June 9, 2023

Memories linger of George the Giant

"George the Giant" aka George Schmidt 1938-2009

Memories linger of George the Giant in this New Year just dawning for me. They linger because he was a most unusual and special man worth remembering – a man who has since passed on to even bigger and better things beyond the veil of this life – but also one who in his earthly lifetime carried such an enormous amount of love in his giant heart that it left an indelible impact on all the lives he ever touched, including mine because he was a familiar presence in my life from a very young age.

When you’re a little kid every single adult in your life seems like they reach all the way up to the clouds anyways because they’re so BIG! But let me tell you something – the size of all those other adults in my young life couldn’t hold a dim candle to the far-flung physical reaches of George the Giant. His real name was George Schmidt, and at 6’4″ or so in height with a body to match he was an elongated behemoth of a giant to me as a young child.

It seemed like I could never lean back far enough in my young days to see all of this guy at one time, because his vast and upwardly looming stature appeared to carry all the way up to the misty stars of some distant outer galaxy.

Not that this was a bad thing by any means though, especially when this huge hunk of humankind pointed his face down at you from those far outer reaches and grinned at you. His smile never failed to light up your heart with the warmth and brilliance of a million of those misty stars.

His love and caring for you despite your diminutive size shone through and touched you in places you were still just learning about in the young heart of your being. It seemed as though he was constantly wrapped in a cloak of kindness as equally huge as the man himself, and when he looked at or spoke to you it never failed to make you seem special in his eyes.

George the Giant – teacher, community leader and churchman – will always be remembered by everyone who ever knew him for his patient tenacity and unconditional love for all people. He “walked with God” and left good footprints for others to follow.

I’ll always treasure him for all of these things as long as memories linger of George the Giant, a period of time which carries no restrictions of measure upon it and is certain to last into eternity itself – he was that kind of man.

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