Bear's Den Pizzeria published a note.
Two guys a 1974 Mustang 2 and an alligator.
Bear’s Den owner Bill Gannon has been in search of someone, anyone with a story to validate that the car in the entrance of the pizzeria was driven by Fred Bear. He purchased it as a staple to the theme of the restaurant . The cars title to Fred Bear was all he had to go on and faith someone would have seen Fred Bear driving this car.
Making calls to complete one of his projects Bill made contact with Keith Hoggard of Petoskey , Michigan. They met at Bear’s Den to talk business on February 21,2017 .Who knew this gem of man would be the one with the story of Fred Bear and this 1974 Mustang 2.
Keith recognized the car immediately and with a big smile on his face started telling the story of Fred Bear and the alligators in Gainesville ,Florida where the Bear Archery plant had been relocated from Grayling, MI.
Keith and Fred met in the late 1970,s and developed a business relationship. Keith Hoggard owned the company that made the bow handle risers for Bear Archery. Over the years they developed a friendship and became golfing buddies. Keith laughed as he told of the 11 th hole on the golf course and the 13 foot gator that laid right there by the hole. Fred would try and convince Keith to go over and get the ball that landed close to the gator. When Keith said “Fred you go get it , you hit it over there “ Fred looked him square in the eye and said ,“ I’d like to see that alligator turned into gator bites.” Gator Bites are an appetizer at many of the restaurants in the southern states.
On one of Keith’s visits down to the plant in Gainesville on business, Fred Bear invited Keith to lunch. Keith remembers Fred Bear coming into the parking lot driving the mustang 2 “on two wheels” to pick him up. Headed up on Highway 41 to the Georgia Boy BBQ for a business lunch, Fred Bear “smoked a gator” ,Keith told Bill as he points to one of the dents in the bumper of the car now parked inside Bear’s Den. Keith laughed and said “there used to be a gator tooth lodged in the tire , but apparently it fell out over the years.” Keith then pointed out another dent in the bumper where “Fred hit a parking post at the Georgia Boy BBQ “, when they arrived.
Bill Gannon not only got his validation of someone seeing Fred Bear drive the mustang 2 .He found a friend of Fred Bear’s that rode along side Fred as a passenger of the mustang 2.Keith holds these shenanigans dear to his heart and remembers Fred fondly as” Fast in the car, and on his feet”, even while pulling the oxygen tank behind him in the later years of his life.