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It’s all Greek to her

Every year, I miss the Weirton Greek Festival.

I don’t do this on purpose, mind you. It’s only that Grampy Grumpy schedules the family vacation each year, and he really likes taking trips in early- to mid-July.

Grampy doesn’t take much instruction when it comes to planning the family vacation. I am not in charge of scheduling, picking the destination, the itinerary, any of the arrangements or the guest list. Believe me, there are a couple years I would have left my sister Foo-Dog off. Grampy has included the Miserable Old Uncle this year. We spent many a childhood vacation with the MOU, and it looks like we’re returning to form.

The only time I ever had any influence over the family vacation is the year I threatened to mutiny if we went to the beach again. I am not a beachy person. I have no desire to cavort about in an ocean full of fish pee or to discover new places on my person in which sand can hide. That was the year we went to the mountains. I tried to go hiking in the middle of a monsoon with the kids.

We haven’t been to the mountains since.

Anyway, I have missed the last three Weirton Greek Festivals, which is sad, because my Sassy Saint wants to see her friends doing their traditional Greek dances.

And also – food.

There is another Greek food and cultural festival … in Steubenville. Now, I have no beef with the Steubenville Greek community, but you’ve got to understand that the Weirton Greeks are my Greeks. This is the faith and heritage community I cover. I’ve got to show them some loyalty.

So I don’t go to the Steubenville festival, although my co-workers plan their lunches around it and rave about the quality of the food. I’m sure it is delicious. It just shall never pass my lips.

The only spanakopita I will ever eat is Weirton spanakopita. Unless some grammas from Steubenville slid across the river and helped make it. In which case, just don’t tell me so I can preserve the illusion.

However, if someone brings baklava into the newsroom, it then becomes newsroom baklava and I can eat it.

The newsroom is the Switzerland of heritage communities. (Not that I mean that we’re Swiss, only that we’re neutral. Unless some of us are actually Swiss. Now I need to check.)

Anyway, between my own stubbornness and Grampy’s scheduling, I haven’t had any Greek food in more than three years. This was a problem, but one I knew just how to fix.

You see, All Saints Greek Orthodox Church – my Greeks – have a bake sale every Easter. Now, this wasn’t just about getting some food, because, as much as I love Easter bread, there were no dolmades or gyros at the bake sale. However, it did serve as ammunition.

I bought some baked goods and I took them to Grampy.

“You like these?”

“It’s good,” he agreed.

“There’s more at the Weirton Greek Festival,” I said. “Only, we end up on vacation that week every year. …. I could bring you some more, if only we weren’t on vacation.”

“When is it?” he said.

“This year? July. The ninth through the 11th.”

“Hmmm.”

I’m not saying the Easter bread did it, but this year, I will be in town for the Weirton Greek Festival.

See you there.

(Wallace-Minger, a resident of Weirton, is community editor of The Weirton Daily Times.)