My choice of what I was to become in life came at an early age. One of seven children of immigrant parents, my family was very close and had strong religious and family values.

The Greek community of Portland had its own Greek Orthodox church and supported a Greek language school that my brothers and I, along with my sister, attended as youngsters.

This “extra” school was initially taught in Greek and later in English. Although my parents spoke English, we communicated in Greek at home. Subsequently, in my early years, I spoke with an accent and was often teased at school.

When I started high school at age 15, I was told by the school counselor that I should take commercial courses as I probably would not be college material. I believe that was a turning point in my life. It was then that I decided I would show him he was wrong. Despite my advisor’s comments, I decided to take academic courses that would prepare me for college.

After graduating from high school in 1946, and, knowing that my parents could not financially support my college education, I decided to volunteer for induction in the Army. Although trained as a tank crewman, I was sent to Japan as part of the army of occupation.

After my discharge, I was able to attend college under the GI Bill, and upon graduation in 1952, I started my career as an educator. I taught and coached at a number of Maine high schools and then applied and was accepted to teach in the Air Force Schools system overseas. Consequently, I taught in France, before returning to the United States to continue my teaching career.

I have been retired for a number of years. I often look back to what my career would have been if I had not made the decision to start in another direction when I was 15.

Sadly, my wife died in 2012 , after 55 years of marriage. My son and three lovely daughters are still around to dote on me.

And, now, having experienced the virtues and vicissitudes of life, and in my sunset years, I quietly sit and watch the world go by.

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