remember the days growing up when my father would to take me
to Kennedy Airport to watch the
airplanes take off; It was truly an
exciting time for us.. I must have been 5 or 6
A proud son with his dad. Watching these
tremendous metal birds fly was so inspiring.
The roar of the engines was amazing. He
promised me that one-day I would be on one
of those planes. When I turned 15 He kept his
promise and sent me to Florida.
My dad was a simple man. He worked as a long shoreman on the docks in New York
He was a hard worker. He loved his family. He
didn't verbalize his feelings
He showed his love in other ways. My dad was
my hero. I looked up to him.
He was big and strong. Yet he was a soft-spoken
My buddies would say that my dad was a great guy.
He was also a generous man.. .
He wasn't prejudice towards people, , He loved
Unfortunately, that gave some people the chance to
take advantage of him.
I witnessed that on a few occasions. I would
see the disappointment in his eyes. He warned
me how cruel people can be.
age 23 I decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue
an acting / stunt career. He was very
sad. He missed me very much. Mom told me
that he would sit in his room and cry.
He knew that I was happy living in California. He
would record me on different TV shows.
I would send him pictures of myself with
He would bring the photos to work and show his
friends. He was proud.
When I took up skydiving he was excited but
worried for my safety.
I will never forget that time my father said he
admired me because I had the balls
to go for my dreams and how I never let
anything stop me.
That was undoubtedly the proudest moment in my
life. I received approval from my dad.
That was priceless to me!
Feb 10th 1994 the worst day of my life without
doubt. New York suffered the worst snowstorm in
recent history. My brother’s car would not start
for some unknown reason. My dad tried
to help me get the car out of the snow. I asked
him to stop pushing the car. to the mechanic
around the corner. He was determined to help
me get back to Los Angeles on time.. 4
minutes before his death, I saw my dad was
watching me from a distance, I turned away
to speak to the mechanic and then I heard the
emergency sirens. I knew something terrible
had happened. In a panic, I ran to my parent’s house
only to find my mother over my dad's body crying,
asking him not to leave us. My dad suffered a
massive heart attack and died. A part of me died as well. I felt lost. My hero was gone.
My dad taught me another lesson in life. That
lesson was that life is too short! Enjoy every
second of it.
And to live while you can!
I also learned
to live your life to the fullest and to appreciate
your parents when they are still alive. He always
told us to respect them when they are living and
not when they are gone.
I went back to the mechanic's garage the next day
to pick up my brothers car. The mechanic told me
there was nothing wrong with the car, it was fine.
I guess it was God's way of keeping home in New
York to be with my family. Yes, the Lord works in
mysterious ways for sure.
I work as an aerial stuntman. I have jumped
from thousands of planes, helicopters, hot air
balloons, I driven cars out of planes, watched television
on a falling living room set, rode bikes, boogie
boards, sky surfing, falling bathrooms, played
poker in free fall for commercials, TV
shows, movies & world records, plus I
get to work with the world's best skydivers. This
has been a dream come true, thanks to the
inspiration from my father whom I feel is with me
on every single jump.
Thank you Anthony Nespoli for being my
dad, my inspiration, and my hero!
like to also thank my dad's brother, Uncle Patty
a young boy, my
let me drive the golf carts
all around the Brooklyn docks, across from
the New York sky line. He would always give
me a $5.00 bill. Uncle Patty was a tough son
of a gun, no one messed with him. he was well
respected too. he also had a gentle side to him as
well. Like every young boy, I had
my share of troubled times. Running with the
wrong crowd, I manage to get myself into
trouble. Using drugs, counterfeit credit
cards and being falsely accused of
"ratting out" some people, It was my Uncle Patty who stepped
in and defended me and my family's name. He made sure that I was properly
punished for the things I did do and NOT
punished for someone else's wrong doing. I owe him
love & life too. He was a great man. I was
proud to have had called him Uncle Patty.
To her friends
she’s was known as Kay, to us she was simply
claims to have had the best Mom. And for the most part
they may be right. I am definitely one of those people.
How do you thank the women who not only gave you life
but carried you for nine months, changed hundreds
of your diapers, loved & nurtured you all throughout
your life? I find that more challenging than any other
stunt I have done. My mom was a gift sent from GOD.
She never knew
had to say “no” to us.
