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A break for Greek food and a language lesson

June 12, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
Time for a break from this whole NSA can consume me against my own advice from last week about knowing when to let it go. I won’t let it go entirely, but it’s just time for a break, lest I become one-dimensional. I find one needs Greek food and the time to remember friends, and a language lesson.

1. Click the link and see what a bunch of automobiles from the Ford Tri-Motor era looked like when gathered under the wings of the tin birdie during its last day at the Jefferson County Air Park last week. By the way, folks made the visit enjoyable by riding the plane and coming out to the airport. Congratulations to Dave Tulenko, president of Chapter 859 of the Experimental Aircraft Association for the successful culmination of years of effort that resulted in a great community event; and congratulations to the airport personnel for providing, as always, a clean, professional and capable little airport that CAN.

2. I lost a friend this week. We weren’t close pals, but in his later years, I got to know Jay Shepherd well. He’d stop by the gym often just to do what he used to do when he worked with us here: Goad a bit, make me smile a lot, and generally trade ornery tales. A good guy who is, I am very sure, missed by all those who were his close pals. Somewhere there’s a guy spinning records and making people happy.

3. Go to the annual Holy Trinity Greek Festival. They’ve lost some of those older folks who were involved, but the next generation is stepping up quite capably and putting on the usual show of awesome food and great Greek hospitality. I broke my yogurt is enough for lunch view yesterday when The Boss (at work) said it was time to go get a gyro. He got two, God bless him, and ate them both. I ate one. And spent an extra half-hour in the gym from guilt, but oh, what a way to sin! The plan today is to buy as many grape leaves as the budget will stand, go home, pop open a bottle of Brietenbach and try to avoid running down the street later yelling “OPA!” I don’t have ouzo, so wine will have to do. The Boss (at home) won't be there this evening, so it's just me and the dolmades. And I’m still waiting on Facebook for one of my Greek friends to tell me how to say “God Bless” in Greek. Of course, they’re all working the festival and are very busy.

4. I hope that tomorrow I don’t know the answer to the question “What the hell is a derecho?” too directly. Apparently there is a name for really, really big lines of thunderstorms covering more than a couple hundred square miles and nailing people and property with speedy straight-line winds. Less dramatic than a tornado but more widespread in destruction, the weather folks say. At least I remembered my Spanish. I couldn’t figure out what a “right” storm was. And The Drummer, who is way closer to his Spanish classes in years than I am now, thought right was “Viernes,” which I correctly told him was “Friday.” Though a Friday storm hitting on a Wednesday night would make sense. It’s angry that it’s out of its time element.

5. Three years of high school Spanish and one in college and I still have to look up terms on the Internet to be sure I got them right in my memory. I took Spanish in that late 1970s-early 1980s time frame because I figured the whole country would be Hispanic by now...I’m close. And I’m ashamed to try to speak Spanish to any Spanish-speakers I encounter because I never exercised the language. I think if I got airdropped into Latin America I could at least ask for chicken and rice, refried beans, a beer (by saying “Cerveza” or “Corona” or “Dos Equis”) and asking where is the bathroom. Other than that, I’d probably be hitchhiking north and hoping for the best. Or looking for the nearest Greek restaurant.


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Photo by Dave Tulenko