My Friend George Zournas
May 6, 1928 - May 16, 2013

©Ronald S. Csuha, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

There is some information out on the Web about my friend George Zournas: his
obituary, his
piece on
The Zournas Gift, and some letters in The Shimano Archive that arose from conflicts
in the Zen Society here in New York. But these are rather cold and forbidding and don't come
close to painting a picture of him. I never traveled in his circles: those of book publishing,
performing arts, and Zen Buddhism; and so it is difficult to know where to begin. Though I was
aware of his powerful and generous personality, the George I knew couldn't be separated from
his home and its vast collection of art and books. And these were clearly a manifestation of his
life with his partner Robert (Bob) MacGregor. I suppose they met around 1948, when George
first came to New York from Lubock, Texas. George always recalled how Bob wouldn't let him
go out on the street without a jacket and tie. "I want to make a gentleman out of you," Bob said.
George couldn't be separated from Bob, for even after Bob died in 1974, he was very much
evident in the goings on about George's home, or I should say their home. As I dealt with
George more directly, I became more aware of his personality, his likes and dislikes, and his
immense passion for and knowledge of art and Zen. And of course these were all there to be
seen in his home. So I will talk about this home and its collections because they were very
much an influence on me and my interest in art.

I first met George in 1971, when Bob hired me to clean their apartment on Washington Place in
New York City. Though I knew and had contact with George then, he deferred to Bob in the
handling of the house and kept in the background himself. Bob liked the things I did around
the apartment, and I was soon asked to do odd jobs and repairs. This included painting and
other decorating, like taking down and hanging art as the seasons or moods changed. But I
also helped with some problems they had at the apartment and later at the office.

George and Bob were publishers of Theatre Arts Books, and Bob was also vice president and
managing editor of New Directions, so there were many books distributed on shelves
throughout their large apartment. As Bob explained, they were alphabetized mostly by author
starting with the letter A in George's front room on the second floor. Where the alphabet left off
there, it picked up in Bob's room, then to shelves in the upstairs hallway, then ended on a long
row of shelves in the downstairs hallway along with a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary.
There were novels of all kinds, many books from New Directions, others from the Theatre Arts
Books list, and many on philosophy and Asian cultures. Other books spilled out into the huge
double-height living room. These were generally larger art books, many on Asian art, mostly
arranged by country. I remember books from the early part of the 20th century including large
volumes on Tibet with photographs that dated from the 1890s. There were a good number of
books on Japanese art and culture as well as books on the Japanese tea ceremony. There
were also books on Japanese and Chinese erotic art. George donated this library to a
university in Texas and wrote The Zournas Gift to describe it and how it came about. So that is
where a good bit of information on George and Bob is given to us.

Sometime before I met them, they had moved from a brownstone on 10th Street in Greenwich
Village to the house on Washington Place. George frequently remarked that Bob was so
pleased with finding the apartment that he said to George, "I think you will like it." Having
known them both, I knew that Bob was really saying that he knew George would like the new
apartment and it pleased him to be about to please George. Bob had a characteristic and
distinctive Scottish twinkle in his eye when he was saying something funny or wry or when he
thought you would be very pleased. I could see that twinkle every time George told me this.

The apartment was a large sprawling one which was actually in two buildings and on two floors.
It had three fireplaces, but none of them worked. These were filled with dusty logs that could
never really be cleaned. George and Bob had a large collection of Asian art and furniture, and
this gave the new apartment such a distinctive aura that I could never imagine what their
house on 10th Street looked like. They had wonderful things and a special sense of how to
display them. They both made me feel as if I were the curator of all this art, for they often
asked me to devise ways to implement what they wanted to do with it. There were scrolls, multi-
panel screens, calligraphy, and ceramics. There were Tibetan thangkas (Buddhist paintings on
silk) with elaborate trimmings. I remember George telling me that he had come across five of
these thangkas in a Fourth Avenue bookstore around Cooper Square, and they sold for $15
apiece. At that time he could afford to buy only one of them. I used to frequent those same
book stores while I was a student at Cooper Union, buying books for 10 cents or a quarter. So I
knew that $15 for something at one of these stores was an extravagant sum at that time.

