A Fierce Kind of Love, a project of Visionary Voices
Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

Stories from
Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services


recorded at Selinsgrove Center April 2015
PHOTO of Frank
photo by JJ Tiziou

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Lives Lived Apart interview with George recorded April 11, 2015

PHOTO of George with his interviewer Carole
CAROLE'S COMMENTS: "When we sat down and George was comfortable and George smoked his pipe, then I got to hear something dramatically different about what's important to him and it was very moving. Instead of me saying: question, question, question we interacted with the environment that's his. What he came out with and what he was able to bring to the interview was very meaningful and ultimately quite poetic and, you know, powerful. I just joined him in that environment instead of trying to construct the environment verbally, and that was a gift."

Carole: So my name is Carole, Carole (inaudible), and I am interviewing George.

George: Yeah.

Carole: George, we're at Selinsgrove and today is April 11th.

George: Yeah.

Carole: Right? So George I thought I'd first ask you what is your whole name, George? George...

George: Yeah.

Carole: Just George?

George: Yeah.

Carole: OK, alright. Where were you born George? Do you know?

George: No.

Carole: No?

George: No.

Carole: Alright. You and I were talking about how long you've lived here.

George: A long time.

Carole: Yes. How many years? Do you remember?

George: Two years.

Carole: Two? I think I remember you saying it might have even been... 40 maybe?

George: 40.

Carole: Alright, OK and we especially wanted to talk about your work.

George: Yeah.

Carole: Your recycling work that you do. Would you be able to describe what work you do and you said you do this every day.

George: Papers

Carole: What do you do with the papers George?

George: Tear them up.

Carole: Oh, OK. Do you have to do anything with cans or?

George: Cans.

Carole: So how many hours do you work?

George: Two hours.

Carole: Wow, OK. Every day?

George: I take the guys a break.

Carole: Oh, OK. I see.

George: (Inaudible).

Carole: OK.

George: I take the guys from break.

Carole: OK so two hours a day. Is it five or seven days a week?

George: Seven.

Carole: Wow. Chad mentioned and other people mentioned...

George: Yeah.

Carole: That you won an award or Kevin maybe said that, didn't he?

George: Yeah.

Carole: What is that award?


George: Capitol.

Carole: Oh wow. They said something about you're the employee...

George: Employee.

Carole: Of... maybe of the year, George.

George: Of the year.

Carole: Yeah, so how did that make you feel?

George: I don't know.

Carole: You were happy with that?

George: Yeah.

Carole: Yeah? George you also mentioned to me that there's flags that they gave you.

George: Yeah in the capital.

Carole: And there's also a flag here, right?

George: Out front.

Carole: Right.

George: And there's a light on the wall.

Carole: Wow.

George: It's out there.

Carole: Yes.

George: There's a light out front.

Carole: Right so if we were here at nighttime...

George: Nighttime.

Carole: Would we be able to see that, your flag out there?

George: We see it at night when it gets dark and it comes on.

Carole: Wow.

George: That's at night.

Carole: It'd be wonderful to see that, George.

George: That's a new light.

Carole: Oh, OK.

George: The old light got broken.

Carole: It did?

George: Yeah, they got rid of it.

Carole: Oh, OK. How long has that been up there outside?

George: A lot longer.

Carole: OK, alright. So the work that you do, how long have you actually done the recycling work?

George: Ten.

Carole: Ten years?

George: Yep.

Carole: Wow. That's amazing. How did you get into that?

George: In the front door.

Carole: Oh, uh-huh. OK. Did they ask you if you wanted to do the work or did you volunteer? Do you remember?

George: Mm.

Carole: No? So you know how we were just building with Tad?

George: Yeah.

Carole: What's that room called where we were, George?

George: Mailing.

Carole: OK, yes. So then the students were helping...

George: Yeah.

Carole: Build. What's that thing you built today? You used a hammer?

George: Yeah.

Carole: And it's like a box?

George: A box.

Carole: Yeah. I don't remember what you're going to do with that box. What are you going to put in that box?

George: I don't know.

