Remembering George A. Romero by Michael Felsher

There are times when words are simply not enough to express the thunderstorm of emotions that surround a moment like this, where we are forced to contemplate a new world minus someone who we previously thought the world could not exist without. George Romero was, by turns in my life, a writer/director, an inspiration, a mentor, a friend, and ultimately part of my extended family.

I am, like so many, adjusting to this new reality with reluctance and a heavy heart. A word like “unique” seems too small and inadequate to the task of describing George and everything that he brought to his life and his craft. Perhaps there is no single word that can do the man any justice in this regard. I think, in the end, we all want to leave a mark… some sort of legacy. Some achieve that through family. Others through their work. And some manage it simply by passing on their talent and attention and kindness towards other people, even when it would be easier to do nothing at all. George, it seems, did all of those things and more during his life.

George and Michael

As dark as the day is now in the immediate wake of his passing, I know that this awful enveloping sadness will soon be nothing but a distant and shapeless memory. George’s greatest gift to me, and so many others, was his endless ability to find laughter and wit in the face of moments that would otherwise be too burdened by solemnity and despair. My heart and soul are overflowing with memories of this man that are so powerful and brilliant in their joy that no dark clouds could ever hope to obscure their clarity for the rest of my time on this Earth. Somehow, through the odd vagaries of life’s odd path forward, a man who I once idolized as a young man became something much more than an object of absent adoration. I was welcomed into George’s life in a way that I could never have imagined possible. I was not ready, in many ways, for the impact that would have on me. I may never fully be able to understand it. Perhaps that is as it should be.

They say, you should be wary of meeting your heroes. That you are only setting yourself up for a fall. I have no doubt, there is truth in that.

But I did meet one of my heroes. And then, by fate and truly odd fortune, he became so much more. He became my friend.

I will miss George more than I can adequately say in print or in voice. But I will not mourn him. We are all on the same path, more or less, with all of us facing the same destination. What matters is the journey itself. None of us navigate those highways and byways perfectly, and if he were here, I’m sure George would agree. But in the end, all we can hope for is that we made it one hell of a trip.

George Romero gave that journey everything he had. For that I can only smile and celebrate the fact that he shared so much of his time on the road with so many of us, and that he forged new paths along the way that we are only now beginning to explore for ourselves.

Goodbye for now my friend, until our paths cross again down the line.

George A. Romero

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Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

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