I was floored when I learned George had left the planet, moving back to his rightful place among the greatest angels who had ever graced this earth.
I was floored again as I learned about his long past inspiring others, both in the Libertarian movement and in developing a coalition of what we call "The Left and The Right" - as Ron Paul described it; where limited government and anti-imperialists and those who support the Constitution and Civil Liberties could all meet, share ideas and common ground, and debate and develop polices in ways most opposing parties today cannot.
After reading Ron Paul's Congressional Tribute, I was able to sit back with a bittersweet smile, remembering my own years sitting at George's desk - sometimes for hours when time allowed - though his phone was often busy all the way to the last time I saw him. I'd sit there learning, laughing, listening, soaking in such a great, wise, gentle soul and as I read Ron Paul's Congressional Tribute, I was floored again that a great mind such as Ron Paul had been so deeply touched in so many ways by George as well.
I never knew...
I cannot fully describe what it was like to be with George any more eloquently than Ron Paul has now done, but I can confirm George treated everyone - even rough-neck sailors like me - with the upmost brotherly/family style respect, as he'd invite you to the desk, we'd swap a bit of chocolate I'd bring for the gals in the office and even if his phone was busy as it usually was, I'd try to stay for as long as possible, knowing after a call he'd be right back to the most gentle common sense and quiet humor that taught you things without formally teaching, made you laugh without a formal joke, made you think in new ways without pressing you to strain a brain; it was the most subtle, intuitive and highly effective manner I think I have ever seen in one man.
I remember once when a friend sat with George and my friend, a wise old construction worker who had counted his pennies, had a million dollar home completely paid off. We were discussing converting a mortgage on the property into gold and silver - sound money - which George always said wasn't to be confused with speculation or investing. You don't buy gold and silver like a day trader: You buy it because it represents real money and protects against most of the ills of fiat currencies.
George laughed at the idea of taking out a mortgage on a paid-off property to buy precious metals; saying "Real estate without any burden or risk from a loan is a wonderful asset in and of itself. Why would you put the property at risk simply to trade one good asset of equal value for another? You don't buy gold and silver coins to speculate, nor should you put your free and clear property at risk. Rather if you are holding a lot of fiat currencies, then you might consider moving them to a safer vehicle (sic) like gold or silver coins."
George was sitting in a position to easily make $20,000 - $50,000 or more if my friend had moved forward with his idea of getting a mortgage and buying bullion, but as successful as George was, it was never at the expense of his friends, his customers, his honest wisdom, his fiscal prudence or his granite bedrock of integrity. Ron Paul said he never had a better business partner than George: believe it.
We talked a lot about sailing and the direction of the nation today, about the future of the young burdened with enormous debt, about the sharp divisions in politics that have led to an inept and ineffective Congress and ballooning national debt with a falling standard of living and a rapid destruction of the middle class.
A nation's health and vitality can be easily gauged by the strength of its middle class and according to what I learned from George, our nation has some major fixing up to do and our politicians have some fence mending to do on both sides of the aisle. We seem to be thin on Constitutionalists and Civil Rights and rather thick on loose spenders, corporate socialists and overseas imperialists; policies our Founding Fathers warned us against; trends our current politicians like Ron Paul have reminded us we need to address quickly; and flaws the majority of politicians and dare I say "apathetic, disorganized citizens" seem to be unable or unwilling to correct.
I might suggest - as George taught many to do - that if the citizens of this nation wish to organize into an effective body they need to cross and whenever possible, dissolve "party" lines, remembering we are all Americans and we are all subject to the same problems in Washington D.C. and Smalltown, U.S.A. When we put our differences aside and focus on those principles described in the Constitution and by Constitionalists then we are more likely to experience periods of growth and prosperity, as planned and designed by our Founding Fathers when they laid out the blueprint for America 200 years ago.
George was more than a "Libertarian" or a "Constitutionalist" or "Wise Teacher" or "Humorous Friend". His laughing eyes and gentle smile will be missed by everyone who knew him and even those - like me - who never knew the depth of his soul, his wisdom and his understanding of life, global politics, economics and even average people like me.