Greek-American Historical Museum of Washington State

Washington State

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Once while preparing one of her buttery-rich meals, Andromachi Neckas (nee Petropoulou) started an oven fire. The firemen who quickly extinguished the flames were then treated to a sample of her excellent Greek cuisine.

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Spiro “Spedo” Southas spent a lot of time as a cop in Bellingham, Washington, but he probably spent as much time visiting fellow Greeks throughout the state.

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With over 80 years of sewing experience Clara Nicon (nee Chakos) was asked why she never considered selling her work. Her reply? “Never, never. I think of it as sharing my talents.”

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For Angelina (nee Mulenos) Larson, it was her voice and musical talent that brought a zest for life that remains to this day.

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Why does this man spell his name with two “t”s and what were the keys to his happiness as a Greek in the city of Seattle?

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It was the 50s. They called her Faye and she called her Theo Panagioti Nicolaou Papageorgiou “Uncle Pete.”

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Cashmere, with its apple orchards and factories was a change from the coffee shops and small churches that had been typical in Anna’s Greek village of Vitalo. Although she spoke no English it was not difficult for her to adjust to life in Cashmere, Washington.

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In 1954 Sonny Newman was walking by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Spokane when he heard music coming from the basement. Knowing a bit about Greek dancing, of course he went in. This experience expanded his career to include performing and teaching Greek dance.

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In April of 2011 while sorting through a box of memorabilia a well-remembered document about Greek music surfaced. A found treasure: “Musical Memories of Nine Seattle Greeks.”

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For those who know a few Greek dance steps and those having grown up with the usual syrto, tsamiko, hassapiko dances at weddings and other celebrations, it becomes routine. For Yvonne Hunt, dancing is a way of expressing the deeper meaning of the culture.