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Sunday, August 05, 2012


Jennifer George (1976-2012), gone too soon.

It is with Stygian sadness that I mark the passing of my friend Jennifer George, who suddenly died just the other day and was not even forty. I am seldom at a loss for words but I am completely and utterly devastated by Jennifer's untimely
and unexpected departure from this plane. I've known her since she was one of my campers at Mahackeno, the excellent summer camp I worked at as a counselor during the 1980's, and I considered her in many ways to be like the daughter I always wanted, so I just don't know what to say. My heart goes out to her family and to those who also knew what a genuinely wonderful human being she was, but let us concentrate on the positive memories we have of her instead of the crushing sadness. In honor of that, I'd like to share the following true story:

When Jenny was twelve and displaying a budding interest in the first wave of British punk rock, I took her to what was supposed to be the final concert tour of seminal UK punk band The Damned ("last tour" my beige ass; they are still playing live gigs). That concert trip was done with full approval from her mom and her brother (who was a classmate of mine during high school, so he knew I wasn't a creep), and before we hit the show at the old Ritz, myself, my friend Gordon and Jenny stooped off at my favorite punk rock dive bar, Downtown Beirut, so Gordon and I could get a cheap pre-show beer or two. (don't look for it now, it's long defunct.) We all walked in and who did the bartender try to serve first? You guessed it, the six-foot twelve-year-old. Needless to say, I did not allow Jen any alcoholic beverages, which she was quite disappointed by, but that was made up for later when guitarist Captain Sensible performed the last third of the show wearing nothing but his red beret, sunglasses and a pair of Doc Martens, while the audience members made a concerted effort to nail him in his fully exposed junk with full cups of beer, hard candies, and any other projectiles that they could improvise. After the show and on the way home, Jenny made it clear that she'd had the time of her young
life, her eyes wide with fun and excitement, and while admittedly parts of the evening were a tad dodgy, it was all worth it because I was willing to bet she was the only kid in Westport about to enter the seventh grade who could tell of that night's adventure and not have to make up one word of the tale.

So I loved Jen as if she were my own flesh and blood and while I will certainly mourn her passing, I will never forget the sweetness and soul of her one in a million self. Requiescat en pace, wee George.


Acroyear said...

My sincere condolences Sir Bunche.

PiercingMetal Ken said...

It's never easy to lose a friend and especially one so young. My deepest sympathy to you and her family. May she rest in peace.