Mom wanted everything for her kids and she always
found a way to give us everything. Mom has
a gift and that gift is love, always having it, and always showing
to her family but to everyone she comes in contact with.
We were raised in a
predominately white neighborhood. In grade school, I
remember my mom inviting my two black buddies
Tracy Wright and Albert Hamilton for lunch, knowing that my
friends were not as fortunate to have their parents
prepare a warm lunch for them. Mom made them feel
special. After preparing lunch for us, she kissed &
hugged us all before sending us back to school. She was never prejudice
and she demanded we'd be the same. She taught us to
respect other people, and to help those less fortunate
than us. My
mom had two deaf sisters whom she looked after as a young
girl. Aunt Jenny & Aunt Josie. My mom wore a hearing
aid, worried about me getting teased at school, she
would take out and hide her hearing aid when she would pick me up. I
remember walking in to my friends kitchen and hearing
his mother and her friends making fun of my Mom for her
hearing loss and imitating the way she speaks sign
language to her sisters. I still remember the sadness I
was being mocked on for no reason. I couldn't
understand that. I felt bad that I didn't defend
her back then. I just pretended to not understand what
they were talking about. Mom had a good heart, and a forgiving one
too. Now looking back, I
see the love and sacrifices my mother made for us. My buddies love my
mom. She is
warm, sincere, kind, caring, and thoughtful. She possesses all the qualities to make a
son or daughter proud to call her their mom. I
was a wild child. I put my mom through some tough times.
Times I wish I could erase. But I guess that is what
“growing up” is all about. But through all those
times, she never stopped being the loving mother. Like
the song say's " I'll always love my Momma, she's
my favorite girl, I'll always love my Momma, she brought
me into this world". God truly blessed us giving us two wonderful
always say “For You? ………and I always answer, ….Anything! (still to this day).
2008, during the Memorial day weekend, Mom was rushed to
the emergency room for respiratory problems. Three weeks
later she had made a remarkable recovery and was excited
to come home to us. However the hospital staff
misdiagnosed her situation and caused internal bleeding
which resulted in the loss of vital organs and
them having to amputate her leg. She was hooked up
to more machines then I cared to count. Her prognosis
for returning to any type of normal life was doubtful.
On June 30, 2008.
just 2 hours before her 80 Birthday, a nurse broke
hospital code, risked her job and laid everything on the
line for me. She brought me to the realization that an
error was made and now they were just buying time. I
should contact my siblings and do what is best for our
mom. I found myself making the most difficult decision a
son would ever had to make. My Mom was suffering with no
signs of making any type of recovery. I was put in a
position to assist my Mom's wishes and releasing
her from this world. Ending the life of someone who gave
you life and loved us so much was..........heart
knew it was what she wanted. Once again, a piece of my heart was tragically
taken. We as a family had a choice to be angry at the
hospital and towards the hospital staff as well. We
believe that everyone who came to Moms aid had nothing
but the best intentions for her, and adored her just as
much as we did. She successfully won the hearts of
everyone who came in contact with her. We know the nurse
who may have made that error has enough to live with, we
do not hold her accountable for our Mom's death.
Instead, we are now comforted knowing that our Mom
is with the Lord and our Dad watching over us.
will always love you Mom, with all my heart!
like to thank the other two
important people in my life.
My brother Louis and my sister
Amelia who always seem
to remind me of their love.
for being one of the greatest brother a guy could
have. I will always be his little brother.
He was never jealous of me and he is very supportive in my career. He
respects me and is very proud.
He tries to give me the best advice. He
never picked on me when we were kids. He's
very protected of me. He was a great
baseball player, in fact he won many
trophies for his talent. He was well liked
back then & still is. Everyone called Louie a great guy. My
brother doesn't have a mean bone in him.
Like my parents, he is very kind, friendly
and a good person to be around. He
has a big heart.
Amelia always tried to protect
me. Growing up in Brooklyn N.Y. my sister
was a tough girl. No one messed with Amy!
She was tough, but very much a Lady too.
was her little brother. Back then she made sure that
the girls I dated
treated me with respect. She always had my
back!. I can always count on my sister. No
matter what time, what place, she will
always be there for me. That's a
My sister would do anything
for me. She would never say no to me
, that's not her style. When I was 13
years old, I foolishly scaled the outside
of an apartment building 3 story high.
