Saturday, November 6, 2010

In Memory: Cousin George and his Cars

Hi folks-- yesterday I got some bad news -- my cousin George, some 13 years older than I, had died sometime in September. I may have been the last person to talk to him, as I had a phone conversation with George about the time that the NFL regular season started.

He had a very hard end of life, for only a few months previously his son and namesake, George, had died at age 37. A few years before all of this his wife Mary Ann had died, so he lived alone, quite alone actually, since his brother Fred had died in 2008. The suffering of the past few years was incredible, topped off by the death of his son, whom he lived near and took care of. George is survived by one other son, Norman, a lawyer working in Cleveland.

I remember the better days with cousin Georgie, however. As a very young child he took me for a thrilling ride in his 1947 green Chevrolet,; we had a 1948, but ours did not have a push -button radio. Oh, how I wanted a radio like his in our car! Near our home, Georgie hit 50 mph over some railroad tracks, an exciting ride that I quickly reported to my mother so as to get George in trouble. But I doubt that he did. Another car of George's was his 1960 blue Chevy Biscayne, a car he bought new. George was a shop and driver ed teacher, and liked his summers off. So in 1960 he took me for a day trip to Cooperstown, NY and the baseball Hall of Fame. I still can remember that Thruway trip, and the pain he endured as he had to go pee but could not stop. Other cars included a V-8 1964 Malibu that was a "sleeper," and a 1969 tan Torino with a fairly big engine.

But of all rides of my childhood, I will never forget that in the 1947 Chevy -- it was perhaps my first exposure to the thrill and risks of speed.

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