Carey Laslie Keefe’s journey began with a missing ring.
Alabama Crimson Tide fans are familiar with The Missing Ring, author Keith Dunnavant’s book about the 1966 Alabama football team. That Tide team was, according to the book, unfairly passed over for what would have been a third consecutive national championship.
Unlike the mythical lost championship of 1966, Keefe’s tale begins with an actual national championship ring, thought to be gone forever but found in the most unlikely of places.
After discovering an Alabama championship ring buried in the sand while snorkling off the coast of Hawaii, Crimson Tide fan Franco Martinez began a 25-year quest to return the ring to its rightful owner. That turned out to be coach Carney Laslie, a friend, confidant and longtime assistant to legendary Alabama coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant.
Laslie died in 1970 at the age of 61, and so the ring was returned to the Laslie family, and eventually found its way into the hands of his granddaughter, Carey Laslie Keefe. The journey of that ring from Tuscaloosa to Hawaii, and eventually to Keefe compelled her to tell the story of her grandfather’s connection to Alabama history.
Keefe is the author of Tide to a Dream: In The Shadow of The Bear, a book profiling her namesake grandfather, who was with Bryant from the very beginning of his legendary coaching career.
The book details Laslie’s life and times alongside the coaching legend, from his time on the Tide’s 1931 Rose Bowl team as a teammate of Bryant, to his days as Bryant’s assistant coach until the time of his death.
Along the way, Bryant and Laslie saw time in the Navy during World War II, and coached together at Maryland, Kentucky and Texas A&M before making their way home to the Capstone.
The book is being self-published and funded though a Kickstarter campaign as a labor of love. As noted on the Kickstarter page, the book:
goes beyond the historical account of Crimson Tide victories and brings together the events and interpersonal relationships that influenced their incredible achievement, a similar approach used for stories like “Sea Biscuit” and “The Blindside”. Using personal family letters, over two years of interviews, and photographs from family archives, writer Carey Laslie Keefe, weaves together a story that was all but forgotten – until now; shedding new insight into what made Bryant and the Crimson Tide better than anyone else. A tradition of winning that continues to this day.
For this book to receive the funding it needs to be completed and shared with the world, the Kickstarter project must receive $35,000 in pledges by Sunday, December 8th. We at BamaHammer think this is a story that deserves to be shared, and would like to see all of our fans and supporters to go to the Kickstarter page and make a pledge.