It was the summer of 1968 on a sunny afternoon at the Tahoe Racquet Club, when a 25-year-old Galante rounded the corner and asked me if I would hit a few tennis balls with him. He was of such a muscular build that I figured it would be impossible for him to gain the fluidity and finesse to play competitive tennis. I was soon proved wrong, because in just a few years he was a teaching professional and I was still a “C” player.
On another occasion, when I was living at Incline in the ‘70s, I was making an early commute over Mt. Rose. When I reached the sheepherder flats, I noticed an inert body lying beside the road. As I pulled over to see if I could be of assistance, I was surprised to discover it was George. When I asked him if he was hurt he said, “No just resting, I’m going to jog to the summit before breakfast!” I told him that would be very strenuous even for him and I pointed out that both of his ankles were badly swollen. He replied, “No they’re not, those are just ankle weights!”
It is difficult to cover such an enormous life as George’s in the space of this column. However, if we take the entire alphabet, there are many adjectives that apply perfectly to George.
He was able and athletic. He was brave and beguiling. He was very caring and considerate. He was delightfully daring. He was energetic and enthusiastic. He was friendly and fearless. He was generous and gallant as his surname suggests.
He was handsome and heroic. He was intelligent and inquisitive by nature and proud of his Italian heritage. He was joyful and jocular. He was kindly kinetic. He was loving and loved. He was mirthful and modest. He was neat and very necessary. He was omnipresent and an omnivorous reader. He was punctual and precise. He was quick with a joke, at repartee he was a master and by nature a risk taker.
He was sincere and quite a sesquipedalian. He was a thoughtful and tireless individual. He was an unusual character. He was vocal, but never vociferous. He was warm and wise. He was anything but xenophobic and had the melodious delivery of a xylophone. He was youthful until his final day and he was zestful and zipped with ease down the mountains and around the tennis courts.
Now you’ve heard my ABCs about George’s life, I encourage you to insert your personal adjectives about this unique human being.
Harry Spencer is a long-time northern Nevada resident.