By George!

Let George Do It

George's Many "Friends"

      George spent a lot of time wandering up and down Polk Street and started hanging around stores where the employees accepted him.  For example, he liked to talk to the middle-aged and motherly ladies that worked at Woolworth's 5 and 10 cent store on the next block. They were nice to him and soon they let him help out in the store with moving boxes of merchandise and stuff like that. He was not paid, nor did he expect to receive any pay, because he just enjoyed their friendship and being useful in the store.  Before long, he found other similar stores such as Weinstein's down a few doors which also sold general household goods.  The manager let him start handing out flyers for the store.  As he got older, his range widened and he then covered many parts of the downtown area.  George sort of 'wormed' his way into relationships with his sweet innocent but genuine curiosity and interest in what people were doing in their stores.

  George was not the least bit concerned about his appearance.  He was rather unkempt in his appearance, usually wearing gray pants until they started wearing out and requiring patches that his mother sewed for him.  He detested wearing shoes and preferred going out in slippers, regardless of the weather, and without wearing socks. George did not like long hair and preferred almost a crew cut.

         He became a 'collector' of advertising booklets, brochures, and flyers.  His favorites were items dealing with movie theaters and films, but he also brought home handouts and advertising materials for goods that he had no interest in. As long as it was free, he was bring them home. At a store called the Cinema Shop, he was befriended by Dan, who saved some promotional 8x10 movie stills that he gave to George. George found the offices of television stations and entertainment companies such as Walt Disney, where he was even given theater passes by his friend, Donald, to attend showings of Disney films at the Fox Theater on Market St.  Among his prize items in his collection is an autograph from Barbara Streisand that he obtained one day when she was filming scenes for a movie at the Spring Valley Elementary School yard.  He also is proud of his Elizabeth Montgomery ( from "Bewitched") autograph. He adored "Gidget" (although he did not have an autograph from Sally Fields),

       He became friends with Nancy at the Betsy Johnson dress shop.  She would give him a stuffed animal on his birthday.  Discarded objects left on the street would also find their way back to his home, as George loved to collect stuff even if it was broken, out of date, and free for the taking. Before long, he filled every empty nook and cranny of the flat with these 'treasured' discards. 

         George was truly one of San Francisco's eccentric street characters! Lacking friends of his own age, and not attending school, George found time and ways to endear himself to people who accepted him on his own terms.

 

 

What?! Never!
Karen Tam & David Hancock (Chinese Firecrackers)
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