Reynolds is probably
the most celebrated Hollywood personality with long-standing ties
In the mid 50's, he spent three summers as
a counselor at Camp Keystone, a youth summer camp on Gunn Highway
near the Pasco County Line just south of State Road 54. There
he befriended then camp owner Vicki Woodward, who encouraged him
to get into acting when injuries he sustained playing football
at Florida State University prevented him from pursuing a professional
Reynolds often paid visits to Woodward after
she opened her ill-fated "Treasureland" pirate-theme
tourist attraction on Busch Boulevard just east of Busch Gardens
in the late 60's. It closed after just a few years of operation.
He kept numerous friends in Tampa over the
years, among them photographer Simon Rose; auto dealer Ernie Haire;
former football teammate and stockbroker Victor Prinzi; businesswoman
Woodward; restaurateur Malio Iavarrone; real estate developer
George Courtner; and WTVT sports director Andy Hardy.
Reynolds always reciprocated good deeds and
did TV commercials for the Haire auto dealership after Ernie Haire
lent him his helicopter for several emergencies. He named Dom
DeLuise's character in 1981's big screen hit "The Cannonball
Run" after his college buddy Victor Prinzi.
Once, at the height of his movie career, he
sneaked into the ball field viewing stands at MacFarland Park
to watch Prinzi's sons play baseball but was discovered halfway
through the game, got mobbed by fans, and had to be whisked away.
In 1978, he assisted Andy Hardy with play-by-play on a live broadcast
of a Buccaneer's preseason football game after he heard Channel
13 hadn't yet landed a permanent announcer to assist Hardy.
In the early 80's, he was a part owner of the
Tampa Bay Bandits football team and attended most practices in
a field near the HCC Dale Mabry campus. He also became involved
in some real estate deals at the time, including the three story
condo development at the northeast corner of Azelle Avenue and