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Live, from..........Orlando

Posted by Galfur on November 11, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Well folks, the main event has arrived on my calendar. Galfur is reporting live from the Grand Cypress Resort, which is host venue to the Jim Moran Classic. This is the “ex-jock” event I’ve been waiting to attend. I’ll share a little about the “ex-jocks” but I would be remiss not to mention the reason behind the event and the man who created it, Jim Moran.

 

The JM Classic is a living testimonial to one of the greatest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Mr. Moran passed away a few years ago but the charity event that he started continues. I am very fortunate to attend. I was very fortunate to meet Mr. Moran several times during his later years. I have the pleasure of doing business with his company. I’ve been to his home, on his boats. I’ve been fortunate to enjoy some of the perks of Mr. Moran. But what made Mr. Moran so special to so many people is not just his success story, which is astounding but his motto to “never forget where you came from.”

 

He started in the Chicago area running a gas station. One day, a stranger asked if he could park his car on the corner of the gas station lot, he was selling it. Mr. Moran granted permission. When the car sold, in relatively short order, Mr. Moran asked the guy if he had made any money off of the transaction. Intrigued by the answer, Mr. Moran began selling buying and selling used cars at his gas station. He quickly learned that he could make more money selling a used car than he could from pumping gas for a week. He sold the gas station and invested in the car business.

 

Courtesy Motors was launched, a Ford dealership I believe. Mr. Moran ran the business to reflect his values. He was Jim Moran the Courtesy Man. As television was launching in the US, Mr. Moran spotted one in the hardware store window one evening. He went in, asked about it, then bought one. He studied it, if you can believe that. And soon enough, an idea was born. Mr. Moran began producing and emceeing his own variety show. He was Ed Sullivan in Chicago before Ed Sullivan was ever heard of. The program was sponsored by “Courtesy Motors.” The result? He became the largest selling dealership in the US. So big, that the small detail, pin striping I believe, that he placed on all the Ford vehicles he sold gained urban legend status. People actually began asking other Ford dealers if they could get a Courtesy Ford there. Ford Motor Company wasn’t as impressed and asked that he cease the pinstriping.

 

Nonetheless, Mr. Moran continued with unprecedented success. He made the cover of Time Magazine. A car dealer, on the cover of Time Magazine?!?!? And when things seemed like they couldn’t get better, well, they didn’t. Mr. Moran was diagnosed with a life threatening ailment. It escapes me whether it was his heart or cancer but it shut him down. Worse, his wife was then diagnosed with cancer. The two of them sold out and migrated to South Florida to wait out the last months and years of their lives. Mr. Moran’s wife passed away but he survived his ailment, a full recovery.

 

About that time, there was a car company named Toyota that wanted to begin distributing their vehicles within the US. However, they were not connected, didn’t understand the dealer franchising laws, distribution, all of the logistics that go along with the business. They contacted Mr. Moran and asked if he would be willing to buy in. In return for his investment, they would give him exclusive distribution rights of all Toyota vehicles within the five southeast states that are, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and the Carolinas. Now you can imagine how that investment paid off.

 

JM Family Enterprises, parent company of Southeast Toyota Distributors is a privately owned $10 billion business. They are a perennial on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. I could go on and on about the things that company does for it’s employees. I won’t. I’ll simply say, Mr. Moran understood, if you take care of people, they will pay you back. Nobody ever understood that better than Mr. Moran.

 

With all that success, Mr. Moran “remembered where he came from”, so he looked around and paid tribute to the old adage “anyone can make a buck but few can make a difference.” He decided to invest his time, energy and money in kids, youth. And he decided to do it with kids who were wandering astray, give them a chance to get on the right path in life. He built youth centers and he funded programs. In those programs, kids who had gotten off track in life were brought in and trained on things that could give them hope, even careers. Things like automotive electronics, mechanics and the like.

