ForeverMissed
On March 19, 2020, in the early hours of the morning, George Jay Hawley departed from his bed by the window in his wonderful home, the Snohomish Chalet/Delta Rehab, for parts unknown. 

George lived an extraordinarily adventuresome and full life from his birth near Warsaw, MO, in 1955 until a motorcycle accident on Mothers’ Day, 1979, in Kansas City, MO, through which he sustained a traumatic brain injury.  The following nine years his parents Dave and Thorne Hawley oversaw his entertainment, well-being and surgeries with energetic determination, assisted by the extended family and helpers.  In 1988 George relocated to the Snohomish Chalet in Snohomish, WA, near Seattle where his sister Harriett Morton and family live.  There he has appreciated the loving care, shared laughs and frequent smiles generated by his final word of “well…” delivered with endless intonations.  George continued there his extraordinary life in a wheelchair with very limited language, where his primary contribution to the world consisted of brightening other people’s lives. 

George is survived by his brother Charles Gray Hawley of Denver, CO and his sister Harriett Hawley Morton of Mercer Island, WA, along with many nieces and nephews,  grandnieces and grandnephews, scores of interesting cousins and friends everywhere who felt like family .   David and Thorne Hawley both found primary joy in adding to his lifestyle before Dave’s death in 1995 and Thorne’s in 2007. Big brother Roger departed this crowd in 2016.

Donations to acknowledge his passing would be gratefully appreciated by the Snohomish Chalet.  Please send the donation as a check to:

Delta Foundation

1711 Terrace

Snohomish, WA 98290
Posted by Lynn Neff on May 29, 2020
I've been following the wonderful posts and memories from all. George you are SO loved. And seeing more of your art makes me smile...thank you George and all!
Posted by Robert Kopietz on April 28, 2020
My dear friend and runnin partner, George J Hawley. A great friend, like a brother to Me. We had some really great times. I still remember rowing the skiff,as fast as we could in the roughest water possible. My first sailing adventure was with George, 40 mph winds in 4 ft. waves on a sunfish. we loved to ride a wave as long as possible, great times living life on the edge.
George will be truly missed by everyone who knew him.
rest easy bro.
Posted by Susan Harrington on April 18, 2020
I first met George about 35 years ago when I went to Kansas City to attend Judy and Charlie's wedding, and stayed in the wonderful Hawley home, where the wedding was taking place.. Dave and Thorne were so generous and gracious, but it was the interaction with George that had a profound impact.
He was always at the center of the action, whether singing around the piano, or enjoying a joke around the pool. We were also fortunate enough to celebrate his 50th birthday with him at Snohomish Chalet. There were lots of laughs (Charlie was great at making George laugh!), good cheer, George was so very present, and he had a way of making us all feel so special. May his next adventure be extraordinary, as he certainly was. Fad and Tommy
Posted by Bill Bowman Ann Gushurst on April 14, 2020
George was 15 when I first met him in KC in 1970 for Harriet & John's wedding. He was a free spirit, living up to his pre- billing by Charlie. A beautiful human being, a product of the '70s. My favorite memories:
George on his unicycle, and he and your dad Dave C carving a totem pole from a dead tree in their backyard off Ward Parkway. The neighbors were delighted by the artistic contribution to the stately residential enclave. 
Hope John and he are side by side, looking down. Bill Bowman and Ann Gushurst
Posted by Audrey Hoyt on April 12, 2020
Georgie George George, my beloved Uncle George. Since we both had the good fortune of being such immediate parts of mom's (Harriett) life, I got to spend quite a bit of time with you over the years, particularly as a child. You were such a nice pal to have, unhurried and so present, truly tuned into me as a child, observant, curious, and engaged in the world around you despite your limitations. You brought such a sense of ease and lightheartedness to those around you, always smiling with an undeterred sense of humor. Allegedly, you and I even developed our own special language to speak together.

