Growing up, I met the Greeks very few times, but I was aware that this family branch existed and took a small amount of pride in the fact that I was part "something" recognizable. To many Americans - 400 years since the Mayflower - bloodlines get mixed. In a way, very similar to mixed breed dogs like the Cocka-poo - part cocker spaniel and part poodle. Although we could never interview these lovable animals, we'll never know in which of their mixed breeds they took the most pride in being. Doggies are just happy to find a family that loves them. Aren't we all like that?
That being said, we were raised as the proud, flag-waving Americans that we were born to be. Of course, my grandmother knew she was born in Adair County, Kentucky - on Lawhorn Ridge - her family name. It was a migration destination of a group of Scots-Irish/English and probably Cherokee Indian somewhere along the line. My genetic father was never in the family picture, but my step-dad was and he was a great guy, too. We were a hodge-podge family with shallow roots, but we did our best to get along in life - absorbing the teachings of our forefathers - wherever they came from.
My mother's grandfather - Grandpa Harakas (Nick's father) was a member of the Indianapolis Greek Orthodox Church and when he passed away at the age 87, his funeral was held there at it's former location on North Pennsylvania Street. Greek life centers around their church and American Greeks are no different. In 2008, the church moved to a grand new facility in the Carmel area on Indy's north side. When I used the word 'grand', it was surely an understatement. After all these years of wanting to attend the annual GreekFest celebration, last year I finally made it there. I went all three days of that weekend. http://indygreekfest.org/ Sadly, I didn't get to go this year because it rained so much.
|There was a huge crowd to visit this spectacular church grounds at GreekFest 2015.|
|Greek Warrior and ol' Jim.|
|This Greek musician was puzzled why I took so many pictures - just so I could get this one.|
|Just a hint of the attendance at this huge event as Junior High School-aged dancers begin their performance.|
|Daughter Jennifer, granddaughter Brittney & Zane, The Greek, Paige (high school freshman) and me.|
|As cute as they are in their new "jingle sashes" I wonder if they ever wore them again.|
|Of course, this is Christ surrounded by the saints at the very top of the building looking down on us all.|
|Jim tries Greek Dancing at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church - Greek Food Festival in 2008.|