Two weeks ago, I was completing a movie called Stano. A film staring Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello and produced by Chartoff productions, which brought us The Rocky series and last year gave us the wonderful film Creed.
To say that we were having the time of our lives in making this film would be an understatement. To say that the cast and crew became family would be right on. We were working 12 to 15 hour days sometimes and we didn’t mind because we were living a dream. Then a natural disaster happened.
Hurricane Irma hit Florida. With a week to go in production one of our other producers, Robert Molloy, told me that he had to go back to Florida because he needed to help. I told him that he should wait until the film was finished, because I knew he was having a blast and some of the other crew members had really become dependent on him. He looked me in the eye and said, “This is something that I must do.”
This hit me like a crazy dream because just about thirty years earlier I had questioned his grandfather, George
Steinbrenner, about Hurricane Andrew and driving a truck to South Florida and he said the same thing, “It’s something that I must do.” Robert asked me why I looked so puzzled and I told him that I understood.
Yesterday, I was in the Bronx loading a truck with supplies, water and food for the Hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. I was at the TM Baseball Academy, the home of Hank’s Yanks. When I got there Dom Scala, the former Yankees bullpen catcher and head coach at Adelphi University, was there packing and loading supplies. Dom just finished his first acting job on Stano.
Disco Dom as he was affectionately known to the Yankees, actually kept the morale of everyone on Stano
and at TM Academy by showing off some of his famous dance steps. Tony and Jessy Melendez, the heads of Bronx Hank’s Yanks and TM Academy, were going crazy making sure we had enough water to put on the plane that would be taking our supplies to Puerto Rico. Willie Randolph, Former Yankee captain and great second baseman, was putting more boxes on the truck and all of a sudden when I looked at the door Julia and George Michael
Steinbrenner IV, two of the Boss’s grand children and the children of Hank and Joan Steinbrenner, walked in.
They got there and went right to work, not afraid to get their hands dirty. One of the TV networks was there and I asked Julia to make a plea to all people to help. She said she just wanted to be like everyone else and I told her that I understood because she is very modest but this one time it was important for her to make the plea for more people to help. She understood and did a great job. She did give me that crazy Stienbrenner glare that I use to get from her grandfather for 37 years every time he got mad at me. However, because of the cause it was worth it.
I have to thank Xavier Evans, co star of Stano, who played the role of a Willie Randolph type of player and a true up and coming star, and everyone else that showed up to help. I must add that with the Yankee wild card victory from the night before everyone had more incentive to do all that they could.
Even Lenny Caro, Chairman of the NYPD Shields, showed up even though he just had surgery on one of his arms– I guess one arm is better than none.
Let’s not forget what the Boss always said in times like this–“We are Yankees. It’s what we do!”
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