Mantua, NJ – From watching his Jewish friends being taken away by the Gestapo and his father being imprisoned by the Nazis, to being escorted by andartes through the Yugoslavian and Greek mountain trails to reach his village of Sklithron and escaping the Communist attempt to recruit him, to firing the first shot in the Battle of Amynteon during the Greek Civil War and leaving his family and home to travel halfway around the world to Toronto, to finally settling in South Jersey to a  life of a typical diner owner and family man, Jerry Karapalides has traversed a well-traveled road of life.

Few individuals have life experiences that are “made for the movies,” but many of the Greeks during the Second World War and the Greek Civil War have lived those experiences. To Jerry, these life-altering experiences were just part of his road of life, to be remembered but not to be a deterrent to continuing his own Odyssey.

Cosmos Philly visited Jerry in his home in Mantua, New Jersey, to talk about his “taxidi” from being a youth in Thessaloniki to now being part of his beloved “Kali Parea” at St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church in Cherry Hill.