George Tsinokas was such an original – talented, smart, funny, with the biggest heart of any human being I have ever met. His loss is immeasurable.
I may do a better job of organizing these words later but for now, I hope to write down some of the best things I ever heard George say. If you have anything you would like to add to this list please do, and share the post with others so they can add to it too.
George, after taking on my unfashionable mop of hair and transforming me into a sharp, trendy professional:
“Now, Rita, you know this requires SOME effort. You can’t just roll out of bed and expect to get this look.”
When Lois Brown ran against Belinda Stronach in the 2006 federal election, George met us at Global News to do Lois’ hair just before an important debate. He rolled into the studio with a travel kit of tools and supplies like Warren Beatty in “Shampoo.”
Watching George comb, blow and spray Lois’ famously unkempt hair, I mused out loud “I wonder who is doing Belinda’s hair?”
“Well, it must be the Number Two salon in Durham, because I can tell you Belinda is not being done by the Number One salon in Durham,” George sniffed without missing a beat.
I actually live in Newcastle because George Tsinokas invested in Clarington real estate. When I decided I wanted to move out of Toronto, I originally thought that meant I would be driving north toward Barrie. Then I discovered that in opening his newest salon, George and Vasile didn’t just buy a salon in Bowmanville – they bought the entire PLAZA in which the salon happened to be located.
“I have learned,” George shared one day, “that I could never save as much money as real estate can make me.”
Those words are seared into my brain now. If someone as smart as George Tsinokas was investing in Durham, I thought, that’s where I’m investing too. I have never looked back.
“You are someone I really treasure,” George told me one day. Wow, what a nice thing to say! I should say that to more people, more often.
“Growing up, I was never ‘the best’ at anything,” George explained to me one day. “I was not athletic, I was not at the top of the class. I wasn’t musical. But once I got into the business world and found I could make money, I realized, ‘THIS is something I can do. I am good at this.’”
This should be good news to lots of young people finishing high school and heading out into the world. I thought about George’s words a lot when I was running my Junior Achievement class last winter.
George married a stunningly beautiful, dynamic woman named Heidi. I loved the story of how they met: there used to be a nightclub called “Staircases” which was full of staircases on which young people would mix, mingle, sit, lean across to meet and talk over loud music and alcohol.
George told me, “I spotted Heidi leaning against the railing of a staircase across the room and I knew immediately she was someone special, so I worked my way over to her.”
“What was you opening line?” I needed to know.
“I walked up to her and said, ‘Who does your hair?’” George recounted. Of course, he did! And then they talked about hair for quite a long while, and the rest was history.
Some things make such perfect sense, there can be no doubt.