Carole: Not yet you don't know yet?

George: Not yet.

Carole: OK, yeah. We took the box back to your room.

George: Yeah.

Carole: And I have to say your room is wonderful.

George: Yeah.

Carole: It's got a lot of pictures.

George: Yep.

Carole: Who made your room look the way it looks, George?

George: I don't know.

Carole: Nah? It's got your flags in there.

George: Yeah.

Carole: Two flags?

George: Mm-hm.

Carole: Yeah and are those flags, that came...

George: Capital.

Carole: Though the capital again, right?

George: Yeah.

Carole: I think that Kevin told us you were employee of the year how many times?

George: Two years.

Carole: That's what I thought, two times.

George: Two times.

Carole: That's wonderful. So does anyone... you know how we were in that room building?

George: Yeah.

Carole: Were some of your friends there?

George: Mm-hm.

Carole: The guys I mean.

George: Nobody was there.

Carole: Oh, OK, alright. Let me just look at this a minute and get back to my real questions for a second. Oh yeah. Do you get a chance to... you've lived here for at least 40 years right?

George: 40 years. That's the wind.

Carole: Is that the wind?

Staff: Yeah.

Carole: Wow, noisy.

George: Noisy.

Carole: Can you tell me a little bit more about this place and how it's changed?

George: Change.

Carole: Yeah.

George: (Inaudible).

Carole: Oh remember you showed me where it is?

George: Yeah.

Carole: Where is it?

George: Outside.

Carole: Yeah. Thank you. George showed us that new cornfield.

George: Cornfield is over there.

Carole: Mm-hm.

George: And I think...

Carole: Right.

George: They take the corn seeds and dump them.

Carole: Yes, yes.

George: And dump the corn seeds.

Carole: Right.

George: In the wagon and haul...

Carole: How does it get seeded every year? Who does that work?

George: The farmer.

Carole: Mm. OK. And you all don't do that work, right?

George: Mm-hm.

Carole: No?

George: The farmer does.

Carole: I'm just going to check that we're in good shape, George. Yeah, we're good. The farmer does. Do you get to eat the corn? Nah. Alright.

George: They cut it.

Carole: Yeah, yeah. So who lives in your room on the other side?

George: Jimmy.

Carole: Jimmy? Oh. Jimmy. I met him, right? Downstairs. How do you two get along?

George: Yep.

Carole: You get along OK?

George: Yep.

Carole: Has he been here...

George: Long time.

Carole: A long time also? Yeah. OK. Do you ever get a chance to see any... are you still in touch with family members?

George: No.

Carole: Nah? You were telling me that you're really excited about the movies.

George: Yeah.

Carole: And what's going to happen... is it the cafeteria?

George: Mm-hm.

Carole: When is that going to happen, George?

George: I don't know.

Carole: Oh, OK. Yeah. There's going to be a new television, you said.

George: Yeah.

Carole: Yeah. When we were in your room I saw a lot of movies.

George: Yeah.

Carole: How did you get all those movies?

George: At home.

Carole: You didn't have to buy those, did you?

George: No.

Carole: But you have about a hundred?

George: A hundred.

Carole: Yeah, do you have a favorite?

George: Yeah.

Carole: What's one of your favorite movies?

George: I don't know.

Carole: Nah? I saw Jurassic Park in there.

George: Yeah?

Carole: Mm-hm. I saw some westerns. Did you have westerns?

George: Yeah.

Carole: Yeah, OK. I don't know George. We were talking about dances.

George: Yeah.

Carole: Right? Do you look forward to those dances?

George: They have them in there.

Carole: In the auditorium, right? Did you tell me... do you dance? Do you enjoy it?

George: No.

Carole: Uh-huh. OK, great. So we are also... we walked around. Everyone met us, right? How do you feel about (inaudible)? She likes you, right?

George: That's the daycare.

Carole: Daycare is out front here?

George: Yeah.

Carole: I'm going to look George. I'm just going to look a second.

George: That's the daycare.

Carole: We can talk about that. Oh, I see.

