Never stop being a kid. Never stop feeling and seeing and being excited with great things like air and engines and sounds of sunlight within you. Wear your little mask if you must to protect you from the world but if you let that kid disappear you are grown up and you are dead.
How else does one become a Renaissance Man except by having well-rounded parents.
Growing up in the northwest, George's father taught him sports, building projects, and good old hard work. He helped mow the lawn, wash the car, build a deck onto the family home, and even learned to build an electric motor from scratch. He joined the Boy Scouts where he and his father climbed mountains together.
Explorations also involved riding his red Sting Ray bike all over town and visiting Grandma's house out in the country, where he got to ride horses and play chess with his brother David, and sister Carolyn. The boys spent many an hour building Lego airplanes and then 'flew' them across the living room on string, straight into the fireplace. They also loved taking their Mom's silk scarves and handkerchiefs and made parachutes for their GI Joe's. For some reason, neither of them recall their mother ever being mad at them for doing these things.
Mom taught George the love of design, arts, music (yes, eight years of violin) but George really loved baseball. Starting at a very young age, his father and George, would play catch for hours in the front yard of the house in Corvallis, Oregon. He played baseball through his senior year of high school and became a Tri-County All-Star. George also enjoyed basketball and football in junior high and high school (which is why it was embarrassing for him to carry his violin case down the halls in high school while wearing a Letterman's jacket.)
The love of flight took root at a very young age. His mother and father bought a Piper airplane when he was just a youngster. It was very unusual in the 1960's, but Marilyn, his mother, learned to fly and received her pilot's license. They went flying often and this is where he began dreaming of becoming an Air Force pilot one day. He watched with fascination the growing space program and developments of new supersonic jets. By the time he reached high school, he had decided on his path, his destiny, and with great clarity set about achieving it with great determination.
His mother, Marilyn Beth Hughes, to the public and fans, is a reknown and very accomplished water color artist, who gave George the love for capturing and creating beauty in other ways. Here are just a few of the 1500+ masterpieces she created: