George Russell was one of the good ones. In addition to being a friend and neighbor for many years, he was a licensed plumber who came to our rescue more times than I can count. Whether it was no heat upstairs, a malfunctioning toilet downstairs or some other plumbing related problem, he never failed to come up with the fix we needed, and always showed up with a big smile and a genuine "Hey how ya doin'?" And kind soul that he was, he always refused to charge us for labor.
I'm not sure how calling him "Mr. George" got started, but I'm thinking it was probably when Meg's girls were little, before I came on the scene here in New Milford.
The last time he stopped by was maybe six weeks ago. For the umpteenth time he fixed our minor issue and we chatted for a few minutes. As he was leaving he said "Hey, how's this old truck doin'? I see ya out here workin' on it all the time." Indeed, there were many waves between us as he passed by in that big blue van of his.
George died at his home on Sunday November 20th, 2011. He was 68.
Rest in peace, Mr. George. We're richer for having known you, and we'll miss you very much.