I first knew him from Grunings in S.O. village. He was a Korean War vet and then worked customs at Newark airport up to his 70's.
After Grunings closed, he changed his "headquarters" to Park Wood Diner. There, he would greet friends/customers as they entered Park Wood.
I hope you win that lottery, George.
Awww so sad! Exchanged many snippets of conversation with him at Park Wood over the years - he will be missed. Hope they still keep his street sign up
This is sad to hear. He was at Park Wood, any time day or night you went you were more likely than not to see him there.
Ah, sorry to hear this. Georgie was a gentleman. The mayor of the Park Wood counter. Always a fun, friendly and pleasant guy to exchange light banter with. He would call me “young fella” which believe me I am not. Park Wood was truly his Cheers. Earlier this year I asked a waitress about him, as I hadn’t seen him there for a while. She said he was having some health issues and made it in only occasionally. I thought that might mean trouble as Georgie was up there in years. RIP.
Smedley said:Ah, sorry to hear this. Georgie was a gentleman. The mayor of the Park Wood counter. Always a fun, friendly and pleasant guy to exchange light banter with. He would call me “young fella” which believe me I am not. Park Wood was truly his Cheers. Earlier this year I asked a waitress about him, as I hadn’t seen him there for a while. She said he was having some health issues and made it in only occasionally. I thought that might mean trouble as Georgie was up there in years. RIP.
He fell in his bathroom and was sent to V.A. in East Orange. From there, he went to a facility, somewhere in Maplewood. A friend drove him to Park Wood a few times.
If you knew George, you knew he loved scratch-off. Whenever I went on a road trip, I would buy a couple of bucks worth of lottery tickets from whatever state or country I was in and mail them to George, C/O Park Wood. He always got a kick out of that.
So when I saw him at Park Wood after his return to Maplewood, I walked over to the lottery store and bought a $2.00 ticket. "George, you owe me a dollar and we split the winnings."
Damn. If that ticket didn't win $120.00
I’m so sorry to hear that news George has passed. We always enjoyed talking with him at the Parkwood.
Well, this is sad news. I remember George very well. Many times I would be up at the Parkwoods along with my 103 year old dad, a WWII vet. He and George always talked up a storm. RIP George.
Very sorry to hear this.
This makes me so sad. George was an integral part of what my husband and I termed the "counter culture" at Parkwood—that place where men and women would come in for a meal by themselves and find a home. George was always there and always smiling. And it was only in the last year that he was missing from action. A very sweet man. The sign bearing his name at the Parkwood is a testament to his presence. May his sweet memory be a blessing.
I first knew George from Grunings in S.O. George would be at the counter, same way as in Park Wood.
I guess it was somewhere around 1985, he bought a brand new Oldsmobile. Top of the line. It was usually parked in front of Grunings.
About a year after that, a homeless woman appeared at Grunings. I don't know the sequence but George came to let her sleep in his car. About a year or so after that, she found a shelter in Newark. George decided he didn't want the car anymore because he never drove it anywhere except to Grunings and home. The bus went the same way.
A few years later, Grunings closed and he would be found at the paper shop on Valley place. That lasted about 6 months and then Park Wood opened. The funny thing is, there were people who would see him at Echo Queen diner at 3 a.m. Or other diners in various places throughout the night. I guess he would go home for a few hours rest and show up at Park Wood at early afternoon.
George worked in Customs at Newark Airport. As such, he was licensed to carry. I bring this up because of the event - maybe it was around 1999. He captured a robber on Springfield Avenue. Held the robber at gunpoint until cops took custody.
I know the woman who was his supervisor at Newark.... I asked if she new George. She said he was an excellent agent. As near as I can paraphrase, she said he is quite intelligent but goes out of his way to hide it.
He had a greeting for people he knew. "Ya all right? You need anything?" He would occasionally buy me a cup of coffee in exchange for my "long distance lottery tickets." If I asked for anything else, I'm sure I would have gotten it.
That was George.
RIP sir. When the Parkwood reopens it will feel a little different.
Mr. George, yes I addressed him with the utmost respect, always delighted us with stories of his life in Maplewood and South Orange. Did you know his birthday was on Christmas day? He will be missed but never forgotten.
Obit. in Star-ledger, 6/19
George was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts int the Korean conflict. Memorial service tomorrow, followed by burial in Arlington National Cemetary.
Even from here, that seems very meaningful and peaceful.
joanne said:Even from here, that seems very meaningful and peaceful.
Arlington is no longer open to all veterans. His Bronze Star may be what made him eligible for that burial location. It is where John Kennedy is buried.
He will be (is already) sorely sorely missed...
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