I have vivid memories of being in the back of the van with you, my mom, and grandma Thorne listening to Simon and Garfunkel or The Grateful Dead together, you singing right along. I can see us on our way to browse antique shops in Everett, going to the pumpkin patch and animal petting zoo, Grandma trying to find a good live Blues or Jazz spot to take you to, us sitting out back on the patio at those riverside cafes in Snohomish, and going to the fish and chips shop on Main Street. There was even an impressive feat by your determined sister taking us camping at the city park in the rain. I only had time with you post accident, but knew the ultimate adventurer George through stories and I'm sure my teenage wannabe "hippie" years were really wanting to just be like young George.

My time at the chalet even had a sense of wonder; the huge grassy lawn and long driveway entrance, Swiss Alps styling and gazebo, some sort of interesting live animals living at the house by the back parking lot, and Camp Careless which felt like a true camping retreat far removed. As a little girl, I always hoped my parents would move to Snohomish so we could live in one of those beautiful old Victorian homes, have a green lawn with a willow tree out front, and be close to you and Grandma. You were a real friend and a clear part of my happy childhood. Thank you for the happy calm you brought to my life. You were the ultimate example that life is not material, it is spiritual.

Love eternal, Audrey
Posted by Frida Mbepo on April 10, 2020
I met George when i moved to America in 1998. He was charming and full of joy. I always enjoyed visiting him or seeing him comes to visit. He enjoyed music and he will carry a tune by blowing a whistle. He was just full of life. I am blessed to be knowing George. Thank you for showing me love. I love you and i will miss you! We love you but God love you more...continue to rest in peace uncle George.
Posted by Erin Spiess on April 10, 2020
George - you showed us that life is beautiful and that all that is needed is the ability to give and receive love unconditionally. No words are even needed - just a smile of pure joy, eyes of compassion, and a sense of humor. George, you are a true example and an inspiration to spread our light and love to the world in our own unique capacity. Thank you for blessing us all. So much love to you on your next adventure.
Posted by Candy Gray on April 9, 2020
I met George when Matt and I were dating in the '70's--he was quite a force! Later, it was getting to know his whole family (when I married into the Gray part) that it was clear that the Hawley spirit itself was a force, and all of the Hawley clan really enjoyed life. It also seemed they all saw and valued that George especially embodied a joie de vivre with zeal and panache--he seemed to have a double dose of it! He expressed that in everything he did through his whole life. Sending love to everyone--
Posted by Steve Clarke on April 8, 2020
Although I only had the good fortune to visit and interact with George but a few times, he really left a lasting impression: warm, effervescent, cheerful--almost jolly, gentle--and man, did he make and keep eye-contact! The photos and tributes from Sweet Caet not only confirmed my impressions but described a truly, charismatic, admirable, human being. I wish that I had, somehow, connected with George a good deal more than I did. Rest easy George,
Steve
Posted by Brenda Gilbert on April 7, 2020
George, may you find great joy in this next step. Just as you shared your fears and laughter, your courage and faith, so shall you be welcomed into Heaven. I remember you, all those years ago, laughing and running through the house as a kid with Roger chasing you.  Whatever you must have done I do not know but I’m pretty sure Roger will remind you now that you are together! I also remember Cliff and John getting you into the boat when we were at Mercer Island. You truly were courageous and patient with us. You will be remembered and missed. Bon Voyage my friend. 
Posted by Anke Van De Waal on April 7, 2020
Dear GEORGE,
I never met you. But somehow I felt your spirit. Having spend quite some special time with the Morton family, I heard your stories. I read the letters you wrote to your dad being on a trip and I saw your drawings. You have left a legacy dear George. Here is the hug I always wanted to give you. I know for sure you will receive it. Much love sent your way, ANKE
Posted by Michael King on April 7, 2020
George will always be remembered as being fearless. Maybe to a fault. An example would be his desire to always try to beat his record time driving down to the lake in his VW squareback. Scared the hell out of me many times. My lake stories are to many to write down here but will be forever etched in my memory. George and I had a great adventure in 1973. We were going to hitchhike around the world! No small feat but that was George. Always thinking big and no challenge was to big for him. Here is my take on that adventure:
George and I set out to hitchhike around the world in the summer of 1973 after graduation. I'm sure it was concocted in the basement of his house in a cloud of smoke. Anyway one day we stuck our thumbs out on East bound I 70 and off we went. A month later we were landing in Europe. Stuck our thumb out and headed South. A couple of weeks later we were in Morocco. Again stuck our thumb out on any road going East. Unfortunately Israel thought it was a good idea to bomb Egypt at that time. We were evacuated from North Africa and shipped back to Europe. Now wearing local garb because our backpacks were stolen from us in Morocco everyone thought George was French and I was German. Had something to do with our unique physique. Next thing I know we were in Greece during a military coup d'etat. Anyway because of the delays and change in travel plans George and I split up in Greece. I went to Switzerland and George continued East to India where he got peace of mind through mind altering pharmaceuticals. I've had a lot of worldly experiences and adventures but this was a life changing event for me. Thank you George for your friendship and love. The world will miss you.
Posted by Jo Ellen Seaver on April 6, 2020
George always got his meaning across. He gave the best hugs and loved taking his teeth out ---then he would laugh...I remember his laugh! Rest In Peace George
Posted by Lynn Neff on April 6, 2020
George will always be a huge part of the special memories, many laughs and inspiration he has given all his Delta Family members. The adventures we heard about through writings, Mama Thorne and sweet Sis Harriett gave us a chance to really appreciate this man and his delightful character. Thank you George for the 20+ years I got to share with you. It's been an honor my friend. Bless your heart...Lynn

