FROM THE DUST COVER:

“If you’re in Anchorage, Alaska, just go to Side Street Espresso. If you’re somewhere else, grab a really good cup of coffee and settle back with Flutters from Side Street. You won’t want to put down this treasure of drawings and vignettes uniquely relevant to our times. Historical and current heroes and villains, philosophers, activists, and everyday people who make a difference will give you moments of joy, laughter, compassion, sorrow, hope, pride, and remembrance – all triggered by George Gee’s thought provoking drawings, quotes, and reflections. He has given us the ticket for a very special journey.”

Tony Knowles Former Governor of Alaska

“Long before opening the café, he sits down in front of a small white board and ponders what to draw and write. In theory, the white board is used to announce the daily drink specials. In reality, it is a vehicle for George’s art and poetic and philosophical musings.” 

“While it is the sketches that catch our eyes, half of George’s political and historical brilliance and philosophical compassionate genius would be missed by those who opt not to read his writings that accompany the drawings.”

Dahr Jamail, Investigative Journalist and Author

 “Flutters from Side Street is an apt name for these elements of who my friend George is. What Side Street is. Who we all are to Side Street. Take your time with this book. Savor the words, the art, the meaning. Look for common threads. Find the unique, the indecipherable, the past, the present, and sometimes a prescient look into the future.”

Tom Begich, Singer, Songwriter, Author, Alaska State Senator

“I met George and Deb in 1994, when I first discovered Side Street and adopted it as my writing home-away-from-home. Every Saturday I come in with my laptop, a thirst for coffee, and anticipation of whatever George will have drawn and written on the white board to go with the day’s latte special. Walking through these pages is like walking with George through the early morning Anchorage streets, before anyone else is up, asking questions of the world, sometimes finding answers, however tentative, sometimes finding simply the marvel of the workaday. I love this place. I love this book.”

Melissa S. Green (“Mel”), Anchorage Writer

In his poem “Freedom,” William Stafford wrote:

 If you are oppressed, wake up about

Four in the morning: most places

You can actually be free some of the time

If you wake up before other people. 

The artwork and writings contained in Flutters From Side Street—all of them the result of George Gee rising early and walking to work—are proof that Stafford was correct. George’s drawings and insights suggest that if we all awoke earlier and took time to think about what we wanted to say each day, we might better understand ourselves and each other, and perhaps be a little more free.

While nothing can replace a visit with George and Deb at Side Street Espresso, Flutters From Side Street is the ideal proxy for those who do not get to visit that Anchorage institution often enough. For the uninitiated, this book serves as an invitation to come see how special a coffee shop--and its proprietors—can be.

 Marcel Jolley, Author