Saturday, December 26, 2009


I did not get an opportunity to publish this before Christmas and I will just do it now and ask you for your patience.

I am going to pick up where I left off on meeting the man of my life. I know every one is busy with the busyness of Christmas cooking and preparations enjoying the spirit of Christmas. I am enjoying a Christmas Blessing with grand children and my youngest daughter. The first picture is the man of my life.

I left off telling you C.C. came to town every chance he could when he did not have duty at the naval air station. I met him in June and the summer passed quickly. Between work at the restaurant, and my free time with C.C. no one else mattered and before you know it C.C. got his orders to attend air control mans’ school in Olathe Kansas.

C.C. told me he had to be there by January 1, 1950 and I said “Not without me, you're not”.
We laughed because he said, "Are you proposing to me?" I replied, "You can call it what you want, because I am not letting you get away from me." We talked about how the Lord brought us together.

 We did not have much time to arrange a wedding even if it is just family. This caught him off guard because I then told him that he had to go and ask my dad if he could marry me. And ask for his blessing. We both knew it would be okay because C.C. was always there but nevertheless he had to ask.

One Sunday dad was playing solitaire at the kitchen table and C.C. asked him if he could talk to him. Uncle George was still living with us and was at the table kibitzing while dad played cards. C.C. saw he was not going to leave so he just sat down and spilled out his plans. Now my father was accustomed to C.C. being around and was kind of expecting it so the answer was yes. I was 19 years old and the baby of the family.

When the relatives (pictured to the left) heard of the marriage they bombarded my dad telling him he should not allow the youngest to get married until her older sisters were married first. I was so proud of my dad when he told them he is in charge of his family not them. He came to  America to be free and not tied to “old” customs. They raised their families the way they wanted without his input and he will finish raising his the American way. We were off to a good start because we had my father's blessing.

 I never cared about wearing a bridal gown and chose to wear a brown suit with baby doll shoes and C.C, chose to wear his one and only suit which was brown. We knew it had to be a small practical affair because we would be making plans for my travel by train to Kansas. The military would move C.C but we had to make the arrangements for me, his wife. He was too low on the military ranking for the government to pay for my move so we were on our own. We learned early on how to pinch pennies.

Here are pictures of our wedding in N.J. and dad and moms’ in Greece. I am glad my dad did not abide by the Greek wedding vows. Traditions really were different. Old country weddings lasted weeks and we did not have that much time. My oldest brother and his girl friend were best man and bridesmaid. She went to school with me and her honor was she never missed a day of school in twelve years. My best friend was away at college and could not attend the wedding.
We married in October in the same church Tippy use to sneak in and hide under the pews waiting for my dad to leave. It was a small group of family and friends. All those attending the wedding came to the house afterwards for cake and ouzo. Ouzo is a Greek liquor that taste like licorice. The Greeks always ate sweet cake with it.

 Now my honey never saw any of the Greek customs especially the way they celebrated different occasions. When they passed the ouzo to everyone they waited for the groom to take the first swallow and they would follow. Well C.C. took a sip and then they joined I gulping it down laughing and speaking Greek, which left C.C. stunned telling me later he never saw “old folks” drink like that. I guess at that time he was wondering what kind of family he was getting into. You have to understand we did not see our relatives often because we lived in N.J. and they were in New York City. and celebrations were few and far between because dad was not a drinker or a traveler.

We went to New York City for our honeymoon and then came home and prepared to leave the next day for a four-month stay in Kansas. We were young, happy and had a lot to learn which I will tell you later. Until next time, I am Immigrant daughter.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The True Christmas Spirit

The Christmas season is upon us and the stores participate wither they believe in the Birth of Jesus Christ or not because it is all about money. I choose not to buy anything from merchants who do not believe. It is so easy to know where they stand because they say happy holidays and nothing about Christmas and the birth of our savior in their  voice or decorations, I keep this boycott going through the rest of the year.

Some time ago a friend sent me the following in her Christmas card. I kept it these many years and I would like to pass it on to you.
            10 FREE gifts for Christmas (You don’t even have to shop for them.)

