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Date Posted: 20:21:59 05/05/16 Thu
Author: Mark Chain
Author Host/IP:
Subject: George Banks

For those not on FaceBook, Mark Shapiro posted there on Monday evening that George Banks, librarian at the College from 1969-72, died Sunday, in his Florida home. Mark had been there for some weeks taking care of George after a surgery he’d had, and was with him when he died.

George and I met at the College – early ’69, as I recall - and one of his fondest memories through all the years since was of a Community Meeting in the Dining Hall where the talk was of students going down to Boston to panhandle for money to help keep the College going.

In 1980, after having lived in Germany for several years, I came back to the States for 6 months to attend the poetics program at Naropa. After arriving and checking in with the Registrar, I headed for the library. Crouched down in the stacks, surveying the books, I suddenly hear a voice from behind me: “Glad to see you made it, Mark”. It was George, he was there for the Buddhist Studies, and was now the Naropa librarian. He’d known for months that I was coming, but saved it to spring on me. I’d had no idea he was there. Good one, George! (Ginsberg, Orlovsky, Ted Berrigan et al were there, too, back then . . . it was quite a time.) And from that time on, George and I were never out of touch with one another for very long. He was a remarkable person and dearest friend.

Just weeks ago, he remarked that he felt very much at peace, and glad for the life he’d had – the family, friends, loves and adventures – and was now looking forward to his Ukranian lady-friend of many years coming to visit again in the next weeks . . . Today I’m remembering the last line of Ted’s “Last Poem”:

“Let none regret my end who called me friend.”

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