He was, like many men, two men. The big difference is that in addition to being two men he also had two names. He was George Anderson, Georgie to friends who liked gardening, watching the news on television and sleeping in the sun. George was the son of a hard-edged housepainter in inner city Los Angeles. George dreamed about baseball, but he sold cars, and not especially well. He was a soft touch. He never could sell cars to people who he knew could not afford it. His boss, Milt Blish, used to funnel a few dollars his way, just to keep him afloat.
Yes, he was George Anderson, the kind of man who could not send back a steak because he did not want to be a bother, the kind of man who would read the Bible sometimes as he tried to make sense of the world around him, the kind of man who would not write notes, not ever, because he felt embarrassed by his spelling and a little bit empty because he didn’t learn much in school. “I only had a high school education,” George used to say, “And believe me, I had to cheat to get that.”
No. Wait. It wasn’t George Anderson who said that. No … that’s Sparky.
- Elayne Boosler: Farewell Sparky Anderson (huffingtonpost.com)