George: That's the old daycare. The kids' daycare.

Carole: The kids are there?

George: A long time out there, they're not there anymore.

Carole: Oh, it's all... is it empty?

George: Empty.

Carole: Did you used to go up to that building?

George: Nuh-huh.

Carole: Have you always been in this building, George?

George: Yeah.

Carole: Yeah? How about your room? Has it been where I saw?

George: Yeah.

Carole: Yeah? OK.

George: That's Arbor.

Carole: Oh, Arbor is over there?

George: That's Arbor daycare.

Carole: Oh that's the name of it?

George: Yeah.

Carole: Oh. I have questions. See the flagpole?

George: Yeah.

Carole: That's not where your flag is?

George: No.

Carole: No, no, no.

George: No, no.

Carole: Alright, I see.

George: They hang them up when it gets... when the weather gets nicer.

Carole: Mm-hm.

George: They come up and hang them.

Carole: Oh.

George: They hang them on the lights in Spring.

Carole: Mm-hm.

George: Yeah.

Carole: Do you help them?

George: Yeah.

Carole: What do you do, George?

George: They go up in the forklift. 

Carole: Oh!

George: They go up in the forklift and put them up.

Carole: Wow.

George: In the summer.

Carole: Have you ever been up in the forklift?

George: Just maintenance.

Carole: Just maintenance, OK. Yeah.

George: Jerry and Jim.

Carole: Oh, OK.

George: Jerry and Jim go up their own and hang them up all up when I'm here.

Carole: Yeah and you can go there and be there waiting down there?

George: Waiting down there.

Carole: Somebody said... who was it? Chad or Kevin said that you... when the flags get tattered...

George: Get tattered. They get tattered.

Carole: They said you help out and tell them that the flags get tattered. Yeah.

George: Yeah.

Carole: Mm-hm. Did you like what we ate today?

George: Yeah.

Carole: But what didn't we get? Remember?

George: Cherry pie.

Carole: Yeah. We were going to get cherry pie, remember?

George: We couldn't get it.

Carole: No. I was disappointed we did not get that cherry pie.

George: Disappointed.

Carole: Right? So George, do you know what year you were born in?

George: I don't know.

Carole: No? OK and have you always lived in Pennsylvania?

George: Mm-hm.

Carole: OK. Can you remind me what the town you were born in?

George: Yeah. Mm-hm.

Carole: No?

George: No.

Carole: OK, alright but it's Pennsylvania for sure, right?

George: Yeah.

Carole: OK. How did you feel, George... Are you looking at something out there?

George: The mail.

Carole: Oh, which one is that?

George: That's the barn.

Carole: Oh, OK.

George: That's the barn.

Carole: Is that what they call it?

George: That's the (inaudible) barn.

Carole: I see. Have you been to that barn?

George: No, I want to see it. The tractor is in it.

Carole: Oh, OK.

George: The corn...

Carole: Yes, yeah.

George: In the field.

Carole: Hm.

George: The corn stalks.

Carole: Oh, right.

George: Corn stalks. They cut them down every year. Every year they cut them down. They cut them. They cut them up.

Carole: What do they do with them when they're done? When they've cut them up?

George: Put them in the field, another field.

Carole: OK, yeah.

George: In that field over there.

Carole: Oh, behind the cornfield.

George: Yeah, behind the cornfield.

Carole: I see.

George: The cornfield.

Carole: Yeah. George, what does the corn look like when it snows?

George: It's covered.

Carole: Oh. What do they cover it with?

George: It's all gone.

Carole: Oh, OK. It's all done now?

George: All done.

Carole: Oh, OK.

George: They'll paint this year again.

Carole: Oh good, when will they do that? Do you know?

George: In spring.

Carole: Hm-mm. I guess it's April now so...

George: April.

Carole: OK. Mm. We drove up. Remember I told you we were driving up in the bus?

George: Yeah.

Carole: And the (inaudible) was...

George: Wow.

Carole: Yeah.

George: ... County.

Carole: County, did you say?

George: Yeah.

Carole: Yeah. It was really brown.

