Fan Auctions off signed “My Own Peculiar Way” Album for Injured Soldier

February 10, 2007
Tony Bridges
Andrew Wardlow / The News Herald
Jim Wilson holds an unopened, autographed 1969 Willie Nelson album in Panama City on Thursday. The album is being raffled to raise money for Sgt. Joshua Cope and family.


A local television personality is giving away vintage Willie Nelson vinyl to help a Panama City soldier who lost his legs in Iraq.

Jim Wilson, the outdoors expert for WMBBNews 13, owns a mint-condition 1969 copy of Willie’s “My Own Peculiar Way” that was signed by the singer at Wednesday’s concert. Now, he’s raffling it off, and the money will go to the family of Sgt. Joshua Cope.

So far, he’s raised more than $1,800 — including $1,000 from Nelson himself. Wilson delivered the first check to Linda Cope, mother of the injured soldier, Thursday afternoon.

“I’m just pleased to be able to make this donation,” Wilson said. “I’m a big supporter of the military.”

Wilson said he got the album in ’69 when he owned a record store in New Hampshire. He kept it for nearly 40 years without ever removing the shrink wrap. “I’m a pack rat,” he said.

This weekend, he came up with the idea to raffle it and give away the money. He went to attorney Hoot Crawford, who helped him get set up at the Marina Civic Center for the Nelson concert.

Two of Crawford’s secretaries sold raffle tickets to concertgoers, and a promoter took the record backstage for Willie to sign, Wilson said.

Ticket sales will continue Saturday at the Mardi Gras parade in St. Andrews. They’re $5 each, or five for $20. The winner will be chosen at the end of the festivities, Wilson said.

“I appreciate him doing that,” Linda Cope said. “That was very generous of him.

“It’s going to be a blessing for us going back and forth to California because we plan to go every month.”

Joshua Cope will be moving from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to a military hospital in San Diego next week.

He lost both legs and suffered injuries to one hand when a bomb exploded next to his Humvee in Iraq. Cope has been fitted with prosthetic legs and is walking with a walker, and expects to start practicing with a cane soon, his mother said.

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