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