From the lodge, a follow-up on my dear friend George Unseld who passed away a few days ago. I have spent some time reminiscing about our working days together.
George and I, along with others, were all a part of the Human Relations Department during the years of the desegregation of our Jefferson County School system. George was in charge of Student Activities, I headed up the community relations part and Georgia Eugene was a mentor to both of us. She developed workshop materials and was a masterful instructor, training workshop facilitators. Georgia was the brains of our department.
The three of us conducted hundreds of workshops with students, parents, certified and classified staff. Our main object was to keep our schools open and our students safe. We worked to bring everyone together to understand violence would serve no purpose and each person was a piece of a puzzle – challenging each to make the effort to learn from each other. I do believe our school system did a masterful job of working through the challenges and no one brought that about better than George Unseld. It has been said by many – George spoke softly and quietly but through his manner you listened to his every word.
You should also know that George had a delightful sense of humor. Our offices were across the hall from each other. George was faithful to his Kansas school where he excelled at basketball; however, he also embraced the Kentucky Wildcats. On the other hand, I was a Louisville Cardinal fan. George had a Wildcat hanging over his door and I had a Cardinal. Depending on who got to work first, one of our mascots suffered. Many mornings on Game Day George would arrive early and I would find my Cardinal plucked clean and feathers strewn on the floor and that called for retaliation from me on his Wildcat the next day.
As I look back now I realize there were so many endearing memories I have of my friend. I admit I got riled up sometimes and lost patience with people and department head Dr. Bernard Minnis and George would have to be my calming force. My defense was always “I’m just a little old white haired grandmother” and their reply was always “and able to cut you up and show no blood.”
Those were such wonderful days and now I am left with wonderful memories of my dear friend and co-worker George Unseld. Rest in peace my gentle giant.