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Home of the U.S.J.F. George C. Balch Education Scholarship

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    I joined the Pontiac YMCA in 1947 or 48. I remember George as my judo instructor on some old rag mats. By the time I was 12 he hired me to supervise the boys locker room when
 kids came in for classes. He also hired me to work as a counselor for the Y's Summer Fun Club.

    George took a bunch of us to Camp Hayo-Went-Ha, the state YMCA camp, for a long training session. I remember him taking us horseback riding and he broke off a stick in order to control his spirited horse. Whacked him on the head a couple of times and the horse obeyed like a baby.

    George also ran a lot of fun high school programs: Hi-Y, Swim and Swing nights, conferences on sexuality. I thought of him as the neatest person in the entire world and I chased after everything that I thought he stood for to adopt as my own. I even stole a little statue of a Y man out of his office when I was young and foolish. After many many years of it sitting in a desk in my house I finally returned it to him, tearfully and remorsefully. George didn't even remember the statue - just me! God he was a neat guy.

    When he married the first time, I was on my way to George Williams College to become a Y person too. I never did get to know her.

    I don't remember when George moved on to Port Huron Y, but I do remember visiting him there a few times. By the time I graduated from GWC, I think George took on the position at Mt. Clemens Y. I then resumed my interest/effort in judo and George quickly got (used) me in an administrative position.

    I've not been there in the marriages/divorses/marriages, but I have been available for the firings and hireings and retireings. He was the first to offer condolences and empathy when I was in need, and it really meant something.

    I'd give my heart in a transplant to have him come back again. No question!

Jim Cornforth