George's room on the street side of the apartment had an elegant air of colonial America, with
a large dental molding around the ceiling, a fireplace mantel, and a pewter Georgian
chandelier that held candles with little glass drip plates and hung from a ceiling medallion.
There was a sleeping alcove with a banister leading up a few steps to a bed. Under the steps
was a compartment where I kept the painting supplies: drop cloths, paint, spackle, brushes,
and rollers. The alcove itself was above the entrance hallway to the building and had a small
window with an air conditioner. The two large windows in the lower part of the room had
wooden blinds (sometimes called shutters) that nested into pockets on the side. The bottom
ones were pulled out and hasped to provide some privacy but also, as Bob said, with that
twinkle, to make a lot of noise if someone tried to come in through the window. Of course,
George's cello in its cloth case was left standing in a corner by the bookcase, though sadly, he
admitted he never played it anymore.

Asian art dominated George's room. There was a collection of Tibetan silver (reliquaries,
prayer wheels, bowls) all on the mantelpiece and a thangka hanging over it. Early on, Bob had
me install a Kleig-looking theater light to spotlight it, and of course, the wires had to be
disguised. It cast an oblong patch of light that could be adjusted to light only the thangka. The
thangka itself was exchanged with another as the seasons went by. George and Bob had
bought a lot of furniture from George Nakashima in New Hope, Pennsylvania. In his room,
sitting on one of Nakashima's chests, was a stately painted Tibetan shrine which held a
blackened bronze deity. There was always a small brass dish that held the ashes of burned
incense. In the winter, I covered the air conditioner and its window with a heavy blue felt to
keep out the cold. Then I hung a thangka over that, carefully draping its delicately decaying
silk cover and tasseled cloth straps at the top. Along with the first Kleig light, I installed one to
light this thangka too. A few Nakashima chairs were scattered about. There was a light Danish
modern sofa which was not particularly special but offered a comfortable place to sit and read.

George didn't have a closet, and one was made from one side of a long hallway that
connected his room with Bob's. Fitting with Bob's vision of a gentleman, it was filled with many
suits, jackets, slacks, and ties. It was directly under a bathroom upstairs, so I was asked to rig
up plastic sheeting to keep the water off his clothes should it come down from above.

Bob's room was more of an office, as it contained a large heavy butcher block desk sitting on a
file cabinet and two legs. I remember when Bob got the butcher block. It had been badly
stained a red mahogany color, and Bob asked me if I could strip it and set up the desk. Since it
was very heavy, I couldn't move it very far and had to do the job on heavy plastic sheeting set
over the wall-to-wall rug that was in the room. I managed to get the stain off and then waxed
the surface and installed the two legs. Though I have never been particularly strong, I usually
could figure a way to manipulate heavy things by myself, and I got the butcher block up onto its
legs and file cabinet without much trouble. I remember how absolutely delighted Bob was when
he came home that day and found his room in perfect order with its new desk in place. Bob
often described his cleaning up and organizing this desk as "therapy," as a way of reorganizing
his thoughts.

Bob's room also had a two-drawer Nakashima cherry chest, and there was a four-legged
Nakashima chair. Lauren, their pet Corgi, had chewed on a good bit of the chair's seat, and
George asked me to smooth it out so you wouldn't get a splinter if you sat down on it. I got it
smooth, but couldn't keep the shape that Nakashima put there, for too much of the wood was
gone. There was a large Georgian (I think) dresser or chest of drawers that had a hand-dyed
Batik scarf about 9 or 10 inches wide and draping over the sides. On top of this was kept a
clay statue of a horse's head which was sculpted by Bob's former wife, Davy (Emma Lou Davis,
an artist who later turned to archeology). Sometimes on the dresser and sometimes elsewhere
in the room there was a heavy mahogany stick that was also sculpted by Davy but never
finished. When George retired and left for Lubbock, he gave me the stick sculpture and two
rolls of the fabric, a beautiful blue color with bluish white stars where the fabric had been tied
before dying.

There was a dead bonsai tree on top of a tall bookcase. Apparently when Bob brought it back
from Japan, it had to be sprayed before it could enter the U.S., and it didn't live long after that.
But the pine needles never fell off and the tree just sat there on top of the bookcase. Of
course it couldn't be cleaned and so it gathered its gray covering of dust over the years. When
George retired, the bonsai had been dead for about 50 years and didn't survive the move from
off its high perch. So I was allowed to keep its bowl. In it, I still keep pieces of coral and shells I
have gathered over the years.