George: Grey and brown.

Carole: Yep and choppy too today, George.

George: Yeah.

Carole: Mm-hm. George, are you comfortable in here or is hot for you?

George: It's comfortable here.

Carole: OK, great. Yeah. Now I see that you have some headphones around.

George: Yeah.

Carole: What do you do with those?

George: Listen to music.

Carole: What kind of music?

George: The cook..

Carole: Oh (inaudible) yeah? Oh, is the cook who the one who...

George: In his truck.

Carole: In his truck, that's right.

George: She has the car today.

Carole: Oh, OK.

George: She has the car today.

Carole: SO you don't have to watch it?

George: No.

Carole: OK.

George: She has the car today.

Carole: You see her car out there?

George: That's her truck.

Carole: What color is it, George?

George: Brown.

Carole: OH, the one out there?

George: Yeah. That's her brown...

Carole: Yeah.

George: Her brown truck. Her red truck... Her red one is at home.

Carole: Is it?

George: Yeah.

Carole: She told us she was here 21 years, didn't she?

George: 20.

Carole: 20? Oh, OK.

George: She likes to go to the races in spring.

Carole: Yeah?

George: In the spring probably.

Carole: Right.

George: She goes to the races in the spring time when it's nice out.

Carole: Oh, wow. Did you ever go with her?

George: The races down here?

Carole: Yeah.

George: It's down on the race track.

Carole: Yeah, you went?

George: Keep an eye on it.

Carole: Oh, keep an eye on the truck.

George: Race truck. Race is going to... You can hear them every night.

Carole: Wow. Noisy?

George: Noisy.

Carole: Yeah. What does it sound like?

George: I don't know. They go on the tracks.

Carole: And it's cars, right?

George: Yeah.

Carole: Not horses?

George: Cars. Cars. Like cars.

Carole: Yeah.

George: Car races.

Carole: George, do you need some water?

George: Mm-hm.

Carole: OK. Oh, I meant to ask you about bowling.

George: Yeah, it's over now.

Carole: You said. When is that going to start up again?

George: Next year.

Carole: OK. Alright but you go... how do you get there when you go, by the way?

George: Not far.

Carole: Not too far?

George: Not too far.

Carole: Did you say it's in Pennsburg?

George: Yeah.

Carole: Mm-hm. How many people get to go with you when you go?

George: Two miles.

Carole: Two miles?

George: Mm-hm. We get food out there.

Carole: Oh, what kind of food?

George: Like hot dogs, hamburgers, and that.

Carole: Oh. That's fun?

George: Yep.

Carole: Mm-hm.

George: In the fire trucks.

Carole: Oh, OK.

George: Go cleaning.

Carole: Right now?

George: Not yet.

Carole: Oh, OK good. Alright.

George: What time is it?

Carole: What time is it? Oh it's getting to be...

Staff: It's 2:30.

Carole: 2:30.

George: 2:30.

Carole: George, if you don't mind can we talk about music again?

George: Nuh-huh.

Carole: Nah?

George: Nah.

Carole: OK. I saw you have a stereo. Don't you have a stereo in your room?

George: No.

Carole: No?

George: No.

Carole: Alright. Um. I was... I was at the state fair at Bloomsburg. Did you ever get to that state fair up here?

George: Not yet.

Carole: No, not yet? OH, OK. Yeah, they have a lot of music there.

George: Yeah, lots.

Carole: Yeah, right. Uh-huh. You know I actually like a lot of rock and roll.

George: Uh-huh.

Carole: Do you like rock and roll at all?

George: Sometimes.

Carole: Sometimes?

George: Uh-huh.

Carole: You like the hard rockers, George?

George: Mm-hm.

Carole: What kind of rock and roll?

George: (inaudible)

Carole: Elvis?

George: Elvis.

Carole: Do you like Elvis?

George: Nuh-huh.

Carole: You getting ready to go?

George: Yeah.

Carole: OK George. Thank you so much, George.

George: Thank you.

Carole: Bye George.

George: Bye.


Photos by JJ Tiziou

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