George A. Bonin, a retired bartender at the
Four Seasons in Boston, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, July
10th in his home. George was born in Everett in
1958. He was raised in Everett and after graduating from
Everett High School, he attended Bunker Hill Community
College. He went on to become a bartender at the Swan
Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, working there
for over 15 years until a disability forced his retirement.
George has shared the last 42 years of his life with the love of
his life and husband, Charles E. Kennedy. After living in
Malden for many years, they moved to Texas for a couple years,
and then returned to the Boston area in 2017, settling down in
Methuen. George was a “walking encyclopedia “ of Turner Classic
Movies, and also loved Disney movies and listening to showtunes.
He is survived by his husband, Charles, his
brother Jeffrey Bonin and wife Chris of Methuen, his brother
Michael Bonin and wife Kim of Newton, NH, his nieces Katelyn,
Danielle, and Alyssa, and his nephew, Josh.
A Memorial Mass for George will be held on
Tuesday, July 23rd, at 10 AM in the Immaculate Conception
Church, 600 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA.
Donations in George's memory may be made to
the Bette Midler New York Restoration Fund,
A Tribute from Charles:
Josephine Baker sang a song that talked
about having “...two loves.” She lamented how she was torn. How
could she not love both equally and not have both in her heart.
42 years later I have and had the same or similar experience as
Josephine in the words of “Jai deux amores.” Though I’ve not
been to Paris, but I’m sure I can compare and relate to those
I was his husband, buddy, friend, pal and nemesis.
“Il ciottolo nella mia scarpa!” “La spina nel mio fianco!” “Il
coltello nel mio cuore!” (When I spoke Italian, I hurt his ears
because I’d say with more of a Spanish inflection.)
We lived two different lives, I was and probably still am a
Gypsy in my heart but I did plant a tree to visit years later.
George always stayed nearby his family. I had driven from Palm
Springs to Reno to Boston to Miami to Austin to Flagstaff. Now
my goal is to complete the drive from Austin to Palm Springs and
I will have made a circle.
George always envied that about me, however he had Disney World,
innumerable times, and Hawaii. He had been in high school
productions of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “Mame,” and
sang with the Boston Rock Opera in “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Had
his plays produced by The Playwrights Platform.
Me? I’d only seen Lena Horne, twice, in “The Lady and Her Music”
and one of Eartha Kitt’s last performances in Boston at Club
Half Gay (Club Cabaret). He saw Cyd Charisse at the North Shore
Animal Circus in “Forty Carats” and Madonna, Janet Jackson and
Though together we saw one of Jennifer Holliday’s last
performances in “Dreamgirls,” Tania Elg, Lillaine Montevecci and
Anita Morris in “Nine, The Musical” starring Sergio Franchi.
Now, the backstory to us seeing “Nine” was Angela Lansbury was
in a revival of “Mame.” It didn’t do well and closed before we
knew it and stood outside the theater, “Angela, WTF??!!” Then we
hoofed it to see “Nine.”
Our joy was Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Bette Midler.
Together we’ve seen nearly everything in the Davis & Crawford
catalogues. Davis’ early performances in bit parts to her last
movie “Wicked Stepmother” and Crawford’s silent movies to her
last movie, “Trog.” Many know we can quote and recreate a scene
from any number of films. Folks would look at us and question,
WTH are they doing? Meanwhile, George giving you Regina Giddens
from “Little Foxes” to me giving you “Mildred Pierce”
interspersed with dialogue from “Female Trouble,” “Magambo,” and
the list continues. This was our banter. That’s one way of us
communicating not just “talking at each other.” Sometimes you
had the right person who would hear, “She bit her dog, eh?” and
they’d respond with the next line of dialogue...as Elvira Gulch
with a resounding, “No!” Shit like that was a daily occurrence.
I saved his life. I got him to MGH where they found out he had a
rare viral infection called Staphylococcus Salivarias. Which ate
away at his heart valves. If I had not stepped up to the plate,
he’d have been gone too soon and yet here we are today.
We shared a love of “Lost in Space,” “The Partridge Family,” and
“Will and Grace.” We’d watch documentaries on Ida Lupino to SETI.
There are things I can rattle on about George and I can tell you
how much I loved and appreciated him from our days in drag as
“those two backup singers who tried to hold me back from
becoming the superstar you see here today” in Nurse Diesel and
The Fabulous Dieselettes (yes, its on DVD) today as Dorothy and
Sophia or actually named, “Broad” and “Mutha McCree”
However my heart aches at this very moment, George is my man and
yet my heart still pines away for another for whom I shall never
From “... those schoolgirl days...from crayons to perfume...” to
now, “Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us,” to
lastly “...when I think of home, I think of a place...”
I wanted to say Thank You to all of you for loving George as
much as I did and for giving me the chance to love all of you
back as equally if not more.