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Lynn Neff on May 29, 2020
I've been following the wonderful posts and memories from all. George you are SO loved. And seeing more of your art makes me smile...thank you George and all!
Posted by Robert Kopietz on April 28, 2020
My dear friend and runnin partner, George J Hawley. A great friend, like a brother to Me. We had some really great times. I still remember rowing the skiff,as fast as we could in the roughest water possible. My first sailing adventure was with George, 40 mph winds in 4 ft. waves on a sunfish. we loved to ride a wave as long as possible, great times living life on the edge.
George will be truly missed by everyone who knew him.
rest easy bro.
Posted by Susan Harrington on April 18, 2020
I first met George about 35 years ago when I went to Kansas City to attend Judy and Charlie's wedding, and stayed in the wonderful Hawley home, where the wedding was taking place.. Dave and Thorne were so generous and gracious, but it was the interaction with George that had a profound impact.
He was always at the center of the action, whether singing around the piano, or enjoying a joke around the pool. We were also fortunate enough to celebrate his 50th birthday with him at Snohomish Chalet. There were lots of laughs (Charlie was great at making George laugh!), good cheer, George was so very present, and he had a way of making us all feel so special. May his next adventure be extraordinary, as he certainly was. Fad and Tommy
his Life

Dave Hawley's story "My son George!" written for staff at Snohomish Chalet

When George was a small boy, he had a dog named Span and they were very good friends.  Span was a black and white English Setter, and he went with George everywhere he went.  When George started in school, Span went with him and waited for him every day.  They lived in a a small town of a thousand people and everybody knew George and Span.  Halfway through his first year in school, George's family moved to Kansas City which is, of course, a large city.
       I was talking on the phone in my new office in the big city when the switchboard operator broke into my conversation and said, "Mr. Hawley, the principal of J.C. Nichols School is on the telephone.  I thought it might be an emergency."  I told the person I was talking to I would call him back and asked the Principal what I could do for her.  She said, "Mr. Hawley, this morning, when it was time for recess, there were so many dogs on the playground I was afraid to let the children out.  I started identifying the dogs and telling their owners to take them home.  I told your son George to take his dog Span home and not bring him back.  George told me he would take Span home and neither one of them would be back.  Now Mr. Hawley, I don't have to take that kind of talk from a six year old."  I said, "How does it stand now?"  "They are both still here."  "I apologize, let me talk to George."
       When George was eleven years old, he announced that he and Span were going to walk from Kansas City down to Warsaw, Missouri.  Warsaw was the small town where we had moved to Kansas City from.  It was a little over a hundred miles from Kansas City, but George had figured out a route that would be back roads and it made it a little farther.  His plan was to carry a small pack and sleep on the ground.  I tried to point out all the problems he would have but he still wanted to try it.  His plan was to follow the railroad tracks for the first leg of the journey.  In about twenty miles they would take him to Harrisonville, Missouri.  He would spend the first night there.
       I had agreed to drive them, George and Span, to the edge of Kansas City, where the railroad tracks left town.  I drove them out there in the early morning and showed them the starting off place.  We all got out of the car and I gave them some last minute admonitions.  George looked awfully small and the pack looked like it would grow heavy.  I had left the door to the car open and while I was giving George the last minute chance to turn back, Span quietly sneaked back to the car and got in.  I said, "George, Span doesn't want to go." He said, "that's alright.  He might have caused me trouble anyway."  George started out and I drove Span home.  I thought Span looked like he was ashamed of himself 
      That evening, we were playing bridge with the Jim Merits in our living room when the phone rang.  I answered it and a man's voice said, "We got your boy."  I said, "Who is this and where are you calling from". He said, "This is the sheriff of Cass County. I picked him up walking on the railroad tracks in Harrisonville.  I spotted him for a runaway the minute I saw him."  "Has he broken the law?" "Not unless you call running away to be breaking the law."  "He didn't run away, Sheriff. You had better turn him loose at once.  Better yet, let me talk to him." I figured George must be exhausted and would be too tired to look for a place to spend the night so I talked him into letting me come and get him and bringing him home to sleep.  I promised to drive him back out to Harrisonville in the morning and let him start in right where he had left off. George slept in his own bed that night and I drove him back out to Harrisonville the next morning.
      The next night, the City Marshall of Holden, Missouri called me to say they had George.  I told them if he hadn't broken the law to turn him loose.  The next night, George arrived in Windsor, Missouri, and it was raining.  He went in the bar on Main Street and asked the bartender if he knew of any rooms to rent.  The bartender directed him to a house down the street and George rented a room.  The next morning, George called me and said it was raining in Windsor,  He had a nice room he had rented for two dollars a night.  His feet were tired and he would like to spend the day resting in Windsor.  When George arrived in Warsaw three days later and told them he had walked there from Kansas City by himself he became a legend.  Span was sorry he hadn't gone.
