levels. Al was eyeing a baseball hat with a blond ponytail sticking out the back that I had found in some dive on Duvall Street. He wanted to buy it for $100 and I declined the offer. Later he spotted a young couple who had been sitting off by themselves. After a few questions, he found out that they were newlyweds enjoying their honeymoon. Now let me state that these were a couple of clean cut midwest kids who had nothing to do with Al, the races or anything beyond being in a place they had dreamed of probably for years. After a few more questions it became clear that these were very simple people who were more than a little overwhelmed by Al and his approach. Al turns to the rest of us and says "How much you wanna bet , I can get her ( the young bride) to dance topless on a table within 15 minutes?".........
Within what seemed seconds the betting had swelled to about $15,000.....and my hat. Anyone sitting there could not possibly have pictured this simple homegrown young bride doing anything but slapping him in the face.
After all the bets were in, I can't recall who held the pot
............maybe Dave Gilmore........ Al proceeded to have a quiet conversation with the young couple. As we watched, both the bride and the groom looked at times angry, shocked, confused, upset, desperate.......and then, suddenly, they seemed to change. The husband began to talk in a plaintive way to his wife, she giggled a little, and responded hesitantly but then with some enthusiasm.
Bottom line the next thing we know....she's up on the table......topless and dancing to beat the band....(stereo actually).
After this display Al walks over to them has a quick word and they walk away...."Thanking" us all.....???????
Al came back and took the cash...and my hat..... and explained. .......
He split the pot with them and they wound up with $10,000 for a deposit on a house they were saving for..... The 10 grand put them over the top.
Like Barnum....Copeland had a grasp of the human condition and was the supreme hustler.....
That is one of dozens of Al Copeland adventures that I got to witness and participate in first hand.......and certainly they were only a tiny percentage of the fun Al had during his life.
Someday we can talk about his wife's birthday party cum press conference on another thread.
God Bless you Mr. Copeland.
Last edited by T2x; 03-26-2008 at 01:23 PM.
Obsolete and proud of it
Nice story T2x!
I belive the year was 1986 or 1987
I have lunch with this guy a few times a year and never realized he was commentating in the past
Once we pulled out the old tapes and saw he was the guy doing the commentary I laughed so hard i had to head to his shop the following week just to rib him
It was classic for him and he says he didnt really like doing it that much
Rich does that narrow it down >??
Great story Rich, please share some more Al stories.
How about the Al Copeland/George Morales contest in Key West most years to see who could spend the most money during race week?
How about the race from Sarasota to St Pete and back with Al and George side by side at 130 mph after 125 miles.
Allan - when filming that event in Sarasota - it was difficult to leave it - think we spent 20 minutes on those two boats - one of the Still shots we took was on Al's Yacht - a 50 footer airborne like a 21 footer ! Great fun - great people -
Phil,, Yep it was Peter Hledin
cant miss the voice
once i saw it I had to rib him
those were the days
It wasnt long after that that i got rid of my 21 scarab and I bought my 38 scarab KV
i do miss those days
Alum Metal Fab
Custom Marine Sales
Dave's Custom Boats
Diamond Performance Parts
Double R Performance
Elton Porter Insurance
Fastboats Marine Group
GGB Exhaust Technologies
Grand Sports Center
Ilmor High Performance Marine
Lake Cumberland Marine
Lake Havasu Boat Show
Marine Technology Inc
McLeod Design Group
Performance Boat Center
Performance Marine Trading
Potter Performance Engines
Ron Sporl Performance
Speed and Custom Marine
Total Dollar Insurance
Teague Custom Marine
Wake Zone Marine Insurance
Young Performance Marine