Judy Collins is a Grammy award winning singer, songwriter and activist. Judy has performed with some of the all time greats including Bob Dylan.
When I told the wonderful Ms. Collins that I am friends with the great singer, Jose Feliciano, her eyes just gleamed. She said that Jose is an all time great.
I told Judy that she and Jose have something else in common besides music and Grammy awards. She asked ‘What is that?’ I told her that Jose, like Judy, loves the NY Yankees. I also told her that Jose did sing the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium. She laughed and said that she did the anthem at Fenway Park for the Red Sox. I asked her why did she do that? She laughed and said because the Yankees didn’t ask. Judy said that she has always loved the Yankees and hopes to sing the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium some day.
Judy was the keynote speaker at the Angel Ball, which is the annual fund raiser for the Long Island Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence. The organization was started over 60 years ago by the great philanthropist Brinkley Smithers. After Brinkley’s passing in 1993, his wife, Adele, would take charge of the organization. Adele became a big time friend of George Steinbrenner and myself and she would help the Yankees with the rehabilitation of Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. Adele would later become a sponsor of the Boys and Girls club with the Yankees in Tampa, Florida.
Judy had a great friendship with Adele and I honestly believe that both of these great ladies learned from each other. Adele Smithers was truly the “Mother of Recovery” and was always there for whoever needed her.
Judy has battled addiction for many years and has helped save many lives just by sharing with the people her own stories.
Two years after Adele died, Judy was at the Angel Ball to honor Adele and all those people who refuse to give in to this crazy disease known as addiction. She would give a wonderful, funny and very heartfelt speech about her journey. Even though she is a major star, she showed everyone in the room that she is still human and has to live life one day at a time!
Sitting next to Judy, I couldn’t help but notice that she was staring at my World. Series ring. So I took it off and had her try it on. As she had it on her finger, I told her that Adele, like you, also loved the Yankees.