My sister frantically climbed up after me
to safely get me down. She is very proud
of me, and let's me know that everyday. She too means the
world to me. When I visit NY, it is very
tough seeing her eyes build up with tears
when it comes time to return to LA. She
misses me, but she realizes that my life
in here in Los Angeles.
Although we live miles apart, We
keep in contact on a daily basis. I'm
happy about that.
know the both of them are very concern for
my safety and well-being. They worry when
I do my work.
me their love and support in whatever
decisions I make in life.
my parents, my nieces and nephews, they too
are my biggest fans.
God has blessed me with all these
wonderful people. I truly feel lucky &
dedicate my love to my littlest fans, my
John, Kristin, Louis, Nicholas & Briana, who constantly remind me
that I am loved.
Without these wonderful kids my life would not be complete.
I've learned that no matter how tough my career gets
and how lonely my life can get,
I am the luckiest guy alive to have them in my life.
My sister in-law's dad Al Ciccone would say that he was the
wealthiest guy alive with
the love he received from his family.
I now understand what he meant by that, because I truly feel the
same. In these tough times I lean on my family
a lot. They never let me down.
I thank God everyday for blessing me with them.
I’ve known him
as “cousin Bobby”, (his real name is Anthony)
his mom is Aunt Betty (her real name is Maria). No! they are not part of the Soprano family,...( It’s a New
York thing.) I remember the day when I found out
that he really wasn’t my cousin, just the son of a
close family friend. I was really sad.
We are one month apart in age. He’s always been a
part of my life. He moved to Long Island
Our family remained close throughout the years. I
was closer to him than any other blood relative.
I knew I was
destined to become a stunt coordinator, because I
convinced Bobby to let me push him down a flight of
stairs ( 32 to be exact ) “backwards” at age 5.
To this day, he has never held that against
me. He never ratted on me neither!
After that, it was jumping roof to roof.
He is more than a “close family friend” he’s
like a brother to
me. Through the years we’ve always kept in touch. In
fact, he made me
Godfather to his son Vincent, carbon
copy of the both of us. In life there are not too many
people you can count on. Bobby Figaro is definitely
someone I know I can count on anytime, any place,
anywhere! Bobby is
a great businessman, and a generous one too. He gave
me an opportunity to share in the profit of the
business he started, and become his partner, with no
investment, no contract, and no expectations. Just
based on the simple fact that I was Bobby’s right
hand man..( It’s an Italian thing…)
Having this partnership has allowed
me to be follow my dreams, and support myself at the
It is Bobby that I owe my deepest
appreciation for helping me live my dream.
had the good fortune of meeting an American hero.
His name was Tommy Foley. Tommy
was a “one of a kind” guy. Tommy heroically risked
his life to save others.
September 11th, 200, having completed his shift
at 9:00 Am, Tommy voluntarily responded
to the attack on the World's Trade Center,. Tommy
& his fellow fire fighting buddies of Rescue 3,
headed towards NYC.
decision would prove to be a tragic one. Tommy and his
Squad died in the collapse of the towers
trying to save lives of the innocent people trapped in
the buildings. Tommy was not afraid of any
challenges. He was not only a brave fireman,
but a champion bull rider, stunt Man, football
player, and People's magazine top ten "most
it all! But even with all those accomplishments, Tommy topped
himself by becoming an American Hero, along with his
brothers, on that tragic day.
your brothers of Rescue 3, will never be forgotten! We all Thank you!
Venuto, John & Silvia Resta and all that have
died, you will never be forgotten.
my brother in-law Firefighter Tommy Cann
best way to describe Tommy Cann is to call him
an original or genuine. We often hear the
expression "he'll give you the shirt off of
his back", well Tommy Cann would! Tommy is one of a kind! He has a
tremendous heart. He enjoys making people happy.
That's what satisfies Tommy. He too was one of the
firefighters at ground zero. He lost many of his
firefighting brothers. Tragically his parents
passed on shortly after that. Tommy had seen so
much in his career as a fire fighter &
privately.. But you would never know it by his
personality. He has amazing inner strength and
confidence. You can always count on Tommy. He is
well respected within the fire community and
amongst his friends & family. Tommy is
golden! He takes care of my sister, he loves
her very much! My mom adores him and he adores my
mom. Tommy loves to eat. When you are in New York,
you have to go to Don Pepe's Italian restaurant
for the best Italian food. He'll treat you like family!