Bob had a large walk-in closet that held, besides his clothes, boxes of things, but I've forgotten
whether I ever saw any of these open. I remember George telling me that after Bob died, there
was a large collection of left-handed gloves as Bob was always losing the right one. I laughed
and told George that I used only left-handed gloves when I had to carry things (in my left hand)
and kept my bare right hand in my pocket so it could be warm yet free to manipulate things
without taking a glove off and losing it. He laughed with his big hearty laugh and let me take
the trove of left-handed gloves. I still have one or two of them. After Bob died, George used
Bob's room for sleeping, as it was quieter at night. George watched more TV then and had set
up a table perpendicular to Bob's desk to hold the set. His old room became the guest
bedroom.

The apartment had several closets and chests that held many of the things they had collected:
pottery, china, statuettes, fabrics, new and antique hardware, and art that would be brought
out and swapped with something on the walls. There were many pieces of fabric and things
made from them, pillow cases, uncut and unsewn bolts of fabric, craft items. George used to
wrap gifts in the fabrics and always attached a nice ribbon to the package. He gave me a few
of the fabric items when he left for Lubbock. One was a fifteen-foot-long Thai banner that he
said was meant to go around the eaves of a Thai house. It is quite beautiful as it is stitched in
quilt fashion from smaller pieces of different-colored fabric. Another was a red Chinese
brocaded silk furniture scarf that had got slightly moth-eaten in its storage chest. Another was
a relatively new Chinese red and gold banner that I think was a furniture scarf. There was a
traditional men's shoulder bag/purse all decorated with sequins. I have forgotten where this
was from, but somewhere in southeast Asia, perhaps from Bali or Java.

Other art and furniture were distributed about the apartment. The living room was an immense
room that had a height of  two stories, capped by a large north-facing skylight in the
Greenwich Village artist's tradition. Quietly dominating the room as you entered was a squeaky
but grand and beautifully traditional Chinese table with large round legs and a large crack
running down the middle of the panel that made up the top. It was rather tall, and a special
folding card table with long legs had been made to put at one end to form a long table for
special dinners for about ten or twelve people. Sitting at either end was a large and elegant
Chinese chair, with fluidly flowing arms and back splat and paneled seat. A large white couch
was set against a bank of radiators under the skylight. It had a white slip cover that had to be
taken off and dragged to the cleaners every once in a while. Putting the cover back on was a
bit of a challenge because of the system of elastic, slats, and clips to keep the cover taut on
the couch. Eventually this cover started to rip and tear from dry rot and George just kept the
couch uncovered, but it was a beautiful white and looked very handsome.

The radiators were enclosed, and on the enclosure sat a large, stately six-panel screen of
Chinese (I think) calligraphy. It was kept erect with little iron feet at each end. This was
occasionally changed for a large two-panel screen with a horse on it. I believe this was
Chinese too. To the left and right of the couch were small three-drawer tansus (box chests)
with iron trimmings. Each drawer of these was large enough to hold a volume of the New York
City telephone directory, so one chest did just that while its third drawer and the second tansu
held miscellaneous stationery items. I remember many years later trying to tell someone who
needed a phone book in a nursing home that there are no longer any phone books, and I
imagine that a good number of younger adults have no idea how thick and heavy these
directories were. There was a large Japanese hibachi made of thick smoothed gnarled timbers
that had unique Japanese joints of mortises and tenons. It had gently rounded corners and
held a copper-lined compartment for the hot coals and another compartment for the unburned
coals. It wasn't used as a hibachi but mostly held fresh flowers. It had lids to cover the coal
compartments and a few drawers that held odds and ends such as the magnifying glass that
George and Bob were both old enough to need occasionally. To the left of all this was the door
to the back garden, a long, narrow space running the width of the house. Occasionally I would
have to get out there to clean it up and decorate it for a party or to repair some of the fence
timbers.

There was a red carpet on the floor under the hibachi. Eventually George's mother on a visit to
New York bought a handsome Moroccan rug from a local Greenwich Village dealer, and I laid
that in the living room while putting the red one in George's old front room. The Moroccan
carpet had pieces sewn together in a quilt-like pattern, and many of the seams ripped open
over the years. Though time worn, it still was a handsome carpet. Opposite the couch, on the
south wall, was a handsome and quietly elegant Chinese two-door chest (which we would call
an armoire) with a carved panel on the bottom and large circular brass hinges and lock plates.
It sat beneath a small colonial American musicians' balcony that was actually part of the spare
bedroom above the kitchen. The chest was used to hold the stereo equipment, and it also had
a trap door compartment in the bottom for holding blankets and some of the fabrics they had
collected. The chest that was usually meant to sit on its top was missing, and I never knew if
there was one. George told me that Bob and his former wife, Davy, had split the Asian furniture
they had gathered while they were in China and that, sadly, Davy's part of the furniture had
been destroyed in a fire in California.

