Thursday, December 27, 2012

Last Stop: 7/11 at Ben Holt and I-5

Georgia Metaxas
Leaving Stockton after a week, which means also a week staying at Rio Las Palmas w/Thea Libby. I settled in nicely there on the couch; and she has a great space with a great bathroom!. It is one of the better Assisted Living facilities in Stockton, but one has to take advantage of the amenities and activities. In any case, it was there that we celebrated Georgia Metaxas' 86th birthday yesterday evening -- and I can only hope to be in such fine fettle in 20 years!

Kathy and Jane Demas
My Aunt Libby and I spent Xmas Eve with Kathy and Jane Demas, lots of memories there...Jane happens to be renting a house next to Kathy's which belongs to Stan Tzikas. Who knew? We then drove down Meadow Ave to see all the Xmas lights -- I love Xmas lights and placed a string of white ones (solar) on my aunt's balcony. Xmas Day in church I saw many old friends, then Xmas dinner at Aunt Ethel's with Nick and Connie's family. Alec has started college and Demetra is a 9th grader interested in track!

Must admit I had lunch yesterday at Suzy's on Harding: beef soup plus the Mexican kitchen sink AND salad bar, the largest $7.95 meal around unless it's a buffet. Now to deflate a bit as I head to my nephew Alex's wedding in VA. Thanks to Nick X, my aunts Libby and Ethel will enjoy the event via Skype. I just hope my blouse still fits...

Until then..
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Stockton Rural Cemetery

It's about 12:30. Always feel calm here - so much history, and I know that some day I'll be joining the crew. Unfortunately my list of "customers" for holiday remembrances grows longer -- now w/ "Uncle George" Pappas. Always time to say hello to my Mom's best friends, Oly and Anthe...

(Indeed, Andy Pappas invited me to Papapavlou's for lunch on Monday -- and we spoke about his Dad and my trip to Greece and our common village Kiparissi. I was told there that the original Papapavlou was a Sarris, a priest named Paul! I did not know that Andy and Jennifer got engaged in the village in 1997; Andy is very dedicated to his Greek heritage and they have worked very hard to be successful restauranteurs. And I also did not know that the woman who bought my parents' house works at Andy's restaurant!)

Antonios Koutsoukis 1890-1945
This cemetery visit I looked for and found my Dad's Uncle Tony, who I learned more about when recently in Greece. Tony Koutsoukis came from Naoussa Makedonias and died here in 1945 at age 55. Good-looking guy, my father was also very good looking as a young man.

There are rows and rows of Greek-American Stocktonians, many people that I knew. Next time I will have to look around some more. Today, however, more dreary/damp Stockton weather - though the sun is now peeking in and out of the clouds.

Now I will go out to Mariposa Road where my Dad's parents lived briefly on some sort of farm in 1937. I have some pictures, but don't know where exactly -- and doubt I will ever find any actual abode in the now suburbs. But I am getting closer...
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

In Stockton for Xmas

Here I am staying with my aunt at Rio Las Palmas for the Xmas holidays - will also spend Xmas Eve with Kathy and Jane Demas, then visit with Aunt Ethel Xanttopulos et al on Xmas Day. Today church, to see what's happening...

Libby Sarris at Tacqueria Carolina

Didn't get out for Mexican food this time with my Aunt Liberty, but we have enjoyed many such meals in the past -- and she's always up for that kind of thing...But had a great lunch with Debbie Marmas Buck at Jalapenos by where she works - glad to catch up, also re Peter. Anybody out there interested in my Stockton Mexican Restaurant Review List? Admittedly,  I went Korean yesterday at a great place on the Miracle Mile (Seoul Soon Dubu). Not much of either fare in Miami, Florida, to
write home about.

Some sleuthing yesterday on Pilgrim Street to find what was probably the first Stockton in-town house for the Xanttopoulos Family (before #501 according to Aunt Katherine Skandel) - but still do not know where a "farm" was circa 1937 when they lived rurally with a horse named Rosie and some sort of fruit stand. I have some pictures, and now some new clues from Angelo Mitchell!

First Pilgrim Street house?

Will track down Andy Pappas today to talk about my visit to Kiparissi, also his village. Congrats to him and Jennifer on their new baby girl to be named Georgianna, I heard, after his dad.
More later -- but if anyone here wants to get drinks or lunch before I leave you can reply to this email. Efharisto poli!
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