Forget ever paying for anything when you are with
Tommy, You'll loose! Tommy loves to make people
laugh. He also
does an amazing impersonation of the legendary
Marlon Brando.. and there is nothing that Tommy wouldn't do to
accomplish that. Acting crazy is what Tommy does
best. He's a riot! We love Tommy. We're very
thankful he is a part of our family. I'm proud to
say Tommy Cann is my brother in-law. You
Sometimes tragedy can have a positive outcome. The
sudden death of my buddy
Johnny proved just that. I've gotten the opportunity
to meet one person who has
become more than just a friend to me. In fact, he is
like a second father to
me. That man is Walter Rooney.
He was introduced to me as “Red”, which
was his nickname as a younger man. I call him that
until this day.
Walter Rooney has one sister, Mary, a nun, and
one brother, Jimmy, a retired
Chicago cop. He lost his parents at an early
age and wound up being raised in
an orphanage in New York. He went to Tappan
Zee High School in New York
where he was an accomplished athlete and played
To earn money to support himself, it was during this
time that Walter became
a professional prizefighter, fighting as a
welterweight (147 pounds). He was
trained by Cus D'Amato (who trained Mike Tyson) and
was in the same stable as
former heavyweight champion, Floyd Patterson.
Walt compiled a professional record I believe, of
33-2. He lost to the same
guy twice on decisions. Red still gets fire in
his eyes when you ask him
about him, 'the son-of-a-bitch was a great boxer but
wouldn't stand still and
His mother persuaded him to join the Air Force
together and get married
(something Cus never forgave Walt’s wife for, Cus
said women ruined more good
fighters than anybody else! )
Walt got his start in electronics in the Air Force
and had two sons. I got
the opportunity to meet both of his sons, Ricky and
Ronnie, they are two
solid guys like their dad.
Walter worked for Farrand Controls as their
Aerospace Marketing Manager for
about 20 years and is now retired. He now spends his
time living his life
like there’s no tomorrow, he is an excellent
skier, and has also crashed the
Academy awards with me. Red has a heart of gold.
He is also concerned for my
well being, constantly asking me if I need anything.
he is a true friend, and
a great man. On June 2, 2007 My buddy Red lost his
toughest battle with Cancer.
I love him and miss him dearly..
Thanks Red. Thank you for treating me like one of
the volunteer staff of Children's Hospital Los Angeles
get to live out a childhood fantasy and run around like a fool in a
Spider-Man costume for a few hours a month. But these special people
donate all of their spare time helping sick little children. To Albert
Garcia & his 2 sisters who are there everyday making sure that
these children are entertained & occupied during the stressful
time they spend in the hospital. I have been told that Albert hasn't
had a vacation in 3 years. To Nick who has been in Children's hospital
for over 19years, had so many surgeries & now has decided to be a
full time volunteer. They do their job because they care. To all of these
wonderful people in the office getting donations from various groups
to donate toys for the children. I get to play a superhero, seeing
some of the children hooked up to so many monitors, and
seeing the sadness on their little faces breaks my heart and makes it difficult to fight
back the tears. I'm glad they can't see my face though the mask. I
remember there was one boy who wanted desperately to meet spider-man. I
was escorted to his room, the nurse carried him to the door, because the monitor
would not allow him to go any further, He looked so tired and so sad. He managed
to give me a little smile and a hug. I will never forget his face. The
children's response to Spider-Man is truly magical, It is those times
that I really wish I was a super hero, but all of the staff workers
are the real Superhero's in my book. Their work is nothing short of
heroic, yet they are dressed in ordinary clothes.
my South African buddy & brother, Tyrone Dean.
He is not only an exceptionally talented actor, But
he has a genuine heart and a sincere appreciation
for life, his family, his friends, and everyone he
comes in contact with. He has touched everyone's
lives here in Los Angeles while visiting here from
his Country. His gift is kindness, and he
shares that with everyone he meets I will miss him
dearly & hope for his return soon to the U.S. Be
Safe my brother
My last dedication is dedicated to my littlest buddy Squatch.
who back in 1989, when I was homeless sleeping at LAX for 10 days,
He was with me.