There was a set of two dark-colored Chinese chairs, armless and with foot rests. Bob had told
me that he had gotten them in broken pieces, and then, with that twinkle, he said, "a
Greenwich Village carpenter had to use every clamp in his shop to put the chairs together."
Someone eventually dropped something heavy on one of them and the frame enclosing the
paneled seat broke along one of the old glue lines. When the stress in the wood let loose, the
pieces wouldn't fit, but I managed to glue the broken pieces together with a slight offset, and
the chair became useful again.

Under the bookshelves in the living room were cabinets that held dishes, bowls, pottery, and
tea sets. Most of it was celadon, a ceramic with a jade green color which originated in China.
George liked rituals and attaching meaning to everyday occurrences through a special
celebration, and he was very knowledgeable about tea. There was more Nakashima furniture:
several chests of drawers, numerous-three legged chairs and an occasional four-legged one,
and a grand chaise lounge with one wooden arm, characteristically rough trimmed (in
Nakashima fashion), with wide webbing to support the lounger. Breaking from the Asian theme
of the apartment were two leather-bound Eames chairs on wire legs.

The kitchen was large by New York standards. A sink, dishwasher, clothes washer, and range
were along one wall. A clothes dryer was tucked under the stairs to the spare bedroom over
the kitchen. There was a large tansu on wooden wheels with sliding doors top and bottom that
was used to hold kitchen utensils. It was probably an itinerant merchant's chest built for
wandering the streets. George told me how he and Bob would take turns, with one cooking and
the other doing the dishes, switching roles on alternate days. While one was engaged with the
chore, the other read aloud from a book. After Bob died, George didn't do much cooking, and
he became very fond of Balducci's when it moved across Sixth Avenue and began to sell
prepared foods along with the fruits and vegetables. Mr. and Mrs. Balducci had retired, and
the family moved to the new store from their little store on Greenwich Avenue just west of Sixth
Avenue.

Above the kitchen there was a third bedroom and bath. George sometimes slept here when
both his mother and cousin stayed in the other bedrooms. It was quite a challenge to get three
bedrooms, three bathrooms, and the rest of the house tidied up, but I just had to cut a few
corners to get it all done. I never complained that there was too much work, and George never
complained that perhaps I didn't do something. Everything important got done.

The long downstairs hallway had two tansus which George said were Japanese sword chests,
and a three-legged Nakashima chair. Occasionally I was asked to hang a piece of art in this
long hallway: a wooden carving or the plain but beautiful Chinese silk rug that Bob asked me to
hang because Lauren was using it as his dinner napkin. I had to devise a simple way to hang it
as it had to be taken down for the summer to uncover an air conditioner. There was a second
courtyard off the hallway with glass French doors. George had told me that Bob tried to grow
things there but couldn't because of little light and an air conditioner blowing hot air. There
was, in a pot, a tree of life, thin and straggly, that managed to grow tall enough to have to be
wired to the upstairs spare bedroom's window to keep it from falling over. Later, after Bob died,
George asked me to make a Zen garden out of the yard by covering its cement floor with sand
and setting in one corner a small stone statue of a seated Buddha-like figure called a Gizo (I
don't know the spelling.) that was intended to be placed at a crossroads. Alongside it, I laid a
stone chrysanthemum-shaped bowl traditionally placed with the Gizo for aid to travelers. I
would occasionally go out there and rake up dead leaves and then rake a nice pattern into the
sand. It gave off a restful aura as you passed to and fro.

