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             Tuesday, March 25 2003  

Where are they now? Vintondale native Bill George

Born December 10, 1936, Bill is one of four children born to Delmer and Sara (Williams) George. Bill's parents as well as his sister Elma are deceased. His sister Ida Mae Lowery lives in Florida and his sister Ruth Troutman makes her home in Johnstown.

Bill George in high school photo,
left, and recent photo, right

Bill is divorced and the father of two grown sons; Edward, a mechanical engineer, lives in New Jersey and his other son, Bill, lives in California.

A 1954 graduate of the former Shellsburg-Napier High School in Bedford County, Bill says "I attended Vintondale High School until the middle of my junior year. My father had sold the family store and was working in Bedford County and ultimately the family moved there."

With college not on the horizon, Bill signed on for a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Air Force where he was to receive training and schooling in electronics. "I was a nuclear weapons fusing and firing systems specialist," he says, "I maintained their systems which enabled them to do their thing."

Bill's training in electronics enabled him to move on to a 30-year career with IBM, where he worked on the operating systems of large business-type computers called mainframes. "I've worked on computers belonging to Bell Laboratories in New Jersey and the Bank of America's Visa card swiping system," he says.

When Bill got out of the military, he used his GI Bill benefits to get his pilot's license and has flown private aircraft for the past 33 years. He not only flies...but is also a part-time flight instructor. "I have flown across the country from California to Pennsylvania without seeing another aircraft except near airports," he says, "I feel safer in the air than on the ground...in the air, you have total control."

Retired for the past decade, Bill now lives in Placerville, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains where he pursues his love of flying and its associated activities. He's currently building a small aircraft called a Lancair IV-P, a four seater light airplane made from carbon cloth that Bill says is similar to fiberglass; lightweight but strong. "This plane will have a pressurized cabin like an airliner," he says. "It will cruise at 345 miles per hour at an altitude of 24,000 feet." Bill says he's completely at ease in the wild blue yonder, and quips, "I've never been lost...but have been temporarily disoriented."

"Placerville reminds me of Vintondale," he says, "It has the same small town atmosphere." Bill's memories of growing up in Vintondale are linked to family and the outdoors. "As a kid, I played ball in the same field where they now hold the Homecoming Festival," he says, "And I used to go hiking in the hills around the old Wehrum Dam. My father loved to go hunting, and he would take me with him to hunt rabbits. My uncle, Lloyd Williams, was a fisherman and would take me fishing with him." Bill says his most recent trip back home to Pennsylvania was in January to attend the funeral of his uncle Lloyd.

Bill says what he misses the most about his hometown of Vintondale is its small town atmosphere. "It was the comraderie of the people all knowing each other.

"I hope the Ghost Trail and the Mine Reclamation Project have a positive effect on Vintondale.... I hope it maintains the character of being a nice place to live."

To send greetings, Bill can be found at BGeorge@innercite.com.

If you have a suggestion for a subject for Where Are They Now, please write Judy Rose.

Click here for an index of all Where Are They Now profiles in this series.

Why men are just happier people! (last of series)

If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
Everything ! on your face stays its original color.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
You almost never have strap problems in public
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
You don't have to shave below your neck.
Your belly usually hides your big hips.
One wallet and one pair of shoes, one color, all seasons.
You can "do" your nails with a pocketknife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24, in 45 minutes.

—Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Lenten thought for the day

Why was the blood that was shed for us, God's most precious and glorious blood, this blood of the Sacrificer and of the Sacrifice, why was it poured out, and to whom was it offered? ...If it was a ransom offered to the Father, the question arises, for what reason? It was not the Father that held us captive. And then, why should the blood of His only Son be pleasing to the Father who refused to accept Isaac when Abraham offered him as a burnt offering, accepting instead the sacrifice of a ram?

Is it not evident that the Father accepts the sacrifice, not because He demands it or feels some need for it, but in order to carry out His own plan? Humanity had to be brought to life by the humanity of God...we had to be called back to Him by His Son.... Let the rest be adored in silence.

It was necessary for us that God should take flesh and die so that we might have a new life....

Nothing can equal the miracle of my salvation; a few drops of blood redeem the whole universe.

—St. Gregory Nazienzen, 325-389
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