When I slept in my car on those rainy nights, he was with me.
We spent 14 years together.
He traveled with me everywhere, even to New York. I would even take
him to the beach.
He was an attention getter, all the girls would flock around
him, and he’d let me share
in that attention too. Squatch wasn't just an ordinary cat, he
was the coolest cat!
remember when I lost my dad and returned back to Los Angeles. I was
still mourning his loss. I was upstairs crying and Squatch came to me
meowing and licking my face as if to say "hey
dude, it's okay, let it out" .
shave him like a lion. It was so funny seeing him lie on his
back and raise him legs so I wouldn’t miss a spot. He had attitude. but as he got
older, his organs began to fail him.
giving him injections daily. He would look into my eyes with such
sadness. I had to make a decision to "put him down" which was
heartbreaking. I realized
that I was being selfish. He wasn't living a happy life. He was
suffering to keep me happy.
On that cold, rainy, December day, I took him to the vet. He
knew something was going on.
looked at me with trust in his eyes. He came into my arms to comfort
He knew I had no other choice. And as that last injection was
administered to him,
Squatch looked up at me and fell into my arms. My heart was
It was at that time that I had lost another part of me. The loss was
equivalent to the loss of my dad. I never
realized how much of an impact animals can have on our life.
My buddy Squatch had a tremendous impact on my life.
It is amazing how
some of us go through life thinking that we know it all! Or that we
can handle it all! Until we are in a situation where the outcome
doesn't look so good, then and only then do we cry out for help. I
was that person. It was also amazing the first name I called out to
help me when I was plummeting towards earth at 125miles mph because
I couldn't find my ripcord. My life was spared that day. Although
skydiving has been proven to be a safe sport, pursuing an aerial
stunt career has it's challenges and dangers. There were 3 other incidents where
I thought once again I was a goner! Again, I walked away. I do not
consider myself to be a daredevil, fearless, or just plain lucky. I truly
feel that my strong love and growing faith in JESUS has not only spared my
life, but also my family's life on November 12th, 2001. When
American Airlines flight 587 crashed landed less than 40 yards from
sister's house in Rockaway , New York. My mom was the closet living
survivor from where the plane impacted. 265 people died in that
tragic accident, and 6 family houses were lost that day. My mom,
sister, niece, nephew were all home that day and they all
walked away unharmed. Although we all feel horrible for the families
who lost their loved ones, we all feel blessed as well. I do not
proclaim to be the a perfect Christian, surely I need a lot of work, But
I would not go through life, never mind pursue a stunt career
confidently if I didn't have strong faith in JESUS.
early age I decided that stunts were going to be my life one way or
another. I wanted nothing else but to be a stuntman and I planned to stick
with it the rest of my life. Knowing the dangers & the odds of
actually making a living as a stuntman were slim to none, I decided to go
for it anyway. When you decide to pursue a stunt career you immediately
know that your journey will be a long and painful journey, not only
physical but mental as well. Leaving my friends and family in New York was
very difficult. Also financial stability does not exist either. However,
if you are good, talented and know the right people, you are on the right
track. Working side by side with actors and stunt coordinators who inspired me as a
young boy is truly an incredible feeling. Seeing my name on the script,
knowing that there are literally thousands of other stunt guys who would
love to be in my position, makes me realize how fortunate I am
to be given this opportunity. The worst part of my work is
that I don't work enough. I would work 24 hours a day if it was up to
me. Going for my dream required a lot of sacrificing. But I am doing what I have always
dreamt of doing, working in Hollywood as a stuntman. I feel blessed to
have that opportunity. Internally I am very wealthy!
every stunt the nerves start up immediately. My heart rate goes up. The
adrenalin starts to pump, then the stunt coordinator asks if I am ready, I
answer yes! confidently! The assistant director calls "rolling" and the camera
starts to roll, Then the director yells
"action" it's on! All eyes are on me! Like every
trained stunt person, you just "kick it in to overdrive" and get
down to business. Ironically after every stunt I seem to ask myself the same question over
& over…. why do I do this stuff?? Then
I realize the answer immediately, because I am a stuntman and I love it!!
I would also like to
acknowledge these amazing characters that stimulated, influenced and inspired