      During the next school year, things were not going well for George and he announced that he was going to run away.  I asked him where he was going to run to.  He said he hadn't decided.  I told him I had done quite a bit of thinking about running away when I was his age and I had some suggestions. Maybe I got the idea from reading Huck Finn but I thought it would be a real adventure to go down the Missouri River to St Louis where it joins the Mississippi- and consider going down the Mississippi to New Orleans.  George said he couldn't go down the Missouri without a boat and he didn't have one.  I said if he would put this trip off until school was out, I would help him get a boat.  He felt out some of his friends at school and decided this was a good idea.
       We looked in the classified section of the Sunday paper every week and went to look at used boats.  We finally found an old aluminum Lone Star fourteen feet long with a small outboard motor on it.  I bought it and George started planning the trip.  His biggest problem was there were so many of his classmates that wanted to go with him he couldn't accommodate them all.  I told him he shouldn't rule any of them out until he found how many could get permission to go.  As the time of departure drew near, they began to drop out.  George couldn't believe it.  Their mothers wouldn't let them go.  It was finally down to one boy and his mother called me.  When I told her it was true, she said she wasn't that crazy.  George said he would go by himself.  I started working on Charlie.  Charlie was George's older brother.  There was five years difference in their ages and Charlie's interests had graduated.  He had bigger fish to fry.  It didn't appeal to him.  When I gave up trying to sell him the idea, I tried bribing him.  I thought Charlie was nice to George to agree to go but I also thought Charlie would enjoy it.  They cooked their meals and slept on the banks of the river.  They visited the small towns and dodged the tugboats pulling the big barges up the river.  It is 250 miles by highway to St. Louis but with all the curves and bends in the river it must be 500 by the way of the Missouri river.
      When they reached St. Louis, Charlie called me and he was ready to come home.  I talked to George and he wanted to go on down the Mississippi.  Between George and I we talked Charlie into trying it.  They had a lot of adventures between St. Louis and Memphis.  At Memphis Charlie called again and he sounded overjoyed.  He said, "We have to quit now. The boat sank."  The constant vibration caused by the outboard motor had loosened the rivets that held the boat together.  It sank while it was tied to the bank.
      George's main love at this time was drawing.  When other people in our family were reading books or watching television, George was sitting on the floor drawing.  He didn't want to miss the sociability so he would sit in the middle of the group, but he was drawing instead of watching the show.  Hallmark Cards took one student from each of the city's eleven high schools and formed a class that met twice a month at Hallmark's big factory and their best artists showed these kids some of their tricks.  George was the representative of his high school.
      About this time, someone painted a large mural on the wall of the boys' restroom at the high school.  The principal didn't care for it and did his best to find out who did it. He was unsuccessful until he thought of the art teacher.  He brought her into the boys' restroom and she took one look.  She said, "I don't think I know who did it. I know who did it.  There is only one boy in this school who could have done it. That was done by George Hawley".  For that little job, George was rewarded by getting to clean the graffiti off the walls of all the restrooms in the school.
      George followed his older brothers into several adventures.  One of these was mountain climbing in the Colorado Rockies.  He seemed to enjoy this a lot and I bought him a used mountain climbing rope for his birthday.  A couple of weeks later, I got a call one night while I was playing tennis.  The voice said, "Mr. Hawley, this is Sargent Smith of the Kansas City police department.  We apprehended your son, George, rappelling off the top of the new Alameda Hotel. They are having a meeting down here at the hotel and they would like for you to come on down here."  I said I would b a few minutes as I had to change my clothes.  He said he would meet me at the front door.  The hotel was the newest thing on the Kansas City skyline and was going to open in just a few days.
      There were about twelve men in the room and the sargent did a fair job of introducing me to all of them.  There were three corporations involved.  One owned the hotel.  One was building the hotel and one was going to operate it as soon as they turned it over to them.  After we all got introduced, one of the underlings, I don't know who he worked for, pointed a long finger at George and said,"Is this your son?" I said, "Yes, he is my son. But before you get too excited, keep in mind that I wasn't climbing on your building and if you called me down here to bawl me out, I am going home." Then Mr. Nichols spoke up, the president of the company that owned the building, "Let's not let this meeting get out of control. George didn't hurt the building and George didn't get hurt."  The finger pointer spoke up. "Do you realize we have lost three television sets and this building isn't even open yet?"  I said, "If you can rappel off of the roof and carry a television set to the ground, I will pay for the three sets."  Mr. Pistelli, the president of the company that was going to mange the hotel then said, "All we want to accomplish here is to have George and his father agree that George will not do this again.  In return for that promise, I would like to invite them to the opening ceremonies.  I would also like an understanding from everyone here that George's outside descent will not appear in the paper so no one else will get the idea to try it."
