January 11, 1940 - May 15, 2002
Al Bell left his legacy in the city of Long Beach with his country western flair. He and his, then partner, Pat McGrath opened a bar for those of us wanting country music, down home comfort and a place to plant our dancing boots. Floyd's was the place to be for many years. You would be able to walk into the friendliest bar in Southern California.
Al and Pat opened Floyd's doors for all to enjoy. On any given night you could find Floyd's cloggers practicing for upcoming events, open dance lessons for all, and above all, the home for the GSGRA (Golden State Gay Rodeo Association). Al, with several others, joined with IGRA to establish Gay Rodeo in California. He was without a doubt a pioneer. Through his enthusiasm he was able to gather enough people to put together a rodeo like no other. Its first year was a terrific success and was held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, and drew a crowd beyond expectations. GSGRA and affiliate organizations have grown over the years and still today provide well qualified contestants who participate in the IGRA circuit.
Al, an excellent organizer and adept in delegation, never lost sight of everything that went on around him. He was innovative and an idealist with vision. He always created a "work together" atmosphere. He with those of us who worked with him made "Gay" Long Beach truly home. He was first to promote the events happening throughout Los Angeles and Long Beach to San Diego and Phoenix, and even here in Albuquerque.
Al Bell, John King and JC Moore were very well known throughout the IGRA circuit and very active in shaping what it is today.
Al was, to all who knew him, not just a friend, but on occasion a mentor. He had vision and provided an environment that produced some of the finest local entertainment, and a place where all you needed to do was join in.
May his memory be long lived.