George Fox: a lifelong affair with the printed word

- by Bruce E. McKinney

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George, second from left, at the Book Club

George Fox, who recently passed away, was an engaging man born with a serious case of bibliomania.  He liked the printed word, be it a book or ephemera and organized his life around involvement with and pursuit of examples of the craft.  His involvement was life-long and for evidence we have only to look to the date he joined the Book Club of California:  1981.  This suggests he was already deeply in the throes of collecting passion by age 43 after which all photographs of him show a broad smile.  In time, he would climb the steps of authority to become President of the Book Club while amassing a stellar resume that included memberships in other book, print and printing groups:  the Roxburghe Club, The Ephemera Society, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Historical Print Collectors Society.

 

For the past twenty years, he was a rainmaker at PBA.

 

At some point he realized that alcohol was a necessary enhancement and thereafter found a way to appreciate its power without succumbing to its risks.  I recall a meeting of the Roxburghe some ten years ago when, the meeting over, he and Jeffrey Thomas, ran from table to table to secure any unpoured wine which they then took back to the head table to continue to further lubricate the evening.  In that moment he and Jeffrey evinced that rare pleasure and shared passion that revelry only occasionally begets.  He was a happy man who made the people around him smile.

 

He enjoyed his wine and Tanqueray Gin martinis with two olives but much more the company of other bibliophiles.  He will be missed.  The world is a better place for his having been a part of it.

 

A memorial remembrance will be held on Sunday, December 10, 5-7:30pm at Moraga Hall in the Officer’s Club in the Presidio.  All are welcome.