 

That is the essence of the event I am attending. It is a charity, where the benefits go to kids. Kids from bad neighborhoods, kids from broken homes, kids who just need another chance, someone to believe in them and see the good in them. Mr. Moran did. He was truly a great man. It was an honor to meet him, to know him, in any capacity.

 

So here I am in Orlando rubbing elbows with a ton of ex-jock celebrities. They come here to support what Mr. Moran put in place. We all do. The galf, the food, the venue, the treatment (a flute of champagne brought to me while I am registering for my room). It’s all nice. It’s all so well done. It’s all Mr. Moran.

 

Here’s a link to the event (celebrity page first, I’ve given you my version of the background already) http://www.jmclassic.com/Celebrities.aspx.  I didn’t bother pulling the phone camera out at the reception, nobody else was doing it and I didn’t want to be the lone dweeb who did. So far, I’ve run across Jeff Cross (I had never heard of him before), Eric Hill, Dan Roundfield (he was easy to pick out), Bob Brudzinski (he was sporting a big ole sparkling ring….did he win a Super Bowl? I’m guessing that’s what he was wearing). Earl Morrall too, he’s a frail looking old guy, could be anyone’s grandfather but I’m happy to say, he was enjoying a beer, signing autographs and shaking hands. Oh, and the other “easy pick” was Ed “Too Tall” Jones. Yeah, he’s big. The easiest way to find the ex-jock is to follow the kids in the crowd around. They have footballs and simply walk up to the celebrity and get a signature.

 

There were a couple of others that were obviously football players but I could not figure out their identity. And for the Buckeye fans out there, Keith Byars is here too. I think I have Mike Schmidt pegged but I didn’t wander close enough, so perhaps I’ll get a better look on the course tomorrow. If these guys would put a uniform on I might know who the hell I was looking at. It’s kind of a funny dynamic going on here. Everyone looks you over pretty good because everyone is trying to do the same thing, figure out if you’re “one of them”….the celebrities. I’m thinking I’ll carry a sharpie tomorrow and see if I get an autograph seeker to approach me first or a security officer. What sort of odds you giving scurds?

 

Galf in the morning, it just keeps getting better.

 

I’m only bummed that Mrs. Galfur didn’t join me but her and I are going to hook up down in Lauderdale on my December cross country jaunt (Orange County first then Lauderdale, sheesh). Besides, Mrs. Galfur is more of a beach gal and I’m all about delivering the goods 

 

Final note to Mac. I’m looking for Boselli and Munoz. They had a “now” picture of Boselli in the reception area. He looks like a CEO……he could be anyone of the hundreds of us business schmucks in attendance. It’s going to be a challenge but I’m on it.


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14 Comments

Reply the immortal scurds
9:19 PM on November 11, 2011 
Mr. Moran understood, if you take care of people, they will pay you back -more of this please.
-enjoy it and say hey from scurds if you run into any steelers.
Reply Mac D
9:27 PM on November 11, 2011 
Soak it all up Galf.

Thanks for the personal shout out and going out of your way. I know Boselli has moved into the business world so it would be hard to point out.

Have fun and enjoy!
Reply Ferociousjane
10:08 PM on November 11, 2011 
make it home safely...you have a butt whooping coming your way next week in fantasy football ;)
Reply vapor5
6:29 AM on November 12, 2011 
I bet your enjoying all of this while wearing hawaiian blue shirts. :wink:

Brudzinski was on two Fins teams that made it to SB s (17 &19), but they lost respectively to the Skins and Niners

Morrall played nearly 20 years in the NFL and was Colts QB when they won SBV over the Cowboys(special memory for this Bmore kid).
Reply Radatz
11:02 AM on November 12, 2011 
Up in these parts Ernie Boch Jr. is, I hear, the beneficiary of a similar deal. His father Ernie, who copped the Florida tourism line "Come on down!" for his car dealership, supposedly made the same sort of (maybe the same exact?) agreement with Toyota at around the same time. I have been told this numerous times but cannot verify it on the web.
Reply Galfur
5:44 PM on November 12, 2011 
Not sure about Erine, Rad. There is another family in Houston with a similar deal. The name escapes me but they own Gulf States Toyota.

Breakfast with Chi chi Rodriguez (at my table) was the highlight of the day. He is funny, lovable and doesn't move too well. He has his own comedy schtick. Awesome.

Ran in to Eddie Payton, Artis Gilmore and George Foster. Great Foster story/line.

Some guy goes up and introduces himself to Foster at the range. Guys name is Larry Brown. Foster says "do I know you". Larry says, "no, I was a minor leaguer". Foster says "well, yeah, I know you didn't play in the major league, maybe the American League but not the Major League". Classic.

No celebrity in our group. We weren't the only group. It was about 50/50. Bummer.

Best part, going into dinner tonight. I was 6 feet from the pin on the $2,500 closest to the pin hole. Could hold up. Blind shot to the green, into the wind. Someone is going to have to hit a luckier shot than I. Then again, doesn't matter. Mrs. Galfur has already claimed it as hers and spent it no doubt. I'll find out at dinner if it held and I can pay the bills back home.
Reply vapor5
6:02 PM on November 12, 2011 
Great line old line about the AL from Foster

good luck on the $2500
Reply the immortal scurds
6:04 PM on November 12, 2011 
lay it on the bengals galfur.
Reply whucares
6:56 PM on November 12, 2011 
I bought a car from Art Moran a number of yrs ago. Does that entitle me to some swag?
Reply Galfur
10:56 PM on November 12, 2011 
No dice, not sure who won or how close they were but they didn't call my name.


Sorry Whu, no known relationship between Art and Jim. But I bought a car from Art once myself.


Vap, Foster used it again, on stage, tonight. I guess it is his standby.


Tony Boselli was on stage but no Munoz Mac. He was only in town yesterday was the explanation. montana too, and a few others. They were just a rumor to me.
Reply Mac D
3:26 AM on November 13, 2011 
Montana was in L.A. to watch his son and Washington. Did get to see Nick throw his first career touchdown. Announcers were gushing over Joe.
Reply Galfur
7:50 AM on November 13, 2011 
Final note and perhaps the coolest thing about this event; none of the celebritiea is paid to participate. Only their cost of travel is covered. They do it for Mr. Moran. They do it for the kids. And the stories that the kids shared last night, where they came from and the change this has brought to their lives, left most of the 1,100 in attendance weeping. Amazing event. Amazing man who put it together.
Reply whucares
6:16 PM on November 13, 2011 
Galfur says...
Final note and perhaps the coolest thing about this event; none of the celebritiea is paid to participate. Only their cost of travel is covered. They do it for Mr. Moran. They do it for the kids. And the stories that the kids shared last night, where they came from and the change this has brought to their lives, left most of the 1,100 in attendance weeping. Amazing event. Amazing man who put it together.

You need something like this to try-try- to offset the stench coming out of Happy(?) Valley.
Reply Galfur
8:10 AM on November 16, 2011 
It was more like a breath of fresh air as opposed to the stench from the valley.

Day by Day this thing just keeps getting darker Whu. So the judge who set bail for the pedophile is a volunteer and donor to the same Second Mile program that the ped used for access to kids, err his prey. How does that happen? How does she not recuse herself? This thing is getting scary, ugly and darker by the minute.


I'm not sure where they are going to try this thing but it better not be anywhere near the valley of sodom. And if the incremental internal investigation within PSU remains in the hands of the locals I'm not willing to believe anything that comes out of that process either. Something is deeply wrong in that place. Everyone is just a little too cozy with one another.


You want multiple wives, go to Utah where most people simply look the other way. It's acceptable. You want to rape and pillage young boys, go to Happy Valley where most people simply look the other way. It's acceptable.