S: Letters To George - March 7, 2011
BC: The first 50 years were great! What will the next 50 bring?
FC: Letters to George March 7, 2011
1: Introducing: George Reuter March 7, 1961
3: April 30 1970, George Reuter, serving as a page in the Florida Legislature, speaking with Sen Dick Fincher.
8: Dear George, HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY from someone who loves you very much and was with you at the very, very beginning of your fifty-year adventure! There will be letters here to extol your many virtues, and I enthusiastically agree with them. But for me, I shall happily go to my mind’s eye and call up some of the special things that, to me, help make you the special person that you are. You are a great communicator, George. Sometimes it is a quiet yet important message. For example, I have a small pottery vase you made in grammar school. It is mostly brown, but you carefully made sure that the greeting “Hi” was there, large as life, in a bright yellow glaze. Every time I look at it (as it sits on my table at my camp in Sedgwick) you’re talking to me. Then, there is your message, loud and clear, on the large plaque you hung in our apartment in Orono to advise over-enthusiastic visitors: “THIS IS A HIGH CLASS PLACE, ACT RESPECTABLE.” That too is on the wall of my camp because it reminds me of you and those forever-to-be-remembered days in Orono when you all went to high school and I finally got to go to college full time. You persevere, George! How many times did you rebuild that snow fort in Bangor? Too many to count, and the only time I saw you sad and discouraged. But you didn’t give up. Likeability. Both teachers and classmates. You were elected King of the Senior Prom, and Marshall of your high school graduating class. Should I mention that they gave you a standing ovation when you went up to get your diploma?
9: Sports. Wearing #61 you worked very hard on the Orono High School football team You and others were able to be provided special coaching from members of the football team of the University of Maine which was in the same town. Because it would be extraordinary for a team to win every game for two years in a row, your coach had prepared a talk to console your team when it didn’t win. But he never got a chance to use it: Your team did win every game both years and became State Champions in its division both years! Friendly with a sense of humor. It’s no surprise that Grampa Pete called you “Smiley”. One look at your childhood photos shows a George, smiling with lips and body language as well. My favorite shows you in a group photo (around Uncle Rick’s car showing the Peace sign) sitting on the running board and grinning ear to ear! Political Experience. You and Pete and Carolyn each served as a Page in the Florida State Senate when your Dad was a Sate Senator. There is on photo I love showing how you managed to “balance” your duties. I included a copy with those I sent Melissa. Do you remember these political duties? I could go on, and on, and on, calling up memories from my mind’s eye, as I often do. I would love to include more of them here for they would give much pleasure But it is time to go. I love you, George, and thank you for your loving caring heart. Your Mom
10: Dear George, It is hard to believe that I have known you for 50 years, more or less. I guess cute is no longer the rite adjective. You were always the guy I turned to when I could not get that *&(^%$ TV to work. As I think back my mind is full of great memories. Charming Elmer Friday, discussing the paper’s latest chess moves of Fisher---gosh, I have even forgotten the other masters. I am not sure that I can find #49???, but I’ll bet that Chris would appreciate it as a memento or maybe that “O” that I would not give back to you. Thanks, George. Love, Dad
11: Dear George, NO WAY have I known you for over 40 years! In the few short years I have known you, you have grown from an adorable, charming, stubborn, cuddly little boy to an adorable, charming, stubborn, still very hugable young man who's a liar about your age OR else another pope has messed with our calendar again, and I am going to use you as proof. Much love, Ann
12: To My George: Whenever I reflect on my life and the wonderful things around me, you are at the center of all of it. We are one. I have always felt blessed to be able to spend my life with such a loving, kind and considerate soul. I look forward to our future days, as we continue our journey. Happy 50th Birthday. Love you always, Your Melissa | W | The | George + Melissa The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. — Aristotle
