Uncle Phil loves you!
Phil Salamone has been telling, or yelling, that to people for decades.
If you’ve been to a Rochester Red Wings game, there’s a good chance you’ve run into, or heard, Uncle Phil.
He’s been working in the parking lots and ushering people to their seats there for more than 30 years, but he can also be found, or he can also find you, at many other events across town from the Lilac Festival to CMAC concerts.
On July 24, the Red Wings are hosting Uncle Phil Bobblehead Day.
As the season gets underway we talk with him about his life a bit outside the lines.
Adam: How does this all start for you?
Uncle Phil: 30 years ago when I started working for the Red Wings at Norton St. I started at the gravel parking lot out there and moved right up the ladder with Mr. Dan Mason and Naomi Silver.
Adam: Are you from Rochester originally?
Uncle Phil: Yes. Went to Edison Tech. I majored in printing there.
Adam: What did you do after school?
Uncle Phil: Right after school I went in the Marine Corps but I was only in it for the boot camp, I had all kinds of allergies so I got my honorable discharge after a couple months of boot camp. I’m happy that at least I tried. And then I got married, married for 20 years and then I got divorced, wonderful wife, I still love her, she remarried, I still love her, 4 sons, 6 grandchildren and I’m blessed.
Adam: When did you jump out into the community like you have?
Uncle Phil: When I first got divorced I went to my cousin and he slapped me across my head and said, ‘Cry right now, get back up, I never want to see you cry again.’ And it helped me get right back up. I said I’ll give all the love I could. I huge like I hug you a lot. When I hug people and touch them with my body, I’m stealing love. I’m not really do it for you. I steal everything I do from everybody else and when the devil lands on my shoulder I brush it off. Believe me, people, don’t let him get to you. So many good people in the world.
Adam: What do you think about Uncle Phil Bobblehead Day?
Uncle Phil: I’m delighted about that and the sad thing is the bobblehad is as tall as me!