ONLY ON 3: George Steinbrenner's death touches Wilmington businessman
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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.

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ITS GOOD KNOWING THAT YOUR FAMILY HAVE TIES WITH G STEINBRENNER AND IM A BIG YANKEE FAN MYSELF SO I KNOW HOW PROUD U MUST BE TO BE SOME PEOPLE TO KNOW THEM AS FRIENDS GROWING UP WITH ETC. I DO AGREE HE HAD POWER, IRON FIST AND MADE IT A VERY HIGHLY RESPECTED SUCCESS IN HOW THE YANKEES GROWN FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP. I DO REMEMBER WATCHIN MY WORLD SERIES WHEN I WAS JUST A LITTLE KID BETWEEN RED SOX AND YANKEES WITH MY GRANDFATHER. EVER SINCE THEN TILL NOW ALL THOSE YEARS IM STILL A YANKEE FAN ALSO WILL BE UNTIL MY LIFE DOES ME PART A YANKEE FAN SO IM LOOKIN FORWARD TO SEE HOW HANK AND HAL RUNS COMING YEARS. I DO BEELIVE YANKEES WILL WIN THIS YEARS WORLD SERIES TO MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR G STEINBRENNER111 HONOR OF HIS DEATH AS A RETURN. THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR INFO ON GEORGE ALSO BEING OUR NEIGHBOR IN TOWN WHO S CONNECTED WITH YANKEES!! HES LIKE ANOTHER DONALD TRUMP WHO GOT UP FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP AFTER HIS DIVORCE AND BANKRUPTCYS HE HAD GONE THROUGH. IM SURE TRUMP DOES MISS HIM AS WELL SINCE THEY WORKED TOGETHER SHOWING ALSO TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT HOW THEY DO BUSINESS ON APPERENTENCE SHOW.