13: January 8, 1983 George Reuter marries Melissa Schau
14: The Early Years
16: Exploring Beautiful Maine
17: If we had know how lucky we were when George came into our family we would have bought a lottery ticket. We couldn't have asked for a more wonderful son-in-law. Love, Mom & Dad Schau
18: Dear Dad, My first memory of you is one from when we lived on Westland St. I was getting out of my car seat (the one with the pull down support- I think we used the same one for Chris and Amy) and when you were picking me up to carry me inside, I bumped my head on the car roof. I remember crying out of pain, or fear, or surprise and then you did something that I now find (especially since I have a three year old of my own) to be just brilliant. You put me down and started racing me to the door (you ran backwards). You teased me “I’m going to beat you”, but I’m pretty sure that you let me win. I have shelves and shelves of memories of you stacked on the bookshelves of my brain. Some are dog-eared paperbacks that I flip to all of the time. I use many of my most formative memories often in my performances in front of my classes and teams (and you would know that there are many similarities between teaching and performing). Here are some of my favorites: 1.Throw the ball and then cry. 2.It doesn’t matter what people call you- it’s how they say it. 3.Good enough isn’t enough; you have to do your best. 4.Winning means nothing if you can’t hold your head high after the game. I have memories that I use as guideposts for how to treat my loved ones. When I need perspective, I remember: 5.Burning pretzels. 6.Taking the long way home. 7.Doing the dishes before you go to bed, regardless of the time. Sometimes, I revisit memories that I only occasionally dust off: 8.Dean’s funeral. 9.All those times where I was an unruly teenager. I am so lucky to have you as a father. You have truly blessed me with an entire collection of memories that I can reference often in my life. However, I find that the only idea that I cherish more than the memories that we have created is: 10.All of the memories that we will build in years to come. Happy fiftieth birthday, Dad. Thank you for everything that you have done to help me to become the person that I am today. I love you! Love, Jess
20: Dad, Thanks for always coming to my games. Thanks for playing pass with me in the yard. Thanks for letting me do my own thing when I want to. Thanks for making killer mac & cheese. And PB & J. Thanks for helping me move to Orono. And Portland. And Boston. Thanks for the tree house. And the basketball hoop. Thanks for putting up with me & my friends. Like when Rex and Jon would come over and we'd play video games forever. Thanks for all the breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Thanks for all the support, the advice and the jokes. I hope I make you proud. Love, Chris
22: Amelia Louise Reuter | May 13th | 1990
23: Dear Dad, What I would like to say the most to you is thank you. You have been a fantastic parent over the years, you are always there when I need someone to talk to, and you empathize with me. Whenever I have a problem you help me fix it, or just listen to me if that is what I need. I have had my ups and downs and you have always been there for me no matter what. You had and have the time to pass a ball around for whatever sport is in season. You always let me be my best in whatever I choose to do, but encouraged me to stick with old things as well as trying new. I have learned a lot from you that I will use in the future. You have shown me how to be a good person by example, and I thank you for that. I could not have asked for a better dad. Your Loving Daughter, Amelia
24: October 14, 2006 Jessica & Matthew McGreevy
27: Dear Papa George, Matt: Charlotte, we need to write a letter to George. Charlotte: I have a Papa George. Matt: That’s right and we need to write him a letter. Charlotte: P. Matt: Not that kind of letter. We need to write a letter for him for his birthday. Charlotte (confused): Oh. Matt: What do you want to tell Papa for his birthday? Charlotte (sings): Happy Birthday to you! / Happy Birthday to you! / Happy birthday dear Papa! / Happy Birthday to you! Matt: OK. Anything else you want to tell Papa in his letter? Charlotte: I have three cheetahs: a mama and two babies. Matt: Anything else for Papa George? Charlotte: I love you Papa! Sincerely, Matt & Charlotte
35: Great kids make being a parent fun!