George and Bob entertained occasionally, and I was hired to prepare the apartment for
dinners and more elaborate parties. I would be at the apartment for the whole day, usually a
Friday, cleaning, washing and waxing floors, washing windows, taking down art and putting
other art in its place. The two open courtyards had to be cleaned, and Japanese paper
umbrellas had to be hung. There was a closet in the hall that held the celadon china, Baccarat
crystal, and silver tableware. The silver had to be polished and the dining table set up, and a
tablecloth and place settings laid. The two Kleig lights had to be turned on in George's room to
produce a wonderful theatrical effect of an Asian temple. There was so much to do that I
usually left just as the guests were arriving. So I saw a good number of them, lamas in their
saffron robes and the editors from New Directions who were just getting off work. I wasn’t
familiar with any of the writers for New Directions or Theatre Arts Books, but I suppose some
were invited. Everyone came in the door with a smile and in a joyous mood.

George told me many stories. When he first came to New York in 1949, he got a job typing
Tennessee Williams' Camino Real. He typed it on a folding card table in his kitchen late at
night. (I don't know if this was for New Directions.) He was always thankful that his downstairs
neighbors never complained about the noise and always remembered it with his big hearty
laugh. After he retired he told me that, outside of typing it, he had never read the play. So I
bought a paperback and read it and then sent it to Lubbock for him to read. Once Bob invited
George to come along on a visit to see Tennessee Williams while he was in New York. An
attractive overnight guest was in the hotel room that morning and was walking around in a robe
open in front. George used to laugh about how he was so shy back then that he couldn't bring
himself to look at the guest, and Bob later gently chastised him for letting a good opportunity
go by.

George and Bob also knew Yukio Mishima, I suppose through his being published by New
Directions. George described Yukio as a very sweet man, and he and Bob were both very
distressed on hearing of Yukio's death in 1970. Yukio had given them his collection of
Japanese woodblock prints, most dating from after 1850 and so not very valuable. After
George retired to Lubbock, he brought these prints in two separate trips to New York and gave
them to me. I have since given them to Charles Leslie, co-founder of the Leslie-Lohman
Museum of Gay Art here in New York City. Charles had collected a large quantity of gay art,
and I knew he would be interested in this collection of Mishima's.

George told me that he had taken dance lessons with Martha Graham who had a dance studio
with a newly finished blond wood floor. He had bought, from S. Klein in Union Square, a pair of
green shorts for the class. But he had sweated so much that when he got up after sitting down
on the floor after the class, he was shocked to find the new floor a bright green where he had
been sitting. Klein's was a low priced department store that was popular among people who
couldn't afford the more expensive stores. It went out of business around 1978. George had
fond memories of the dance class and of seeing Paul Taylor in the locker room, but never
meeting him. He told me a lot of about New York: how he used to go to Coney Island in the
summer or to the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn Heights for a swim in its "palm" decorated
swimming pool. He made regular visits to the Third and Fourth Avenue bookstores to look for
used books. Most of these stores were closed by the 1980s and George frequently patronized
the only one left, The Strand on 12th Street and Broadway.

Initially, both New Directions and Theatre Arts books had offices on the eleventh floor of the
triangular-shaped Varitype Building on Sixth Avenue and Cornelia Street. It was a historic
building that Ashcan School artist John Sloan had a studio in, and it was a feature of a number
of his paintings. I was hired to do various things around both offices. It was a pet-friendly office,
and I remember Bob, a ardent pet owner, having me arrange to have a partition wall installed
to form an office in New Directions because an editor there had a dog that would snap at
people going by. As I was seeing to the installation, one editor passed by, remarking, "All this
for a dog." But I understood Bob, for Lauren was a bit testy at times, too.

Both publishers had to move when the Varitype Building was converted to residential, and
George found a nice space on Waverly Place and Waverly Place (an odd address, but the two
streets do meet at the corner his office was at). I believe it too was on the eleventh floor, and
had wonderful views and a lot of sunlight. When George moved to his new offices, I was asked
to arrange his office, which consisted of walls of bookcases and a newly purchased top and
bottom Chinese cabinet (with large round brass hinges and lock plates). The smaller top part
would be set on the floor to form a cabinet and table to hold papers, and the larger bottom part
would be a closet. The top cabinet would be delivered after I was to set up the bookcases so I
left about 1/4 inch extra space to be able to slide it into the space between. I knew this might
be tight if the measurements were off, but it would not have looked good to have a large gap.
The measurements were off, but I told George I didn't think I had to empty the bookshelves to
get them moved just enough. I slid the cabinet in on a new footing I had constructed. I then laid
a red carpet on the floor, and George came back the next day and all was perfect. His office
had about three or four large windows in front of which sat George's large butcher block desk.
The wall on the left of the desk had the upper cabinet between two tall bookcases, and the wall
on the right side of the desk had the bottom cabinet. The wall opposite the desk was made up
of bookcases. There was a gap in this wall that served as the entrance way. With his
characteristic flair for interior design, his office was a bit of a showcase.

