Tag Archives: Greece

Memorial Day: The loneliness of the funeral officer

The funeral offer presenting the next of kin's burial flag from the deceased veteran's casket. (Click to enlarge - US Navy photo in public domain)

In 430 B.C., after the first year of the Peloponnesian War – arguably history’s most devastating civil conflict, between Athens and Sparta – the Athenians gathered to bury their dead and hear a eulogy by the general and statesman Pericles. In what has been described as the paradigm for Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, he uttered these […]

In bleak midwinter, hail the gods of early spring!

While sandlot baseball has virtually died among kids in the U.S., Americans abroad play it as a reminder of home, as these Marine show in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2006. (Photo by US Marine Corps, released for use in public domain)

In the weeks-long news blitz about this winter’s bone-chilling, record-setting cold and snow, it escaped me that Major League Baseball spring training camps opened this week. While channel surfing, I noticed a countdown clock almost wound down behind a sportscaster. Then he spoke the magic words: “Pitchers and catchers report!” As a teenager I followed the national pastime, even after […]

Teachers matter: How Mr. Miskell changed the world

One afternoon almost 40 years ago, my ninth grade geometry teacher, Mr. Miskell, stood in front of a chalkboard, paused, and then proceeded to change the world – making it a better place for me, forever. This time of year, around Labor Day, with local schools gearing up for fall, my thoughts always turn to him, […]

An immigration tale: Yiayia’s American dream

Last week, in my piece on soccer, I wrote about several immigrant boys playing a pick up game on Portland’s Western Prom. They probably came from the neighborhood surrounding nearby Howard C. Reiche Community School. Whenever walking my dogs that way, I wave and nod to families sitting out on their stoops in the cooler sunsets. They come from […]

On Father’s Day, let’s not forget granddads who mattered

My paternal grandfather George was one tough hombre. Armed with just a grade school education back in the old country, he lived his 92 years there with the energy of a teenager. Known to us by the affectionate Greek moniker of “Pappou,” he possessed drive and ambition that kept his eyes on the horizon, forever dreaming. A former editor of […]