37: Georgie (aka Smiley), Can you remember much about the old house in Sharpes, the duck pond (pool) we kept well stalked with minnows, Spookie stories (was it really so wrong to enjoy watching Carolyn's hair stand on end?), and of course our leisurely strolls to school on the Old River Road? We sure didn't have many neighbors our age (none), but we did pretty well for ourselves, staying mostly out of mischief (that wasn't us rolling those oranges under the cars). How about the Halloween parties at the school with bobbing for apples and the cake walk or ceramics in summer rec? Then the Hall's house and then on to Maine and Fluffernutter. Remember driving over to Sedgwick with Mom and Carolyn and mucking about in the clam flats. Don't forget Fort Knox and the Jed Prouty Tavern in Bucksport. Who would have guessed that long blond haired kid would one day grow up to be a high school principal (and a well liked on at that). But in hindsight it makes perfect sense, the professional way you took over the paper route and actually got the papers to the people by 6 a.m. (not 7 a.m. like you know who). You took to winter sports much better than I. I can still remember watching in awe as you skated backwards! Lots of successful football for you. 55? consecutive wins for Orono. Is it still a state record? I can't remember if you enjoyed playing offense or defense more. I don't remember you playing much basketball growing up, but you sure have enjoyed it over the years. How about summers in Vero? Slogging miles through the muck trying to get a keeper in our cast net. Planting the oak tree from a seed and rescuing the blue jay, what was his name – Geronimo? You handled losing the coveted title of “Baby of the Family” pretty darn well when Nancy came along. I may not say it often, but I'm glad as hell I had you for company and fun times growing up. You have a long list of accomplishments of which to be proud. #1 of course is your family (who has had to endure you longer than any of us – go Melissa), college graduate (soon to be all members of your clan), high school principal, teacher and coach (basketball, soccer and softball), exquisite composter (tomatoes from “nothing”), and skater and angler extraordinaire. In short (huh), what have you been doing with your 50 years of life, slacker? Love ya George and Happy 50th Birthday, Pete
38: Hey George, Happy 50th. Well you finally caught up with us. It seems like yesterday when you, Carolyn, Petey & I (the youngest of the 50 group) Ha - would walk to the beach when we lived in Satellite Beach. People would stop to say how cute you were! Ha. You are a wonderful brother. May you have a happy birthday today! Love, Debi (favorite sister) Ha, Andy & Ethan
41: Dear George, How I wish I could be with you on this awesome day. When I think of all the memories I have of you it is so hard to decide what is my favorite. Is it the one of you coming home the first time? Or the Halloween in Satellite Beach when we dressed you in one of Carolyn’s dresses put red yarn braids on you and then one of the Ladies said “Well you could have been more imaginative with her.” My response was “ I know but since we couldn’t decide on HIS costume”. The one I love the most I think is my 16th birthaday party and Mom had gotten me a bakery cake. Remember Garammie was living with us and she said “The cake is very tasty, but because it was so sweet she & you would not be having another piece.” She then looked at you and said “Right Georgie?” Without looking up from your plate you answered “I would like another piece please.” That is what I love about you George. Committed, determined and focused on where you are going and what you want. You always do it in a very calm and quiet way. Love you bunches, Suzy
43: The Life of George As told to and remembered by his adoring and extremely cute little sister. Don’t worry; George didn’t lose his teeth until after he was six. George always was the last one to the table after fixing his plate. He very carefully fixed it – he was very particular about it. George was always sweet and polite and cuddled so nicely. George and Pete played so nicely together. George was such a charming boy. He charmed the socks off everyone in Tallahassee. George played high school football and lettered. Trophy for best personality (or something like that) George always seems to really listen to people and pay attention to them. Nancy, “George, you got an “F” on your report card!” George, “Well, college is a lot harder than elementary school. You just wait until you get there and see.” (Hah! I thought, years later.) George is on the phone ---he’s getting married!.... and he’s having a baby!” George’s wedding was the first time I saw snow. Holding Jessica at George’s graduation. George is a father. George says he worries Jessica is too spoiled (she was 4). George’s house always offers respite from the storm, allowing me hours of playing King’s Quest alone or dinner and chats, then hours of baby time or chatting, then hours of family time. They never said it’s a bad weekend, or a bad day or we’re too busy. George and Melissa didn’t boot 15 year old me out ever, or 20 year old me, or 25 year old me. Melissa’s going back to school. Melissa’s having another baby. George is a shoe salesman, a computer salesman, a computer guy.a teacher, a principal. Way to grow into your career. Wearing George’s old jersey from football after particularly rough days at school. George listening. George, “I could have just as easily have gone into the military” as gone to college for business at UMO –no guidance. He seems so old and adult at the time that didn’t seem like something he would need. George putting away dishes in the kitchen. George lying next to me on my bed offering comfort, confiding that his empathy is with dad – thinking about one of his kids being sick in this way. George lying across the couch with Melissa chatting quietly about their day. George really mad at Christopher speaking very quietly to Christopher about it. George empathizing with his children – “Most of Amy’s problems at school are because people don’t seem to understand that she has red hair.” George the most adored grandfather of all time. George putting away dishes in his kitchen.