1.  The gift of LISTENING - Why not give this valuable gift to someone who lives alone?  And you must really listen.  No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your responses.  Just listen.

2.  The gift of SIGNS OF AFFECTIONS – Be generous with your hugs and gentle squeezes of the hand. Let these tiny actions demonstrate the love inside YOU.

3.  The gift of a NOTE.  It can be as simple as "I love you," or as creative as a sonnet.  Put your notes where they will surprise your loved ones.

4.  The gift of LAUGHTER - Just cut out a cartoon or clever article. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."

5.  The gift of a COMPLIMENT – A simple “You look great in blue” or I like your hair” or “Good supper honey” can be the greatest value to those who may feel they are taken for granted.

6.  The gift of a FAVOR – Help with the dishes, clean out the basement or a closet .

7.  The gift of LEAVING ALONE – There are times in our lives when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Become more sensitive to those times and give solitude.

8.  The gift of a CHEERFUL DISPOSITION – Try to be cheerful around those you love especially.

9.  The gift of a GAME -- Offer to play your loved one's favorite game.  Even if you lose, you will be a winner.

10.  The gift of PRAYER -- Pray for those on your Christmas list.  Praying for someone says, "You are so special to me that I talk to God about you, thanking HIm for His Gift."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I want to tell you about my 16th birthday and why it was so important. I wanted to get my driving license because dad bought a new car on my brother’s safe return from his tour of duty in the Navy. It was a Kaiser automobile and we girls did not want to be left out of getting our turn to drive it.

I needed to have someone take time to teach me beside my brothers who were always too busy. My one brother had a friend who was one year older than he was that had an old Hudson car with a stick shift. He took me under his wing and taught me to drive before I turned 16 so that I could go take the test on that day.  That's him on the right in this picture.

 I passed both the written and driving including parallel parking with flying colors. My dad was so impressed that he arranged for me to drive him to Reading, Pennsylvania so he could visit some of the Greeks he brought over to this country.

I learned on flat country roads and when I got to Pennsylvania there are hills and more hills. When I had to stop on top of a hill with my foot on the clutch and the other on the brake so I would not stall or roll back my heart was in my mouth many times. I do feel now that it made me a better driver. 

My second sister learned on Mr. Millers’ Buick Roadmaster with an automatic transmission. Now my third sister was not in a hurry to learn how to drive but when she did she bought herself a Chevy.

 You can imagine just how much we are alike even though she is seven years older. We worked in the restaurant together and knew how to have fun and work at the same time,. She had a good attitude and took things in stride.

My best friend B.J. in high school, her dad owned the drug store across the street from the restaurant and when we worked after school and evenings we were able to wave at each other.  That's her on the right. Their store had a soda fountain and many of the kids use to meet there and when the restaurant had a lull I use to run across the street to join in while keeping an eye on our place. Like I said had my sister had a good attitude and did not mind.

 In fact when B.J and I wanted to skip an afternoon study hall she use to write us both an excuse. We left school early many times.  About these notes one day she played joke on us and we did not know it until we got to school. She wrote,” Dear Mr. Walzer please use one of the other excuses because I am tired of writing them. ‘

 I want to mention here the fun my sister and I had with each other and the regular customers. We had one in particular that like to play jokes on us and of course that worked both ways. His name was Gordon and he worked as a foreman in the service department of an automobile dealership. He came in on his coffee break at the same time every workday.

One day he did not show up and every time the different regulars would come in they would ask where is Gordon? When Gordon did show up he didn’t sit at his usual place at the counter where we had his coffee waiting but came in and slid in a booth where a lady was sitting all by herself. Gordon was very quiet and not being the talkative person that we saw daily. Come to find out this was his wife. She had heard so much from the shop people about the “girls” down at the restaurant that she had to come in and see for herself.
She was a good sport and realized it was all in fun and then she too would join in the fun.

