George Stories

George stories is the name my wonderful daughters gave to things that have happened in my life when I made funny mistakes. Here is maybe the worst.

I was CEO of The Union Rescue Mission of Los Angeles. The mission is one of the largest missions in the world. I used to come in very early in the morning to meditate before the rush of the day took over. Those were wonderful times for a few hours in the morning. God met me and gave me peace because I felt the nearness of The Prince Of Peace.

As wonderful as those times were because they helped me relax. However, the Mission happened to be a wonderful but a crazy mixed up place. I was good at the job but the job was extremely exhausting to me. Sometimes my then wife said to me when I got home “I am tired of always getting the George left overs”.

That I went through my life at work having to get things done when I was worn out meant I ended up doing things that were very funny. This one such occasion.

The mission had two gorgeous old mansions built in the early 1900’s. The houses had been the Beverly Hills equivalent of the time. These houses hosted the missions two programs for young men. One of them had the 18-25 year old Spanish Speaking men and the other was for English speaking young men.

Once in a while they had a big steak dinner for the men graduating from their program. There were 30+ men graduating half of which had Spanish as their mother tongue and the other half were native English speaking men. The house hosting this event was plenty big enough and well equipped enough to comfortably host and prepare the dinner.

I was a little pretty upset upset because I had realized I had basically ignored these ministries. I had been frantically busy managing the mission and at the same time leading a fund raising effort that was raising many millions of dollars. We were building a 250,000 square foot building. This beautiful new mission ended up costing about 30 million dollars as I recall.

There I was at the dinner feeling guilty with a Spanish speaking man on one side and a English speaker on the other side. I was determined to make up for all the months I had ignored these wonderful men. I was trying to be at my best as host.

I nervously rushed through my steak while the young men had much better manners. They still had meat left on their plate. Aw wonderful!!! I had thought up a good joke.

I turned to the English speaker I will call Tom and said “You better watch out or I will steal the rest of your steak”. We laughed and he said “Go ahead George if you want a sharp fork in the back of your hand” We both had a good laugh over that.

Then I said to myself ” That really worked well”. I thought “How can I make the same joke work for Jose”? I took first year Spanish three times which should tell you I am not good at learning a new language.

So I hauled out my language failings and said “Jose, Yo quiero comer su carne” At the same time our bilingual chaplain went into shock and poor Jose looked bewildered. Translated to English I had said “Jose, I want to eat your meat.”


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