My great-uncle Bill (William) George died this morning.
I didn’t know him very well, but the times I remember meeting him, I liked him.
I remember once visiting his house in Arkansas probably when I was in my teens. Turns out that he and aunt Betty liked Star Trek. They had recorded “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” my favorite movie of all time, once when it was broadcast on CBS. This was a big deal to me. I already had the movie on VHS. But the network broadcast had included a lot of deleted scenes (they used to pad out movies to make them fill a longer time slot) which I had never seen before. Thanks to Uncle Bill and Aunt Betty I got to! It was many, many years until I could see that stuff again, when a “director’s edition” of the movie was released on DVD.
After my Papa died, I realized how much uncle Bill reminded me of Papa: his face, his voice. This was somehow comforting to me.
Uncle Bill was a pilot and flew his own planes. I always hoped I could fly along with him someday. When I was in my teens I was fascinated by the notion of getting a pilot’s license myself. Unfortunately I never got to go up with him in a plane.
He also liked to buy old houses, fix them up, and sell them to make money. I remember that for a while he was doing that with my mom’s sister, my aunt Karen.