Greek-American Historical Museum of Washington State

Seattle

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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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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.

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Four children, 13 men named George, a happy family life and unselfish dedication to their church and community.

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In the 1900s many Greeks found financial success in the food and beverage businesses. Spiro “Spin” Nicon’s entrepreneurial skills, honesty and friendly personality made him one of those Greeks in Seattle.

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If one saw Nicholas Oeconomacos on the streets of Seattle in the 1920s he appeared as a character from an old, scary Transylvanian movie. Rather, the Greek musician was the principal clarinetist with the Seattle Symphony.

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How better to keep community than through music and food. Demetrios “Takis” Dotis, one of the true masters of the bouzouki and experienced restaurateur, does both.