      George told us that when he graduated from high school, he was going to hitchhike around the world.  I thought that might be a good idea to get that out of his system before he went to college.  That summer he didn't get a job and he hung around the house until I was tired of him.  I told him if he was going to go, to get on with it.  He said he was waiting to sell his motorcycle.  He needed the five hundred dollars he was going to get for it. I said, "Go ahead and go.  I will sell your motorcycle and send you the money to some agreed upon location when you send for it."  My brother, George, suggested that our George look up a friend of his in Tehran, Iran.  This man had gone there with the State Department.  He got tired of trying to rescue American hippies who were arrested with marijuana and quit and went to work for a bank.  He would be a good avenue through which to send George's five hundred dollars.
       George went first to Washington to get the visas he would need.  He bought a cheap ticket across the Atlantic.  He hitchhiked through Europe to Africa.  He got robbed in Morocco while we was asleep on the beach.  He got a temporary job in a movie they were making in Greece.  It was also in Greece that the boy who had gone with him from Kansas City said he had had enough and turned around and started home.
       George went up through Constantinople into Turkey.  He got stranded in Turkey in a village of mud houses where the roof was too low to stand upright.  After three days, the villagers stopped a volkswagon van on the road and blocked its passage until it admitted George. It was driven by Canadian kids who were terrified of the Turks.  When they said to George, "Where did you come from?", George said, "I live here."
      When George reached Tehran, Iran, he was hungry, dirty, long-haired and broke.  He found my brother's friend, the banker.  He got his five hundred dollars.  The banker's family fattened him up for two weeks and he was on his way through Iran and Pakistan.  Part of the way in Afghanistan, George traveled by camel train. He went through Pakistan down into India where he stayed three months.  He stayed in an area called Goa, which is on the southwestern coast of India.  He wrote us that he was out of money but, we couldn't find him.  He finally found a hundred dollars I had sent to an American Express office, hoping he would stop there.
      Resuming eating, he went on.  He met up with a girl working in the Peace Corps in Malaysia who was from Kansas City.  She used to date George's brother, Charlie.  The two of them rented motor scooters in Bangkok and toured Burma.
      George rented an empty seat in a tour plane in Hong Kong for a hundred dollars that took him to Los Angeles.  When he got home, he had been gone nine months.
      After an attempt to go to college failed to prove exciting and an attempt to make a living planting trees in Bellingham, Washington, failed so support him, George was at home in Kansas City when his cousin, Charles Clay, propositioned him to ride motorcycles to California.  They were going to visit Charles' married sister.  Charles had a new motorcycle that he wanted to try out and George had an old worn out motorcycle that he had put together from parts on his basement.
      The first part of the trip went fine.  Twenty miles before they reached Albuquerque, George's old motorcycle gave up and threw a rod through the block.  George sold his motorcycle for junk and climbed on behind Charles and rode on into Albuquerque.  They found a place to spend the night and George called his father.  George told his father that he had some money but not enough to buy another motorcycle.  What should he do? His father told him he should get up the next morning and look for a job.  His father told him he was very fortunate to have this emergency occur where it did.  Many people spend a lot of time and energy getting to Albuquerque because that is where they want to spend their lives.  "When you wake up tomorrow morning, you will already be there."  I was over at cousin Charles' house when Charles called his father two days later.  Charles said, "What do I do now?"  After the talk with his father, George went out and bought a haircut.  Then he bought a cowboy hat and a pair of cowboy boots.  Then, he bought a horse and a saddle.  Then, he said, "Goodbye Charles, I will meet you in California."  Charles' father said, "You get on your motorcycle and go to California."
      When Charles got back to Kansas City, he wrote an interesting book about this trip.
      As it turns out, George couldn't slow down to the pace of the horse.  After several days of playing "Wagon Train," he stopped at a ranch to spend the night and he sold the horse and saddle and started hitchhiking.
      At the time George got hurt, he had a good job working as a property manager for a big real estate firm in Kansas City.  He managed several apartment houses.  He hired the managers and janitors, supervised the maintenance and took care of the rent.  
      George was on his motorcycle when he was hit by an inexperienced sixteen year old driver making a left turn.  George was twenty four years old.


