We lost a good friend last week. Death is always something we must deal with, but losing George Lichter was different for me. Seldom in life do we encounter such a powerful and unique personality. George was a textile maven, a war hero, and a raconteur, especially entertaining over a bottle of wine. He could be tough and kind, enigmatic, and a seeker of the higher and better self. The Esalen Institute in
Big Sur was a favorite destination. He would laugh telling me about washing dishes at the retreat as if it was a spiritual experience.
I met George Lichter in the 70’s on a fabric buying trip in
. On my first visit to his office at New York City 261 Fifth Avenue, he showed me his new fabric line. Afterwards he said if I wasn’t busy in the afternoon he would take me to his good friend’s female erotic art gallery for an exhibit!
When my mother-in-law, Joline Weiss, was active at Wesco Fabrics, she always had a big cocktail party during the jobber market in her suite in
. All our suppliers would show up, and though competitors, they loved to yak. George sat next to Edgar Silberman, another larger-than-life guy! George’s office was a regular meeting place after work during the jobber market for drinks and gossip about the industry. The room was full of characters reminding me of the deli scene in Woody Allen’s movie, “Broadway Danny Rose.” New York
George was a decorated fighter pilot during World War II and flew 88 combat missions over enemy territory. Shortly after the war ended and
declared statehood, he felt compelled to help the cause. The Israelis sent him to a medieval village in Israel to train novice pilots on the dangerous S-199’s. He was feared as much as respected by the young pilots as George was serious and disciplined! Czechoslovakia
The pilots relax from the rigorous training at the Ceske Budjovice air base. George is second from left.
Marla’s aunt, Kay “Tootsie” Melnick, chats with George at a party in
honoring Wesco’s 50th anniversary. Tootsie was a fabulous Wesco Fabrics’ sales woman covering the Denver area. After retirement, George moved to Boulder , and we were very lucky to maintain a great friendship. Boulder, Colorado
Vic Shayne wrote a biography on George last year. We proudly have our autographed copy. If you are intrigued by a truly interesting character that lived life to the fullest, please read the book. It’s available at Amazon.
We really miss you George!