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KING 5 NEWS Interview with Gaysha Starr and SGN Employees
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 26, 2020 - Volume 48 Issue 26
A tribute to George Bakan from Julie Shaffer
Section One
ALL STORIES
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A tribute to George Bakan from Julie Shaffer

I read in last week's SGN [June 12, 2020] about George's passing. I ran into him a couple evening before the stay-at-home order was in place. He could hardly walk to his van in the Capitol Hill Goodwill parking lot. I had to get help. I waited and talked with him for a while. He wanted me to call him after the stay-at-home to discuss the AIDS Wall project. My hope is that it happens for not only George. He wanted it to happen for others.

I appreciated having the opportunity working for the SGN when I moved to Seattle in August 1999. I wrote this tribute in honor of George on my social media.



George was not grumpy with me. He was a cuddly Santa bear.

When I first moved to Seattle, I needed some freelance work to sustain my living situation. I contacted the Seattle Times, Seattle PI and numerous other publications. I was turned down and doors closed. I noticed the SGN sign. I walked in. I was not paid much. The assignments were payment in and of themselves.

I interviewed Melissa Etheridge when she was the ambassador for the Human Rights Commission and I reviewed her "Yes I Am" concert tour. Nell Carter was amazing. I interviewed too many other names to mention.

George introduced me to Seattle bookstore owner, Barbara Bailey of Bailey/Coy Books. Barbara set up an in-person interview with Annie Leibowitz in regards to her book, Women. She did the same for an interview with Susan Sontag for her last book before her death.

I attended the home games of the newly formed Seattle Storm. I sat behind former Purdue coach and the first coach and general manager of the Seattle Storm Lin Dunn . That was a treat to report on basketball.

This blossomed into another part-time venture. A California entertainment agency had me review, create PR and marketing for female comics.

What a great introduction to Seattle after doors continued to close. The last door I walked through allowed me to see the City from an unimaginable vantage point.

I like thrift store shopping and so did George. We became reacquainted a few years ago while seeking treasures. Unknowingly to George, he was my treasure. He wanted me involved in his newest idea of an AIDS memorial wall. I would interview individuals about their experiences during the AIDS epidemic. He also wanted me to speak at the ceremony.

George, you will certainly live on through me. The memories will last me a lifetime.

Thank you,

Julie Shaffer

Tell a friend:

Remembering George Bakan
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George Bakan: Rescuer of lost souls
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IN MEMORIAM - Randall Jess Spohn
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Remembering not only an editor, but a friend
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Remembering George Bakan
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A tribute to George Bakan from Julie Shaffer
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Tributes and eulogies for R. George Bakan (via Facebook)
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