Friday, May 2, 2008


When I was young I would go and spend part of each summer with my great aunt. Usually my grandmother would join us for a portion of the visit. When she did, she and my great aunt, her sister, would go out and about as they did when they were girls.

Occasionally, I was permitted to stay at home with my great aunt’s gentleman friend, George. George was in all ways a character. He was bald with a belly and his favorite expression was mighty souls, which was at least five syllables when he said it. He was a whiskey-drinking, cigar-smoking, card-playing man.

Why is that significant? Because when we hung out we played poker. If our game started before the ladies left, we used matchsticks since I was five and they were afraid I’d break the official clay poker chips. But the instant we heard the car pull away, George would break them out anyway. He also traded in my glass of soda for a small shot of whiskey and gave me my own cigar. This man took his job of teaching me to be one of the boys seriously. My great aunt was always very punctual. Must have been the school teacher in her so we always knew when to expect them back and had time to eliminate all evidence of our “real” game.

Our ritual lasted until the third summer when something happened, I think perhaps one of their intended destinations was closed or someone wasn’t home to visit, and they returned early. You guessed it! Busted red-handed. From then on, our games were supervised and not nearly as much fun.

More about George on a later blog. I suspect that in a few ways, he influenced who I am today.


Amarinda Jones said...

We need more Georges in our lives, gently corrupting us

Kelly Kirch said...

I like this George-guy. Wonderful man, rule breaker, and someone who clearly remains in your memory. That's an excellent sign of his influence.

Anny Cook said...

Everyone needs a George. I'm so glad you had him.