WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- George Steinbrenner lived up to his billing as "the boss." It's a nickname he earned and clearly enjoyed as he ruled the New York Yankees with an iron fist. For the last 35 years Wilmington businessman Loid Atkinson and his family have been friends with the Steinbrenners. Atkinson owns two Midas dealerships in New Hanover County. In fact his Monkey Junction location features a Yankee shrine. It includes a 2009 world series ring and a shovel that was used in the groundbreaking for the new Yankee Stadium.
"Hank and Hal (Steinbrenner) have been running the team the last four to five years," Atkinson said. "A lot of the memorabilia was provided by them. My father Loid Jr. was good friends with George. They went to school together. Hank and I went to high school together. Both of our families have been close through the years. In fact I just saw him last month."
Atkinson says he often travels to New York to watch Yankees games from the owner's box at Yankee Stadium. He plans to attend Steinbrenner's funeral.