James Eoanidis was born in Constantinople in 1905. He emigrated it to the States, leaving his father, brother and sister (mom died when he was 2) at age 14, arriving in White Plains, New York when he was 21. In those seven years he lived in South Africa, France, England, and South America. He spoke 7 languages. He moved to Manhattan and opened a bakery. A Greek bread man, my Papou. I get my love of animals and blue eyes from him.
Mary Juras is also a Greek, born 1916 in Manhattan's Lower East Side. She is my only living grandparent, now 93 and still complaining. She has the softest skin, barely any wrinkles, and was mowing her own lawn at 90 years old. She's quiet and listens, not a big talker and always asks if you're hungry. If you visit her unexpectedly, she excuses herself and returns with blush on. She's my Yiayia.
Harry St. Clair born, I think 1912, in Brooklyn, NY with French and Irish folks. He worked in a bank. He had a stroke, when I was a kid, after shoveling his long driveway following a snow storm. He would garden at the nursing home. Before that, when we would visit, I remember him sitting in a folding chair outside, always wearing a foam baseball hat loosely on top his head. I always thought he was so cute in a turdy Grandpa way.
Lillian Dorsch was born in Jamaica, Queens, NY, a few years after my Yiayia. She was a crafter. She made us a Christmas ornament every year for the tree. I remember she took Melissa and I when we were little to a local craft fair in upstate NY, where her and Grandpa lived. She bought me a pretty rock, I think it was green. She was all German, collected owls and had these googly eye stone creature magnets she made on her fridge. I probably get my patience for crafting from my Nana.
James married Mary and made my Mom.
Harry married Lillian and made my Dad.