John George

Profile Updated: September 4, 2014
Residing In: Boulder, CO USA
Spouse/Partner: Selma
Occupation: Business Manager for local non-profit
Children: Son (Sebastian)in Sweden
Chinese daughter (Hannah)
Comments:

The year after graduation I went to C.U. I spent five years trying to figure out what I was interested in and what I wanted to do. I didn't have much success but I settled on Sociology just to graduate with something. I've never formally used that degree though I suppose some information has been useful in my life.

Three days after graduation in 1969 I drove to San Francisco. I was itchy to go somewhere away from Boulder. Anywhere would probably have served, but when I got a letter from a friend describing the pleasures of San Francisco, the decision was made. I had a black Triumph Spitfire and it was a joy to be on the road.

I was supposed to look my friend up but I never found him. I rented a room in the garage of a French woman (Madeleine Verdussin, or something like that). She was a somewhat sad character who never quite understood how her desperation drew men to her for one night...but just one night. I took a job at a Safeway and there's not much to say about that except that it paid the rent. Oh, and to say that I got my first lesson in business/labor relations when a union enforcer dropped by one day to encourage me to get my hair cut as the company wanted.

I made some friends and after a while moved in with them. Among my roommates was an Hispanic couple who got pregnant and decided, for political reasons, to have their baby somewhere outside of the United States. They chose the island of Ibiza (not quite the hotbed of hedonism then that it became later) and sent us, their former roommates, an invitation to come to Ibiza for the birth of their child. I accepted.

I few months later I got off the boat from Barcelona and immediately and improbably ran into my friend. His son had been born and the three of them were living in an adobe hut about three kilometers outside of Ibiza town. It seemed that rural life with an infant and no electricity, heat or water aside from rainwater had begun to wear on them and they were getting ready to go back to the States. I missed the birth but I inherited the hut.

Living in an almond grove was kind of cool. It lent itself to all sorts of literary fantasies, none of which came true. It also put me in a position to meet many of the local folks, most of whom were farmers or laborers. It is interesting to me how often it is the case that the poorest of peoples are the most generous. So it was here.

The hut I lived in didn't have much ...a small gas stove, a narrow bed, a small side table, the front seat of an old Mercedes Benz and a bathroom scale. The one thing I did have plenty of was almonds! I love almonds. I ate handfuls saute'd in butter and salt every day. One day, when I came home after spending too much time at an expat bar in Ibiza town, I found a bowl of almonds in front of my door. With it there was a note from the farming family nearby which asked, very politely, if I would please refrain from eating their almonds as it was the only way they had to support themselves. To this day I wince whenever I think of this.

I couple of months later I left Spain. I got sick and stayed sick for about six years. When I got better it seemed that the time and interest for a career had come and gone. I worked in a grocery store again, bought and sold a business and went to work for a non-profit Montessori school. But I continued to travel. It became pretty much my raison d'etre. China, Yugoslavia, Tajikistan, Russia, Ecuador...they all gave to me a bit of myself.

Now I don't travel so much, except to Sweden which is where my son is living. I suppose it is not surprising that I have a Dutch wife, a Chinese daughter and, soon, a Swedish daughter-in-law. Also a labradoodle. From Fairview to here has been my journey.

School Story:

I don't have too many vivid memories of high school days anymore. I remember playing mumbly peg with Lynn Chatwin in the "rafters" above the backstage area of the auditorium. I remember the dignity of Ruth Flowers. I remember standing in front of the school waiting for the bus the day John Kennedy was killed. That's about all.

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Jul 19, 2020 at 2:33 AM
John George has left an In Memory comment for Lynn Chatwin.
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Jan 01, 2020 at 2:33 PM

I remember playing a modified form of mumbly-peg with Lynn using our pocket knives up in the loft where theatrical materials were stored. In 1970 he sent me a letter from San Francisco extolling the virtues of the city and the scene and encouraging me to come out. I did. I never found him, in fact I never saw him again, but it was the start of a series of adventures for me. Will always remember him well.

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Posted on: Sep 13, 2016 at 10:15 AM

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Jul 19, 2016 at 2:34 AM
Jun 22, 2016 at 10:04 AM

Happy Birthday Steve! Did you sail your boat around the world?

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Jul 31, 2015 at 11:24 AM

Posted on: Jul 19, 2015 at 2:34 AM