The Mint Man | Teen Ink

The Mint Man

September 22, 2007
By Anonymous

The Mint Man

When you think of George Baksa, you probably think he is just another average joe in the crowd. George Baksa, to me, is one of the most important people in my life. He helps with the youth at my church. He has impacted me by showing me that God is the center of my life, and he should be for all of us. George mentioned to the teenagers at Central, that in math wee need our math books, so in church we need our bibles. Most of us now do bring our bibles every week! He is not related to me, but I wish he was. When I asked George how tall he was, he replied, “I’m five foot eight and fat ” However, I see him as a linebacker with an enormous heart. He has grey hair, and on the day of the interview he was wearing tan khaki shorts, brown glasses, a brown polo, and brown Converse dress shoes. He was very stylish, and looked brown as a bear. In his life, George has overcome many obstacles, and credits God for overcoming them. This is what makes him my hero.

George’s life began on April 30, 1946. It was an easy life for him, and his life was centered on family. What I mean when I say that life was based on family, is that he cherished his family, and participated in a lot of activities with them. Like any other boy his age, on most Sunday’s he went to church. Back in the day, George was raised Catholic. He said that he knew there was a God, and he praised him on Sundays. But, on weekdays he did not act like a Catholic at all. He acted like kids now, they just go to church on Sundays like sweet little angels, but during the week they are wretched.

Yet, when the sixties rolled around, “It was a reflection of today,” commented George. Life was based, for most teenagers his age, on sex, drugs, and rock and roll; however, George was not like the other teenagers, because he was no woman chaser. But, he was definitely a fan of rock and roll. After his teenage years, George graduated from Frontier High School in 1964. The colleges George went to were Syracuse University and Buffalo State. He made the all star baseball and football team for New York State, which is a great accomplishment. Then he was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played class ‘A’ baseball, which is an extremely hard task to accomplish. Class ‘A’ baseball is the lowest league in professional baseball. “It was short, but fun,” commented George. He was married to Linda Wolinski in 1966, and had one child, Jeffery. When I heard that he had been married a long time ago, I was astonished. I had no idea he had been married before Mary Jane.

The seventies and eighties were horrible at times, yet they were also magnificent times too. George and his wife divorced in 1972, and George gained custody of Jeffery. It must have been rough for Jeffery, because he had no mom to come home to from school. Not saying that he was not a good dad. George said, “I lived the bachelor life for twelve years.” Then, in 1980, he met the woman of his life, Mary Jane. Two years later, they were married. If George had not met Mary Jane, I don’t know how George’s life would have turned out. She has helped him stay on a godly path. In 1987, Georges ‘talented’ son Casey was born. What George means when he says that Casey is ‘talented’, is that he is an excellent singer/guitar player (if you ever have the chance listen to his band, The Red Light Exchange, they are amazing.). After that, George was drafted into the army, to serve in Vietnam. Yet, he was not able to serve because of his health conditions. Sadly, seven of his eleven friends serving in Vietnam, were killed there. All seven that were killed played on George’s high school football team. If seven of my close friends died, I can not comprehend the damage that would be done to my heart. George is a guy with a strong, unbreakable heart.

George had been trying to find his purpose in life and in 1993, he found it. Casey was friends with Ben Backer, and Ben’s father was and is the Minister of Outreach at Central Christian Church in Carmel, Indiana. George had a verbal fight with Mary Jane, because he didn’t want to go to the church when they were invited by the Backer family. Mary Jane asked him to go to the church for Casey, so he went. Now he has never missed a Sunday church service, only when he was sick. Going to Central opened Georges eyes, so he and Mary Jane were both baptized on May 1, 1994. There was construction on Central’s baptismal, so they were baptized at another church by Gary Templeton, Central’s senior minister at the time. According to George, this was one of his biggest successes in life.

George had smoked and drank alcohol for most of his life. But, in the 90's he woke up two feet away from his house, in his car with the keys in the ignition. That was so terrifying to him because he had no idea how he got there. He could have hurt someone He knew then that God had his hands on him. His wife, Mary Jane, gave George the choice of her or the beer. George said to me, “Mary Jane is much prettier than a bottle of beer.” He did no illegal drugs, because he said, “only sissies did drugs ” He said that real men drank whiskey and beer. He smoked for part of his life, and he quit seven years ago. Whenever he feels the urge to smoke, he pops a mint into his mouth as a substitute. So, every time any of us teenagers at church see George, we each get a mint. Trust me, they are delicious.

Lupus is a disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the cells and tissue in your body. It currently has no cure, and unfortunately nine years ago George was diagnosed with Lupus. This has made him lose sight in his right eye, his balance (so he had to use a walker), ninety-four percent of his hearing lost in his right ear, and total deafness in his left ear. Also, non-Lupus related, he had a tumor on his chest. So when he is preaching to us teenagers at church he reads our lips when we ask questions. We also have to talk loud. He could not drive, when he was diagnosed, because of his loss of inner ear balance. He could not work because of his health issues, and was told that he would be in a wheelchair in at least a year. Many people, including me, have been praying that George would be healed. Last month, George went to Michigan for work reasons, and he stopped at a Faith Healer’s place. When he went there, a friend he met in Michigan had Parkinson’s disease, and walked in shaking terribly. After his friends meeting, the man walked out with little shaking. A couple of weeks later, George communicated with him and found out that his shaking was gone. That was just unbelievable God works in the most spectacular ways. So when George went into the Healer’s place room, Sue Razmussean prayed over him and cleansed his body. Just last week, George’s tumor was removed without surgery, he regained eighty percent of hearing in his right ear, his eye sight was regained, he can drive now, and he has two jobs. I was speechless when I heard this news. Yet, I knew something amazing happened when he walked into the interview, because he had the biggest grin on his face.

Today, George is a healthy, fun, and loving guy. The two occupations he has now is being a scout for colleges and he is a head senior service advisor. Billy Graham inspired George to work hard, because of his following quote, “With hard work, you can do anything ” He is now driving to work in a stylish 2007 Dodge Caliber. It is a beauty, and it is brand new (I want his car). If you would like to see a picture of George, and his work page, go to George, I want to thank you for always being there for me, through thick and thin. And, according to the teenagers from Central, “George is Flippin’ awesome ”

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