Usually I write an article about my experiences as a Greek-American, but today (and few times throughout the year) I will take a break and let my father, Jerry (Vangeli) Karapalides, tell his stories about growing up in Greece back in the old days, or his visits back to the old country.
Previously, I published the post, “Hartoura – The Art of Throwing”, where I discussed the different styles of throwing “tips” on Greek bands or someone dancing, especially if dancing a zembekiko. The response was unbelievable.
At a recent Greek festival, I was sitting down drinking a Frappe, people watching, enjoying the weather, and listening to the haunting melodies of the bouzouki coming over the loudspeakers. Ahhhh… the sound of the bouzouki. An instrument that makes your emma rise to heart attack levels when it solos.
The first thing that comes to your mind is how I got Cosmos Philly to publish this article with a title like that? Easy, my lawyers are bigger and more expensive than the Cosmos Philly lawyers. Mine are smart too. I don’t pay them all that money for nothing.
I like leftovers. I’m sure most of you out there agree. But, no, I’m not talking about leftovers like meatloaf, turkey from Thanksgiving dinner, or Mom’s spanakopita from Easter. What I am referring to are those Greek guys.
During the 20th Century, men and women from all four corners of the United States, including from the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley area, answered America’s call and went to fight its wars.
Greece is in trouble – like we don’t know. It has no jobs. It has no money. It has no plans for the future. Well, at least I don’t think they do since they haven’t had the courtesy to inform me about their plans so I’m in the dark as to what they are trying to do as well as you are.
Often I like to eat at a luncheonette called Mary’s Diner in Upper Darby. It’s one of those places that when you walk in, like the old Cheers Bar, everyone knows your name. It’s not fancy, it’s not pretentious, but the food is good, reasonably priced and always served with a smile.
Recently, I was going through some of the old family photographs and came across the one posted here. The photo was taken in my parents’ village of Sklithron in the province of Florina.
Greek Bouzouki music. There’s something about it and nothing like it. Its uniqueness. The haunting melodies that capture the soul. The lyrics that speak of life – the good times and the bad times. But there is something more to the music of Hellas than all of this. What makes Greek music, well, Greek… is the Bouzouki.
In 2005 I took my daughter, who was 13 at the time, for her first trip to Greece. Upon arrival, we went straight to our hotel, the Athens Hilton, which was extremely elegant and very nice. We took tours of the ancient sites and went out at night to the Plaka and we visited some relatives.