The man who owned the cigar store always came in for coffee and we called him “grand pop”. He always wore a felt hat no matter what the temperature. He had many hats but one in particular was an old brown one . The men always removed their hats when inside and use to put them on the counter in front of them. One day when we were in our fun mood we kidded Grand Pop about his hat being too warm for the day and we would help him by making it air conditioned. I took his hat and cut holes all over the hat making it look very funny. It seemed that some of the people who knew him well got involved and would say here’s a spot for us to cut another hole. He was a good sport and I am thankful that he liked us.

 I guess I am getting carried away with some of these stories. But I wanted you to know my sister is 86 year old and although she is not as lively as she used to be, she is still lots of fun. As I talk to her on the telephone and remember some of these stories we laugh a great deal. Neither of us can hear too well and miss a lot that was said because we both wear hearing aids, but we thank the Lord for good memories.

Until next time, I am Immigrant Daughter still having fun!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I talked my 2nd sister to go to the lake with me on a hot Sunday afternoon. As I mentioned before my sisters did not like the outdoors as much as I did and after some coaxing she came. I had at my disposal every Sunday a new panel truck thanks to the owner who owned the department store. This first picutree is of him, that same sister, and me.  He was a dear friend of the family that came in the restaurant for coffee and I used to clean his glasses and couldn’t understand how he could see out of them. I understand now because I wear glasses that get very dirty before I clean them and when I do I wonder why I waited so long.

We went to the lake after church and no sooner than we got in the water a thunder storm let loose rain and the life guard ordered everyone out of the water. We ran for our vehicle and decided to wait to see if it stopped. The truck with the department stores’ name on it was parked under the trees. The car that was parked next to it had four young men in it and they rolled down their window and asked if we had a match. We did not smoke and I automatically said no. To my surprise my sister pipes up and said yes she had one and that led to more conversation. We found out they were from the Naval Air Station down the road.

The rain did not look like it was going to stop so we invited them to follow us home for lunch. Now when we came in with four sailors in wet bathing suits carrying their clothes we had to explain this to my father who was reading the paper in his easy chair. My other two sisters were home as well so we fixed lunch and had an enjoyable afternoon playing monopoly. That is how I met the man of my life. My father was very strict about boys and dating, but never objected to company as long as he was present.

C.C. found out my work schedule and hitched hiked to town if he didn’t have the money for the bus ride. We went to the lake every chance we could. I found out C.C. was in the Navy waiting for assignment to air control mans’ school which would not be for awhile. He was working as an airplane mechanic. He was an orphan that called Michigan home.

I have a lot more to say on this later because my life took a drastic change. Until next time, I am Immigrant daughter.  

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I need to tell you about a dog we had that loved my mother. Now I know, we all have pets that love us but I am talking unconditional love that was put to the test.
When my mother was in her down spiral Tippy was by her side constantly.

I don’t know how long we had Tippy but I do remember Tippy was mom’s dog and just tolerated the rest of us.  My father was not fond of pets. Oh, he put up with them because of mom. Someone brought mom a little kitten and Tippy welcomed the company to curl up with while sleeping.  Tippy learned quickly who was boss in our household and  he followed my dad everywhere and I mean everywhere. When dad went to the Town Council, V.F.W., Board of Education and political meetings Tippy would follow him in and wait under his chair being extremely quiet. He never barked or growled so he wouldn’t be thrown out.

It was easy for Tippy to follow because we walked everywhere. The only one he would wait for was dad. When he followed us to school as soon as the bell rang to go in Tippy would leave.

On Sunday when we walked to church he would follow us, but not be allowed to go in.  He would patiently wait until someone else came and as soon as they opened the door, scooted in crawling under the pews until he found where we were sitting. He sat quietly until church was over,

When mom was in bed for that year Tippy stayed by her side except to go out when he needed. The day mom died and the undertaker was called and carried mom’s body out  to the hearse, the dog seemed to know she wasn’t coming back and that afternoon Tippy ran in front of a car and died on the spot. I will never forget July 18.1942 . I lost both my mother and her dog who loved her so much.  I am, IMMIGRANT DAUGHTER.