This past week the American south lost a legend. To me, Burt Reynolds was the coolest guy when I was growing up.
You see, Smokey and the Bandit was filmed in the town I grew up in back in GA. In Clayton County, every day on my way to school I’d pass the famous bridge he jumped on Flint River Road. I spent many summers fishing off that bridge. I built my first car the summer of my Junior year and it was a ’75 Pontiac Trans Am. Almost lost my girlfriend that summer because I spent every waking hour with that car and not her.
Reynolds played in so many movies: Gator, Deliverence, Stick, Connon Ball Run. Even to this day, they have Cannon Ball Runs all over the world; a race in which people drive cross-country or from country to country to see who can make it the fastest.
He was a bad boy and loved women. He had a great laugh and after every movie they would show all the reels from where he’d mess lines up or laugh. Men wanted to be him and woman wanted to be with him. He was married to the ever-so-classy and beautiful Loni Anderson.
Known for his signature mustache and his cowboy hat, rumor has it he wore a toupee. If he did, it just shows how vain and human he really was. And as a man that works in front of a mirror 40+ hours a week, I can relate. In 1972 Burt posed nude; a full centerfold in one of the most famous magazines even to this day, Cosmopolitan. He did it with class and style, but back then that was super taboo.
Now, out here in the beautiful state of AZ, I understand he’s not a household name. Mostly everyone I worked with (with the exception of out fearless leader Lauren), either didn’t know who he was or couldn’t picture him. Lauren says she didn’t have a poster of him on her wall, but I’d like to think she did. He was a huge influence in my life growing up. Something that I don’t think today’s youth have very much of.
It’s been so great seeing all the people he’s touched in the car and the biker community on social media. A legend. And he will truly be missed. But to me, he’ll always be, the Bandit.
Blog by Shane[ssboost]