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Conference Proceeding

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Some people you remember best for the brilliance or profundity of the work they did. Some you remember in a more personal but still intellectual way for their off-the-top charm or their wit or their wisdom. But some you remember for their sheer human-ness as human beings—and of such was George Dession.

I knew George for more than a quarter-century—first as a fellow student, then as a faculty colleague, always as a friend. He was always shy and hated being shy and tried to hide it. The deliberately slow, studied speech, the deliberately long, loping stride, the uncontrollably quick smile of a kindly Satan—these gave him away. It was not his mental sparkle that won people to him. It was not even his uncommonly courteous and genuine concern with what others had to say. It was rather the vastly appealing just-below-the-surface vulnerability, that made him seem a sort of Peck's Bad Boy, out of France by way of Brooklyn, play-acting at being a brain.

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