It could only happen in the movies.
And I really can’t reveal that much about the situation, due to the confidentiality clause everyone signs, but it was a very entertaining evening.
It started with a call last week from a Murrysville friend who invited me to be an Auberle guest for an evening of filming of the movie “Southpaw” at the Weston William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.
Bob Johnson knew I had worked as an extra for two weeks when the film was being made in Indiana at the KCAC and I had secretly vowed that my movie career was over, along with the long hours involved.
But this was a little different as the production crew of “Southpaw” had approached Auberle, a faith-based Catholic agency that assists troubled children and families, and requested the use of their facility in McKeesport as a filming site.
In return, approximately 100 members of Auberle and their guests would serve as extras during the filming of the gala in the beautiful ballroom at the William Penn on Grant Street.
Suffice to say, I was much, much closer to the stars of the film that the role portrayed as an extra in Indiana.
From my seat at the table on the podium I saw several other extras who had worked at the KCAC.
The elegant ballroom was the perfect venue for dinner and dancing scenes portrayed inside a casino, and all the stars of the film were there including Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachael McAdams and rapper 50 Cent.
And even though I didn’t get back to Chestnut Street in Indiana until almost 4 a.m., it was an evening to remember.
A 1981 graduate of IUP, Johnson was a former football coach as Yough, Geneva College, Serra Catholic and Stowe-Rox.
Currently, he is the sparkplug of the first IUP baseball reunion that is scheduled the first weekend in September and we are both members on the committee organizing that event.
His brother, John “J.J.” Johnson, was an outstanding baseball player at IUP on the 1971-73 teams, and is well-known in the area having played sandlot ball during the summer in the Indiana County League.
Bob Johnson is a member of the Auberle organization, which was founded in 1952 and is home-based in McKeesport.
The agency serves over 3,000 at-risk children and families each year in 16 program areas, primarily in eight Southwestern Pennsylvania counties.
Auberle was recently named Agency of the Year in the United States by the Alliance for Children and Families, which is the largest network of human services organizations in the country.
Once known as the “Boystown of the East,” Auberle has grown into new service areas and today more than two-thirds of its clients are served in their home, school or in their community.
To learn more about the organization simply call up Auberle on your computer.
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How about Devin Mesoraco of Punxs’y being selected to play in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game on Tuesday in only his second full season. What a great honor. It seems like only yesterday that the 26-year-old Cincinnati Reds catcher was playing Junior and Senior Legion baseball in Indiana and Jefferson counties.
There’s no doubt the local fans will be rooting for him.