THE GEORGE BEFORE ME was inspired by the authors very own Grandpa George.
George Sakallaris grew up in Portland, Maine and lived most of his entire adult life in Cranston, Rhode Island. He was a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a kind and gentle soul who influenced everyone that he met.
He was the son of Greek immigrants and spoke fluent Greek.
He helped to run his family store in Maine until he went to college at the University of Alabama.
He worked as an engineer for the United States Department of Defense for over 40 years.
He loved gardening, traveling and most importantly his family.
He brought his grandchildren to either the bookstore or library every week when they were growing up.
When he was 90 years old he and Jessica and her sister went on a road trip to Alabama to visit his alma mater.
He lived by these words and instilled them in his grandchildren (and he frequently made them recite them):
patience, discipline, moderation, cooperation, caring, sharing and love
From the author...
My Grandfather George was a remarkably kind and brilliant man. He was a true angel on earth who helped to raise my sisters and me. He was my rock, mentor, tutor and friend. I never made an important life decision or accomplished any milestone without his input or support. In 2007 my sister and I were lucky enough to embark on the journey of a lifetime with this wise and gentle man. We took a road trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to bring him back to his alma mater, almost 60 years after he graduated. On this adventure we learned so much more about him and his life outside of being a grandfather. We uncovered a philosopher, visionary and also a man with a surprisingly playful side.