By Lee Yousri
When portraying an individual, it is fitting to place that person center stage. This is most appropriate in the case of our new friend, George Salley, who joined the Plymouth Harbor community in December, 2012.
From South Carolina to New York to Florida; this represents his life’s journey, with a few of the usual detours. Born into a farming family, he developed a closeness and love of the land which led to his first degree at Clemson University, a BS in Agronomy. According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, this is “a branch of agriculture dealing with field-crop rotation and soil management.”
After a Navy stint in the early fifties, which afforded him world-wide travel, he was inspired to go a step further in his chosen field by earning a degree in Landscape Architecture. We enter a somewhat related field but now we’ve added people. A landscape architect is concerned with “the arrangement of land for human use and enjoyment.” Again I quote Mr. Webster.
George’s first job was with a firm in Fort Lauderdale working on the master plan for Longboat Key. Following this he was recruited by another architectural firm which was planning the New York City World’s Fair of 1963.
His move to New York resulted in his residing all over Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights where he bought a near derelict brownstone in the Landmark Preservation area and converted it into four two-bedroom apartments. His tenants were mostly young couples just out of college and newly married. He very much enjoyed his role as landlord.
Of course, his professional life continued. Among the many prestigious projects in which he participated were the Sculpture Gardens at the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Paley Park, all in New York City; the Hirschhorn Museum on the National Mall in Washington D.C., and the Johnson Presidential Library in Texas.
By this time he was living six months in New York, six months in Sarasota. And he was pursuing his hobbies of gardening, travel, music, walking, and reading (the New York Times and the New Yorker are a “must”).
His last job was with the New York City Housing Authority. While this dealt with lodging for the underprivileged, he also moonlighted in special projects for the wealthy, thus affirming his diverse talents.
Art, history, theatre, branches of life both practical and artistic are all represented here. Truly an admirable repertoire! George deserves his place center stage.
We welcome him to Plymouth Harbor!