The Flying Hellfish meet Evel Knievel!
The Flying Hellfish traveled to Bike Week 2002 in Daytona Beach on March 7 and met the man behind the Supreme Commander jumpsuit, Evel Knievel.
We knew the day was going to be good when we were sitting at a stop light on our way to the beach and Peter (HF#17 from Slovenia) said "hey John, there's a guy with Knievel stuff on." I looked over and back and saw Evel Knievel right next to our car and said "Holy Sh#t! that's Evel!" Then I popped up thru Mike's (HF#15) sunroof and took this photo, Evel was gracious even then as you can tell.
Then we showed up at Main Street and searched for Evel, eventually finding him after searching thru the myriad bikes, booze and broads cluttering Main Street. We waited in line with everyone else and finally got to the head of the line. I started by telling him my first name and having him sign an older photo of himself (see above). Then I told him that the three of us (Mike, Peter, and I) were skydivers besides bike riders and that I had a suit made in honor of him and showed him the Supreme Commander photo above. Ask Peter and Mike about this...his eyes lit up and he asked if he could have the photo. I was stunned and speechless, I was so happy he liked the photo and was not offended by my obvious duplication of his original design. He asked me to sign the photo for him, which I could barely accomplish due to my nervousness and awe.
I then proceeded to tell him about The Flying Hellfish, that we're an informal team of skydiving and BASE jumping freaks who would be beside ourselves if we could have him as an honorary member. I thought he'd say "Bruno, throw out these geeks", instead he said "I'd be honored." Nuff said, I couldn't believe it, he signed all our photos of raft dives, tandem tags, etc.
I gave him his membership card and presented him with his Hellfish shirt. It was the single greatest moment of my life. Receiving a Ph.D. after 7 years of work doesn't even come close. Thanks again Evel, you're the best. John. HF#1. Supreme Commander of The Flying Hellfish.
The Flying Hellfish meet Evel Knievel: Part 2!
Our first meeting with Evel on thursday night of Bike Week 2002 went so well that Mike Wolfe and I decided to make a special Knievel dive for him. So we went to Skydive Deland the following day, friday, made up a sign, grabbed a camera man and made this jump.
We landed safely, got the video dubbed with cool audio and I jumped on the Supreme Commander mobile and headed to Daytona in full Knievel gear, went straight to Main Street and presented Evel with the video.
Once again, he really seemed to appreciate the effort that the Flying Hellfish put forward, I also got the chance to present him with a can coozie (you can see it in the foreground) and a patch. He insisted that I sign the video box and the above photo shows me signing it for Evel, what a strange site. The Knievel jumpsuit was a big hit with Bike Week patrons, Evel Knievel fans and it seemed to be a hit with Evel as well. Stay tuned...the story may continue, we hope.
note: thanks to Mike and Peter for being there, thanks to all the Hellfish for their efforts and to Bubba for all his promotional stuff, like the shirt purchases and everything else.
Some items that Evel signed and other Bike Week photos