My mother Athena was born in a small village called Agoulinitsa, just across the river from my dad’s village, Koliiri. Her father, Spiro died of typhus when she was very young. Her mother, my Grandmother’s name was Sofia and her younger brother, Demetrios. My grandmother’s brother, Vassili, arrived in the US in the early 1900’s to make enough money to bring his sister’s family to the US. Unfortunately, there was only enough money to bring two people over and Sofia chose to take her son Demetri. My mother was only eight years old when her mother and brother left for America and she was raised by her aunt, Kaliopi, who she loved and adored.
My ancestors all came to America because they were under the impression that money grew on trees. They all worked very hard, thinking they would make enough money to return to Greece.
Unfortunately, World War 1 broke out and their dreams never came to fruition. It wasn’t until 1925 that my mother’s family had enough money to bring Athena to the US. Understandably, she was reluctant to leave Greece because she had such a special bond with her aunt who had raised her.