      



 
      


  
Recent stories

The Music of George Hawley

Shared by Scott Engel on April 19, 2020
Like many of us, George was fascinated with music through what happened in the 60s. We took a couple stabs at collaborating and creating a distinctive sound. The first time we were 18-19 years old and weren’t yet proficient on our instruments. For the short term we devised gimmicks, like playing only the black keys. One weekend, George, Brian Champion, Mark Bemueller and I went down to the lake and played one song over and over until it became deliriously funny. “Oh baby please don’t go, oh baby please don’t go, oh baby please don’t go back to New Orleans, you know I love you so”. I started getting a clue about chord progressions from Beatle song books. At some point James McVay came through town and showed George how to play ‘Blackbird’ with the 2 string scales and fingerpicking. This sent us off into a whole new system that kept us occupied like monkeys until the next time James swung through town and dropped another clue on us. James McVay is the real-deal, our go-to guy.

I took off for San Diego and George went to Washington and the bay area. He shipped my bass guitar to me in San Diego with a present in the string compartment of the case. Much appreciated. I continued studying Paul McCartney bass playing while George took up the fiddle. About 4 years passed, I was living in an apartment in North Kansas City and had acquired a nice studio workhorse electric guitar. George showed up with his fiddle saying, “,.we’ve got to do this”. On my nylon string Harmony-guitar he demonstrated the traditional jazz progression from which a lot of jazz is derived. It had this flourishing Starlight Theatre quality. George had been developing some serious chops on the fiddle and boom. In matter of about 10 minutes, we’re an impressive swing jazz duo. We were raised in KC, must be in the DNA. We liked to play make believe Kansas City jazz men. On the advice of some actual Kansas City jazz players, I bought ‘Mickey Baker, Volume 1, Jazz and Hot Guitar’ at Luyben’s Music, which lays out all the magic modern jazz chords. Page one and you’re Joe Pass, almost.

