Talking Stick – A true Spences Bridge legend

TNRD Director Steve Rice writes about old friend and WWII veteran, George Spiller.

I must say the recent events with the shooting in Ottawa gave me, and I know many others, cause to reflect. In these troubling times those who choose to serve their country have individual motivation for doing so. All of them however must realize that you put your life at risk when making the decision.

They believe there is call to serve – to give back to a country that has given them so much.

We have had many of those folks from Spences Bridge. One such character is no longer with us but was a veteran who had many stories to tell.

Sometimes we forget the old timers that were such an important part of our community.

While going through my hundreds of my writings last night I came across an article I wrote for the Ashcroft Journal a long time ago.

George was a proud veteran and the King of Halloween in the Bridge – it seemed there was a reason I came across this very old article at this time. It seemed a good time to reflect.

A glimpse into how I saw George Spiller – a true Spences Bridge legend.

George Spiller: Little Man, Big Heart – by Steven W. Rice

George Spiller may have been a war hero in his younger days but in his latter years he became a people hero!

With his pocketful of peppermint candies he was a hero to the kids. With his trick or treats that were the “Best in all the Bridge”, he was a hero to the kids. With his open door policy and good natured manner he was a hero to all who cared to look closely at this little man who touched the hearts of so many.

George, you will be missed more than you can imagine, you may rest assured that you will never be forgotten.

Every time I leave a restaurant and pop one of those complimentary peppermints into my mouth I will think “Spillermints” I will think of George.

By the by, George, I am also tempted to try and get Halloween renamed in Spences Bridge – something along the lines of how kids might perceive it… “SpillerWeen” comes to mind! George…this one’s for you!

Wednesday was a good day for coffee

It was George’s coffee day

This scruffy little man with many decades behind him

Wednesday morning at the coffee shop…is where you would find him

Well worn baseball cap, white, short stubbled face

The cane at his side, seemed not out of place

Slow and proud he would shuffle to his seat

Keen eyes searching all corners, for someone to greet

Puffed cheeks full of snuff, masked by the smile

His seat would just have to wait…wait for a while

For George, you see, had spotted someone he knew

And he had a joke, a story…maybe even a few

He gave of his time to all who cared

A distinguished lifetime he was happy to share

If you really knew him, you had to love him

The legacy he leaves us…is to rise above him!

Steve Rice