After George retired and left New York, he tried to incorporate much of what he had in New
York into his new home in Lubbock. He was largely successful since a garage was turned into
a "study" to house some of his collection. An inveterate collector, he was always accumulating
more, and this art and these books would overflow his storage spaces. He frequently came to
New York and liked to travel to Paris and San Francisco for extended periods. I was adept at
using the Internet, and as time went on he asked me to find hotels or other places to stay when
he traveled. He had moved to Lubbock because it left him with better finances to travel than if
he had lived in New York.

We kept in contact. Though we were always on friendly terms, we became quite good friends
after he retired. We always had a respect for one another, and, as I said before, I always felt
as if I were a curator of their large collection and holdings. I stayed with him in Lubbock for
several weeks one summer to help him recuperate from a hip-replacement operation. When I
got there, he was still in the hospital. After I toured the house, I went to see him at the hospital,
and, ever the curator, I asked if I could do some redecorating before he came home. I was to
take his mother's old room, and I had found a rather beautiful six-panel screen in the closet,
bright yellow in color with calligraphy on each panel. I asked if I could line it up along a wall,
which was fine with him. He kept the room as I left it when I returned to New York. The old stone
Gizo was out in the middle of a large hot lawn in the back yard and looked very lonely, so I
carried the Gizo over to a shaded area outside his bedroom window and placed the
chrysanthemum bowl alongside it. I kept the bowl full of water while I was there. George was
delighted when he got home. On his dining room table he also had a bronze sheet-metal finial
that would just have fit over a 4" x 4" post. So later on in my stay we drove over to a Home
Depot and bought a 4" x 4", six-foot cedar post to go with the Gizo (as it was traditional). So I
had to dig a hole in the hard Texas clay with only a dinner knife and spoon. Tough work, but I
managed to get it a couple of inches deep, plant the post,  and cap it with the finial. A year or
two later, George said that the post had been tilting, but he had someone come in and set it up
straight. George frequently told me how much he enjoyed waking up in the morning to find his
Gizo at the crossroads outside his window.

I brought with me to Lubbock a brief Speedo bathing suit for sunbathing but was afraid to wear
it as a Texan had recently shot a neighbor because he didn't like his shorts (which I gathered
were of the latex variety that showed all). George laughed and assured me that I would be all
right. So I would spend about an hour in the late afternoon sunbathing, and after that George
and I would have a drink or two on his patio out back, chatting away about old times and new.
Neither of us seemed to mind the heat. After that we had dinner inside. While there, George
asked me to stretch an Yves Saint Laurent scarf that he had bought on one of his trips and
hang it on a wall alongside the patio. It had a nice pastel geometric pattern and brightened up
the patio quite a bit. We had bought the stretching strips along with the cedar post at the Home
Depot.

I brought with me a powdered instant tea with lemon and artificial sweetener, not being too
sure that I could find the product in Lubbock and liking the quickness with which it could be
made. So rather than brewing tea by the pot, I used my instant tea. Knowing that George knew
so much about tea ceremonies, I was quite surprised when months after I left he said to me
over the phone, "You know, that tea is quite good." I guess since he was living alone, he
probably did not have much use for a tea ceremony to brew and drink tea.

He visited New York in summers and thought New York distinctly less hot than Lubbock. He
always took me to a Mostly Mozart concert and used to like the free one o'clock concerts at
Alice Tully Hall on Wednesdays. I remember when we went to see a Mostly Mozart concert
where Garrick Ohlsson would be playing his large Bösendorfer piano, which was always
shipped to New York for his concerts. My husband, Cecil, and I used to remark about how loud
that piano was. Well, George had gotten seats pretty close to the stage, and I could swear that
he jumped about a foot off his seat when Garrick Ohlsson hit his first loud chord. I used to
snicker when I told Cecil that. I'm sure George didn't jump that high, but he was visibly moved
by that chord.

I would call him throughout his retirement and we would talk—mostly about New York and what
was happening. He was homebound for much of his last two years, and I felt it more important
to keep in touch. He was always eager to talk, except when he was watching Jeopardy. Then
he was not to be disturbed.


Ron Csuha
July, 2017