Behind the Scenes at PAL&G:
Secrets to Happiness

By: Kim Watkinson

April 2nd, 2018

Best Labyrinth is a title bestowed upon Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens (PAL&G) by LA Weekly. According to Los Angeles Magazine, PAL&G is declared to be the Best of LA. Many visitors see the spot as a “spiritual oasis in the city.”

All the accolades are deserved. The labyrinth, the gardens, and Italian Renaissance Villa are magnificent. So are many of the people who live and work at PAL&G.

89-year-old George Scott is an esteemed sous chef at PAL&G. His swoon-worthy salad dressings have stirred up Emmy award nominee Anne Marie Cummings to inquire after the ingredients. His desserts have knocked many off the diet wagon. Vocal coach, Melinda Browne, says, “George always shows up before the workshops with amazing homemade pastries, revealing he is not only talented on stage but also in the kitchen.”

More than his culinary talents, George seems to have mastered joie de vivre. George’s daughter, Bambi says, “Dad was always giving and loving. He always had and has a smile.”

Scientists say that even faking a smile can reduce stress and increase serenity. Smiling at those around you can also apparently improve the energetic of an environment.

George’s easy smile sometimes makes this writer wonder if he’s strategizing mischief. His baby blues are brightest though when swing dancing or singing Sinatra tunes. “I feel a lot of spirit when I dance the big bands – like Glenn Miller,” says George.

Bambi remembers her father practicing East Coast Swing in the back of his health food store. (He was eating avocado toast before it was the fad!) Looks like he practiced a lot. Experienced dancers agree that George Scott’s lead is smoooooth. He is an inspiration for those of us who could use more movement and mindful eating. (Just in case you need the reminder; diet and exercise are essential to well-being.)

Besides swing dancing, George sites family and service as keys to happiness. He is a devoted father of, “3 unbelievable daughters. Each one of them is a Virgo and talented in their own way.”

While in attendance at songbird Bambi’s performance of Almost Like Being in Love, he picked up yet another key to happiness: singing! Kismet stepped in and he won admission into a Melinda Browne workshop. Daughter Wendy says, “When I was a kid, I always thought my dad could do anything he put his attention to. As an adult, I now know it’s true!”

The love George Scott has cultivated in his children extends to colleagues, too. James Burton (whose artistic touch with all things flowers and food is sublime) recalls George’s offer of “a healing song when I returned to the kitchen from my leave of absence.”

The melody of the song is a distinctively lilting George Scott ditty. However, any light tune will apparently do the trick. “The important thing is the (affirmation of) I am,” says George.

I am grateful for PAL&G’s song-and-dance man.

George Scott’s Healing Song
Every little cell in my body is healthy.
Every little cell in my body is well.
I’m so glad every little cell in my body is healthy and well.
I’m so glad every little cell in my body is healthy and well.

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