The lease came up on my apartment and George was living at Campbell house, so he invited me to rent a room there. David said we could live there and play make believe KC jazz musicians as long as we converted the house back to a single-family home. The first night I stayed there, the Coates House burned down and George, being the property manager, left at 2:00 AM to go deal with it.

George borrowed a TEAC 4 track reel-to-reel tape player from Valentine Radford and we set about creating a new genre of music called ‘Bazz’, a hybrid of Blue Grass and jazz combined with imitation Indian Raga. George was a Grateful Dead fan and I was a Beatle freak, so we tossed that into the scouse. We were definitely on the same page as to the goal, which was to play before audiences full of hippie girls in Summer dresses, swaying like palm trees as we transported them to paradise via our spiritual sambas. It’s a noble aspiration. George was very art oriented and as such, said we should just approach music creation as art. John Lennon started out as an art student and it’s clear that he applied principles learned in oil painting, pen & ink etc. As in a painting, there is a backdrop. For us, this often took the form of a repeating (ostinato) riff or a maj7 two chord Caribbean sounding vamp. From there we would tastefully layer up Latin percussions and other parts to fill in the picture. To be sure a lot of it was crap. However, there were many tracks where we were successful at setting up the circumstance that allowed magic to instantiate. Sounds a bit like voodoo doesn’t it? Of interest is that we had an idea of what we wanted to do but what actually came out was a psychedelic Latin and ‘Island mode’ sound. George’s favorite state of mind and form of music was ‘Island mode’. Waterfalls, serenity, the soothing sound of waves playing tag with the shore, mangos, long haired ladies, sweet music.

Brazilian, Cuban and Jamaican threads run through the recordings. We took a stab at some traditional stuff but found it boring. Getting a groove going was the first priority, then if we were to add lyrics, we let the song tell us what it wanted to be about. At one session, we had a soul sound clicking along, so George, Brian Champion and I began pacing around the room while the music played, mumbling to ourselves saying whatever words came to mind. I thought I heard George say “There’s a lady on the sea”,“What did you just say?” , “There’s a lady on the scene”. Perfect, lets go. Brian and I put in some make-believe Motown back up singing and George laid down a rap song. Yes, George did a rap song in 1978 a year before Sugarhill Gang released, 'Rapper's Delight’, which was the point where Rap music went mainstream. Like the rap songs of today, George’s “Lady On the Scene” is profanity laced but quite funny. There’s also a lot of fast comedy before and after the songs throughout the recordings.

The time came when the TEAC 4 track had to be returned and the tapes went into a box, unheard since, by my estimate, late 1978. With the help of Jim Ward, I located a TEAC 4 track reel-to-reel and you can now hear George in the audio section of this site. The process of preserving George’s music to infinitude digital format is in progress and you’re just not going to believe it.

Shared by Caety Winston on April 15, 2020
George J, Wow, what can I say?! He was unique, athletic, fun, talented, so cool, and MY cousin! He collected unique friends, and hobbies. He came up with different things to do. Like using his folks’ video camera to create a movie where little tablets magically became people. There, of course, was a whole story behind that.

He was an impressive athlete. All his movements were smooth, and fluid. He was agile, and (to me) had unbelievable balance. He could have been a Walenda. He liked his unicycle, so high you had to climb a ladder to get on it. I learned at an early age I couldn’t follow George J unless he wanted me to. I have poor balance, and got myself into a few tough situations because I tried. He’d jump over a bad place in a trail, climb up a rock ledge, or walk a skinny log across a creek. Not me. Though, when he wanted he could get me to do stuff. Like high tail it across the nature trail through Georgene’s and into the side entrance of the cave, at night, to scare the others who had left earlier. For the most part I could trust George J, but he was a tease. I’m not prissy and have handled my share of snakes, turtles, frogs etc. I did learn to respect them for what they are when George J told me his pet box turtle didn’t bite. Held his hand in front of the turtle and nothing, but when I did it, it clamped down on the skin between my thumb and forefinger. Davey was able to pry the jaw open and it hardly left a mark. Just the tip of the turtle’s mouth had broken the skin, and probably wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t dangled him from my hand.

