George Cook RIP
Attached is a copy of the card I received from George’s sisters and three pictures of our old friend kindly supplied by Fred Terris.
He was a great guy and was always happy (well, he was a Manchester City fan).
I remember a great day when he drove me back from the Tacoma Sons of the Desert Convention to Seattle and we stopped off at the local newspaper printing plant. Due to his union connections we got inside to watch all the robots getting on with the paper. He introduced me to a couple of guys who worked at the plant and they promptly stopped what they were doing and took us both out for a three hour
spell in a local bar.
As I was representing the UK I kept my end up but, after 8 pints, was feeling worse for ware. The three Americans would not let me pay for a drink (Scottish heritage coming out there) and as a gift I gave the 2 newspaper guys a can of warm Boddingtons each, which they promptly opened and were both covered in Manchester's once-finest ale. They then went back to "put the paper to bed" (more likely themselves) and George and I continued onto Seattle to finish my American convention and holiday.
Best wishes to you, George. You will be missed
I am truly sorry to hear George has gone. We often chatted and I felt the last time would be the final one. He was so heroic in coping with his illness. Always putting on a brave face, laughing and joking, trying to be positive. Only in the last couple of phone calls admitting he probably wouldn't make the next convention or another visit to Ulverston. He loved the Sons and everything they represent. A true friend gone.
George was a great friend of Peter Brodie, I'm not sure at which convention they first met, but it might have been one of the Wolverhampton early ones.
Over the years of George's attendance, Peter would often pick him up from the airport, accommodate him in his house, transport and entertain him for a couple of days either before the convention or after. When we first met him he was living in California, and working as a printer for a daily newspaper. He was a very active union man and quite strident about labour laws in the state. Once he retired he moved back to his native home in Maryland. George had served in the US army and this may have given him the travel bug.
He was also a proud and active Freemason, a bond that he and Peter shared (together with myself). Peter invited him to several lodge and chapter meetings, when the dates of his visit coincided with a meeting. I well remember a number of visits when George was introduced to fellow lodge members, and quite rightly treated as the guest of honour.
He also visited other lodges in the UK when his travel plans took him via other airports. He even became a member of a Masonic side degree in North Wales. He really enjoyed being the centre of attention when he visited. Something perhaps the Sons never got to experience. Apart from the "odd" show stopper from George at conventions. The one I will always remember was the "Blue Hair Incident”.
I think it was at a Sheffield convention. We had a Uni-cycling, fire-eating, juggler, as an outdoor entertainer. Just at the critical high point of his act, with the crowd of Sons packed around, George emerged from a fire exit, with his hair painted bright blue! As far as the act was concerned, George might have well parachuted, naked, playing a sousaphone, into the crowd. We never did find out why he did it.
His accent sometimes made it difficult to understand his meaning but one thing was for sure. Whether you knew him well, or just talked to him over the dinner table at the convention, Sons were always pleased to see him and he was delighted to be in their company.