The October 2018 Issue of Substance

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We were forced to suspend subscriptions to our print edition a year ago, and after wishing we could get back into print have finally admitted that we can only continue as an online publication. Therefore, readers can no longer subscribe to Substance on paper, but those who wish to donate will be thanked.

George's life of love and service

George Neil Schmidt's life of fighting injustice, by organizing with soldiers against the Vietnam War, then working in public education, unions and journalism over the next five decades, was also filled with his deep love . . .


Raised to serve others

George, born on Sept. 28, 1926, was raised in Linden, New Jersey, at a time when service to the country was highly respected. As were nearly all the adult males on his block, his parents . . .


George's childhood creativity

When George and Tom were younger, they would build things together – a “fun house” and an igloo. They needed someone to test those on, and because I was so little, it was me. “Oh . . .


George's deep, happy joy

An important memory of George in the 9th grade suddenly popped into my mind this morning at about 4 a.m. [on Sept. 16, the day before George died].

He was new at St. . . .


Sharing his love of literature

George’s desire to impart knowledge to others manifested itself when he was a teenager. He would leave the books he was reading – Dickens, Dostoevsky, Eugene O’Neill – on the dresser outside my bedroom, then . . .


George's development and exploration during his teen years — truth and beauty in literature, friendships, romance

As a teen, George began exploring nearby New York City, taking the train into the city to go to the 8th Street Bookstore. He loved poetry and great works of literature, as reported by his . . .


Understanding the horror of war

As a child, George played with his cousins and the children on his block, swam at the Linden pool and took occasional family trips to the beach and Coney Island, led by his mother. He . . .


Protesting the Vietnam War and racial injustice at college

In 1965, during George's second year at college, George first met people who opposed the Vietnam War. Tom Cornell, one of the first Catholic conscientious objectors and draft card burners, visited St. Vincent College during . . .


Move to Chicago radically increases George's learning and organizing work against the Vietnam War

George hitchhiked west in the fall of 1966 to begin studying at University of Chicago. He relished his courses and top teaching professors. He read deeply, especially in poetry and philosophy. In a small seminar, . . .


George's generous hospitality in college

When I graduated from college in 1968, I moved to an apartment right across the hall from George. Tenants there were mostly students but I moved in with my brother.


George was working . . .


George Schmidt's teaching career cut short by Board of Ed

George began his work in the Chicago public schools in September 1969 as a substitute teacher. He taught at Crispus Attucks, DuSable and Forestville Upper Grade Center until 1971. He had a three-year break in . . .


George's instinct to stop abusive males and racists

One early evening in May 1978 (on a Mother's Day, in what later became known as the Mother's Day Massacre) George and friends saw an abusive male beating a woman outside a bar near California . . .


George's joy in his sons and marriage

George sought happiness in marriage. Before we met, he had been wedded to two other women he loved. He married college classmate and fellow anti-war activist Linda Haase in 1970. After they had been divorced . . .


Fighting injustice – 'for bread and roses, too'

I first knew George in 1997 from reading Substance. I saw his righteousness and passion in its pages. Then I met him and I was blown away by his intelligence, endurance, and experience. He seemed . . .


Of God and George being good

George was active in the church throughout his childhood, had read the Bible and studied theology. His Catholic high school helped him obtain a scholarship to a Catholic college. He had even said at one . . .


Cancer snuck up on us

George knew he had Stage 4 lung cancer for only one month, but by then it was too late to fight.

In June, he felt lousy with a cough, chest pain and fatigue. After . . .


Thank you for your kind words

In the few weeks since George has died, Dan, Sam Josh and I have been helped in our sorrow by the love and support shown to us in the visits of friends, phone calls, messages, . . .


Donations in George's name going to excellent organizations

In the death notice in the Chicago newspapers, I suggested that in lieu of flowers, people may send donations in George's name to the following organizations (to which many people told me they have donated): . . .


A tribute to George and his many decades of work for teachers and students in Chicago

I had the honor of speaking at George's funeral service on Sept. 22. The following were my prepared remarks regarding George's work during the 1970s through 2018.

So many of friends of George have . . .


George's almost superhuman energy and brialliance

I will miss my friend and mentor. Without his support my long and rewarding career would have ended after eight years. When there was nowhere for a teacher to turn for justice, there was George . . .


Substance and George's wonderful legacy

I have known George since the 1980s when I belonged to the TAC II caucus and we shared office space with Substance newspaper on East Van Buren Street. Bob Healey (CTU President) belonged to the . . .


CASE test publication shows George's unshakeable morals

It was 1999 and Leo Gorenstein and I were leaving again for Asia. George was considering publishing the whole of the CASE tests in Substance. He gave Leo a copy of the math portion. What . . .


Working people lost an important leader; it was right and just to have published the CASE

I write this to honor my friend and comrade, George Schmidt. I knew George from his work with Substance and CTU while I worked with FairTest (now retired as its executive director).

When he . . .


George's spirit will always be with people around the world, fighting for social and economic justice

I can’t remember exactly how I got involved with Substance, but I started sending articles to George during 2013 and he published them. He soon invited me to the monthly Substance Editorial Board meetings
. . .


A treasured Chicago fighter for quality public education and fighter against a wide range of U.S. wars at home and abroad

Albany Park, North Park, Mayfair Neighbors for Peace and Justice has always known George Schmidt as a treasured Chicago fighter for quality public education and fighter against a wide range of U.S. wars at home . . .


A meticulous editor and researcher, who spent more than 40 years fearlessly reporting the truth

Many people who worked with George over Substance's 40-plus years, praised his journalism skills and drive uncover the truth.

"George was one of the first people I met when I came to Chicago in . . .


Thankful to George for strengthening the union

George Schmidt was a treasure trove of history and a link to the days when radicals kicked butt and took names. He was progressive and a throwback to the days when big men with large . . .


An exemplary life

George may not have remembered but we met in Chicago in 1968, and then again in Chicago in the early seventies for several contentious union meetings. We were on the same side, raising hell with . . .


Chicago Teachers Union: George's tremendous legacy as a champion of labor

The Chicago Teachers Union wrote of George's "tremendous legacy as a champion of labor" on the CTU Facebook page the morning of George's death. In their personal Facebook posts, Jesse Sharkey, CTU President, and Christine . . .


George showed no fear revealing problems, lies and idiocies

George was one of the bravest people I have ever known. He was adamant in seeking and publishing the truth about the school system and the union and showed no fear revealing the problems, lies, . . .


The great George Schmidt is gone

[The following piece was published on Ed Notes, https://ednotesonline.blogspot.com, on Wednesday, Sept. 19.]

Since we learned a month ago that the serious illness George Schmidt was suffering from would soon end his life, . . .


RIP George Schmidt, co-founder of Substance

[This piece originally appeared on Second City Teachers on Sept. 18 at http://secondcityteachers.blogspot.com/2018/09/substance-founder-dead.html]

George Schmidt, a co-founder of Substance, died on Sept. 17 at age 71. He was a giant. Giants are not . . .


We were forced to suspend subscriptions to our print edition a year ago, and after wishing we could get back into print have finally admitted that we can only continue as an online publication. Therefore, readers can no longer subscribe to Substance on paper, but those who wish to donate will be thanked.

Contact Substance | Suggestions (email)