Starting 6th grade George started school with me, sometimes in the same class. He quickly became cool. And even elevated himself to super cool. I had plenty of friends, but I was never cool. We have lots of family that were cool in school but he was super cool. He was always doing things that could get himself in to trouble, but would manage to get away unharmed. At 14 he and his friend John Jenkins borrowed John’s parent’s car. They didn’t get past Meyer’s Circle before wiping out all the bushes around half the circle, and breaking the axel on the car. They immediately abandoned the car, though John did get in trouble for it. George repelled down the side of the then Alameda Plaza. Got caught but oh so cool. He frustrated the janitors but thrilled the students by shutting himself in the guys’ bathroom and painting his trucking character murals on the wall. He would slip out the window shimmy up the wall to the roof and escape. Oh, so very cool!! He could play any stringed instrument. Even if he had never played it before, he could figure it out. He would get together with anybody that wanted and jam. Summer at the Lake of the Ozarks with Jimmy, Charlie, and George J jamming in the evening is one of my favorite memories. Drifting in the boat under a full moon, nothing like it! Like I said talented and super cool.

After high school George took off around the world, and then traveled around the US on his antique BMW. George J liked the lighter bike because he could do crazy dangerous tricks with them. He used to tell me crazy wonderful scary stories about his travels. My senior year at MU he started in a music program, and moved into an apartment a couple blocks from mine. He told me the difference between a violin and a fiddle was that you tucked the violin under your chin, and rested the fiddle on your arm or shoulder. He never got used to tucking it under his chin. He always had an interesting group of people that would come by his place. Archie, I think that was his name was a frequent visitor. A great big redhead that kept his bullwhip on the dash of his truck. He looked and appeared a great deal more menacing then he really was. He treated me fine, and taught me how to crack that bullwhip.

Sometime along the way George J started calling me Sweet Caet, not cool Caet. Some of our classmates were amazed that I was his cousin. I always figured it was his oh so cool adventurous personality, when I was relatively quiet. After his accident, when we were at a family function, he signaled that he wanted me to come closer, I took his hand and he called me Sweet Caet. I knew then that he still remembered, and the connection was still there.

I have so many memories of him tumbling through my mind. I had to write down some of them.

Love to all my family, Sweet Caet

A couple of our MANY adventures.

Shared by James McVay on April 14, 2020
George and I were close companions from grade school until I left SW high in Junior year. We did MANY crazy things together and I've never known anyone as fearless as George.

I have MANY stories about our antics together but I’ll put a couple down here.

When George was in his unicycle phase he decided he wanted to ride up the wall on Wornall road down by the plaza.
We road unicycles down to the plaza, he on his extended 5ft tall version and I on the regular sized one.
I think you might remember that wall. It was about 2 feet wide and went from brush creek up the hill to some apartment buildings. The Walnuts?

Anyway on the Wornall side of the wall it went from about a 4ft drop at the bottom of the hill to about a 20ft drop at it’s highest point. (my memory of the exact height is a little fuzzy)
There was a road on the other side of the wall with about a 5ft drop. In any case, George was determined to ride the unicycle up that wall.
I told him he was crazy and that I wasn’t going to watch and that if he fell the fall would likely kill him and if not the fall, a car would probably run him over!
Well he started up that wall and I both couldn’t look and I couldn’t look away. I followed up on the adjacent road and he did it. George was one of the most fearless people I’ve ever known.
The next time I came over to George's house a couple of days later George had tied a tightrope across 2 of the big trees in the back yard and had taken the tire off the unicycle and was trying to ride on the rim across the rope.

Speaking of the trees in the backyard, one time George and I got some garage door springs and made a giant version of one of those Jolly Baby Jumper things.
We tied it to a branch about 20ft up on one of those trees and spent the afternoon bouncing up and down on our giant Jolly Jumper.