It's All Greek To Me

     It's All Greek To Me
by Dick Mauer

As long as we're talking about characters we have worked with in the 
Border Patrol, I have to tell you about one of my favorites. George 
Cores was an old timer when I got to Buffalo Sector in 1968. George was 
the son of Greek immigrants who was raised in Detroit and he could catch 
wets, but only after he had taken care of all his personal needs.

His personal needs were always the same. He wanted to start every shift 
with a stop at the Greyhound station where he began with a free paper 
and similarly priced coffee and pie from the Post House Restaurant. 
Following that George would begin pacing the bus station after his prey. 
If we were in plain clothes George would hold his badge in both hands, 
(like he had a bird) and flash it at his intended quarry. He was 
frequently successful, but he also frequently upset the interviewees 
with his brusque manner. Like I said, George was an old timer and not 
interested in taking on any dissatisfied customers. So, when things got 
hot he had a way of disappearing, leaving his partner to soothe frayed 

I mention plain clothes. George had 1 suit, (and 1 tie) an electric blue 
model that had seen its best days during the Eisenhower administration.I 
remember us young PIs asking him to get rid of the socks with the 
visible holes,  Uniforms. Georges uniforms were all wool. That doesn't 
mean expensive, that means old! His leather was long stripped of black 
dye and I suspect he got it all from someone even older. He was a 
skinny, little guy and with the smokey bear hat on he looked like a ten 
penny nail.

Now its lunch time and George prided himself on knowing every greek 
restaurant in Erie County. Of course all his meals were at least half 
price or he wouldn't go there a second time, and would thereafter say 
that the owner was Albanian. George was proud of his heritage. He always 
wanted to finish his shift with a stop back at the Greyhound restaurant 
where he treated the cook like a brother, and always took home 2 
sandwiches of whatever was left, for his girls school lunch the next 
day. All in all, a busy shift. And...he still managed to catch aliens.

George's thrifty ways extended in many directions. He lived in a suburb 
that charged for collecting garbage. He beat that by bringing his 
garbage to work every day and throwing it in the Sector dumpster. That 
worked well until the time that Chief Bill Eatmon and PAIC Phil Cwynar 
decided that something important had been thrown away and went out to 
the dumpster to retrieve it. When they found themselves rummaging around 
in George's garbage they put a stop to his practice.

One day when he didn't show up for work and didn't answer the phone, 
Don  Barley was sent to check on him. With the wife at work and the 
girls at school, Don found George in the basement, sitting in a recliner 
like he was sleeping, waiting for his wash to finish. A quiet end for an 
old PI.