I was influenced by drugs in 1969 when I was 15 years old. By the time I was 19, I had been arrested three or four times for marijuana and other dangerous illegal narcotic substances. As the addiction of the drugs became stronger so did the stealing and the dealing to support the habit. On Oct. 22, 1974, I was sent to Angola prison for a five year sentence. While doing my time and as the drugs wore off, my mind started working again. I learned that if I did not quit drugs, Angola would be my home for the rest of my life. Being raised better than that, with a church school background (Seven Day A.), and hard working parents with a Plastering Co., three Beauty Shops, and 42 Apts., I had a lot of values growing up in life. I knew when I got home I would have a lot of work to keep my mind occupied. Therefore I knew I could change.
After 7 months and 22 days, I was set free in June 1975, on parole and went back home to Baton Rouge. It didn’t take long for all of my old friends to come around wanting me to start smoking pot again. After about three years of saying NO and seeing the light, I decided the best thing to do is to move out of town and start over with my life. So in April of 1979, I purchased a marina 35 miles out of Baton Rouge in Springfield, La. on the Blood River. I worked in Baton Rouge hanging sheet rock and going home to work on the Marina. The Marina was open to the public and had an old rundown bar business before I got there. I tore it down, cleaned it up, and made it a Private Marina in 1983, that way I could control who came on the grounds. Then it became very easy to clean out the riff raff and create a family place. Things were dead in the winter on the river so business was bad. In 1986, I started a Mardi Gras Boat Parade (Krewe Of Wrecks) to keep things moving in the winter, giving the community something to do and to help put Springfield on the map. It started out with three floats and we have had up to 60 floats with over 450 people on these floats, not counting the spectators that watch and enjoy this event. Last year it was the largest Mardi Gras Boat Parade in the state. For the past 5 years, Wrecks helped benefit the Springfield & Killian Peace Officers with money for Police cars. Also in 1989, I started Krewe of Wrecks Christmas Boat Party with free fireworks and food for all. Now it is the only Christmas boat party on the river. As these events got bigger so did the cost. Creating this out of my own pocket became costly. In 1996, I started a power boat poker run: The Tickfaw 200. As it grew in popularity, it too became the largest Power Boat Poker Run in the state. Helping the tourism of Livingston Parish and the State of Louisiana with over 250 power boaters coming from all over the U.S., renting motels and buying gas, food, and so on. This event’s proceeds help pay for the Wrecks boating events and helps to clean up the river.
I have been very active in the entertainment business creating fun with the power boat in mind, helping the economy and growth of the community on the water way of Tickfaw and Blood Rivers, and helping the Tickfaw River become the most popular power boat river in the state. The Wild Life and Fisheries keep their boats at my marina, too.
Donating my time and talents, marketing, promoting, and “hands on to the end” have made these events some of the best in the parish and in the state. I feel that I have given back to the community where I make my living and helped to improve the well being of mankind in my parish. Attached to this paper are some of the things I have done to help this community.
The main reason I wrote this letter. In Oct. 2004, I was given the opportunity to be on a TV reality show. I told them about my 30 year old criminal record. Time Warner hired me anyway. The show will air in the spring of 2005. In the show I was open about my past. I feel that new doors would open for me in this field. Given this opportunity I might be able to influence some young people not to go down the drug path that I picked up when I was young. Please take this letter under consideration, and think about forgiving me of my past drug path. I might have an opportunity not only to help myself, but others too.
Thank You for your time.
Charlie W. Albert
The show: His commanding presence was in part why producers cast Albert in the TBS reality show “The Real Gilligan’s Island 2” in 2005 as “the Skipper.” He ultimately outlasted the contestants and won the $250,000 prize.
Powerboat magazine says: Albert’s marina is an eclectic place that features the Fun House, a three-story structure that Albert has built over the years. Hanging from the ceiling were old lobster pots and a tattered confederate flag in addition to Scuba Steve, a mannequin in an old diving suit.
An old friend: In his professional life, Albert was a mud diver, spending more than 16 years searching for sinker cypress logs in the bayous and along the Tickfaw River. Albert was also world-record-holder, breaking all existing timed attempts to cross the Gulf of Mexico. In 1995, Albert made the trek in less than 16 hours, and in 1999, he bested his own time by almost two full hours, claiming a second world-record racing across the mighty Gulf.