44: Once upon a time Nancy and I visited Mom and the family up in Orono and George happened to be there, which was not unusual as he lived there. However, as we were socializing that evening, in quiet comfort, George came crashing into the house quite beside himself. Evidently he had constructed a snow fort out front and some neighborhood hooligans had decided to attack it! Well, Mom and I proceeded to try and console him and explain that if you build a fort, expect it to be attacked and the fact that it was attacked is a compliment to the Warrior Chiefton (GeorgyIII) of the local tribe. Happy 50th Birthday Georgy. Love Rick & Nancy
45: Happy Birthday George, Love, Phil & Joyce
46: Eye see you George! Happy 50th Birthday | Jeff, can you believe George is 50? | Captain Madelyn sends her love. | A long time ago. | Hiatt's kiss of approval. | Manly Men
47: Spirit is the element in the center of the pagan star (pentacle). Spirit is in all of us and All the world: stones, creatures, plants, trees, Gods, Goddesses, earth, planets. We are spirits being creatures, human beings, plants, being mortal (for a time). We are all that is every where, as well as our individual selves. Spirit connects and permeates us all. The Month of March Calendar for 2011 - Every Which Way
48: Happy Birthday George! I think you’ll agree with me that living and teaching in this small town is something like living in a goldfish bowl. Having experienced a lot of life in our little community, I’ve been privy to many compliments aimed your way. Much of this praise has been a reflection of your parenting; your kids are a testament to what a great dad you’ve been. You’ve also garnered much respect in the way you’ve interacted with millions of kids in our community, both as a teacher and a coach. Jody and I have many fond memories of her experiences playing softball as a middle school student. Most recently, students, teachers, and parents share their admiration for your work as our principal. Your dedication to the families of our community is tireless, and you are a model of integrity. By far however, the most meaningful compliment I have ever had the pleasure to pass on, came from your own wife. I had invited Melissa and a few other friends to go see the movie version of a story I’d read and reread, The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks. The tale begins with an elderly man in a nursing home who reads a story each day to an old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s. In the story you learn of two young lovers who had been separated for years, and the young man having never gotten over the love of his life, builds her a home in hopes they’ll be reunited. After a heart breaking twist of events, they eventually get back together and live a wonderfully full life. As they age, however, the woman develops Alzheimer’s Disease, and writes the story of their life together. It becomes apparent that the elderly man visits the nursing home each day to read this chronicle in hopes that his wife will remember him, and for just a few minutes they will experience their love for one another again. It’s rare, but because the man is so dedicated to his wife, on occasion he is able to open a window, and joyous memories flood in. I had read the book several times, and was never able to persist without stopping for a good cry at intervals throughout the story. I loved the movie too, and of course, it had the same effect. In fact, I don’t believe anyone in that theater had a dry eye. All of us hope to have someone who loves us so much they would go to such lengths, but as we age we realize this is just a romantic notion. I think some of the tears that result from this story are for ourselves, at the realization that our lives are more practical, and our intimate relationships a little less romantic. Anyway, the movie ended, my friends and I blew our noses and attempted to dry our eyes. After we collected ourselves we quietly left the theater, and headed for the lobby. Melissa whispered to me in the reflective period that followed, “That would be George, you know. He would do that for me. I know it.” Of course I started to bawl all over again! I love her and I’m so happy she has YOU! Hope the next fifty years are even better! Sincerely, Gretchen
53: Thanks for the memories. Let's make some more.