Thirty-Fifth Anniversary

Altoona, Pennsylvania





A Project of Blair County PA USGenWeb Archives

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NOVEMBER 23, 1933

To Our Citizens: -

It is most proper to commemorate an event whose threads find a fitting place in the development of our city's history.

The seventy Greek families scattered throughout our city will observe the 35th anniversary of their permanent settlement. These families are comprised of four hundred men, women and children, two hundred of whom are naturalized citizens of the United States. No where will you find more loyal, more faithful or more law abiding citizens, and as good citizens, they have always been more than ready to do their share in any movement undertaken for the good of the city.

But always towering above this small group is the pioneer or them all - a man of the highest spirit and one who has just cause to be proud of the splendid record he has made for himself. I refer to Mr. A. N. Notopoulos.

In 1896 Mr. Notopoulos seeking a suitable place to permanently locate, visited Altoona. He remained here only long enough to look the city over and then left for Chicago, where he spent the following two years, returning to Altoona in 1898. He rented a small store room on Eleventh Avenue next to the old First National Bank building and opened a small hat cleaning establishment. Mr. Notopoulos was not content to remain long in this business but was eager for advancement.

From this small beginning he has progressed steadily until today is the owner of eight theatres, three being located in Altoona and five in nearby towns. In these theatres he employs over one hundred persons with an approximate annual payroll of seventy-thousand dollars. Today Mr. Notopoulos is one of the largest taxpayers in our city.

Mr. Notopoulos has also been active in the religious life of our city and in 1918 was instrumental in organizing The Holy Trinity Church of the Greek Orthodox faith.

On August 29th, 1903, Mr. Notopoulos was united in marriage with Miss Helen Vaveris at Tripolis, Greece. To this union seven sons were born who show promise of following in the footsteps of their father.
It is my hope that our Greek population of which we are so proud, will continue to prosper and retain the high ideals of their race.


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Historical Sketch of Altoona's Greek Community
(Chronologically Arranged)


NESTLED among the picturesque hills and plains of the Allegheny Ranges Altoona spreads herself contentedly like a queen in her own right. She is well satisfied with her natural landscaped beauties - the blue lakes, the dreamland caves, and rhododendron embroidered woods and forests, with which this fascinating metropolis of Central Pennsylvania surrounds herself. To a weary traveler she unfolds a soul-restoring sight. As the giant moguls of the great Pennsylvania System clatter through her echoing valleys, they never fail to acclaim her affectionately with throaty blasts as their queen mother - the mother to whose ample bosom they will eventually repair from a bewildering busy life for recouperation.

Roaming in and out the many caverns that dot Altoona's royal skirts you dream of an invisible realm in a world of substance, and your breath flows and ebbs like that of a wholly contented disembodied spirit. Boat ahoy! Jump in over the gunwale and row through Penn's Cave with an otherwordly exaltation. History here records in Indian relics of the time when the aborigins must have sought to communicate with their Great Spirit in the vaults of the Indian Cave. Such a maze of wonders! Veiled Lady and Hipple Caves are nearby, so are Woodward and Alexander caverns - names as romantic as the caverns themselves are, and as fanciful as one's imagining powers can reach. White pine, hemlock and wild cherry among blooming rhododendrons lift their mighty trunks skyward, and in raising your eyes to measure their tops you see God revealing His glory. Offer your litany with the words of the Psalmist, for you are standing in the holy of holies, amid the majesty of silence and the beauty of His living handiwork. Where else can you find the like of the famous, steel-bound Horse Shoe Curve? Right there. It is Altoona's brimful cup and the P. R. R. passenger's breathtaking delight.

Add upon this paean the sweetly reverberating sound of Altoona's name. It sounds like an Open Sesame to me, and at once conjures before my hypnotized eyes a magic scene from the book of Al Raschid. Altoona! In an Oriental's mind the sound instantly associates itself with gold. Altoona: -altun-gold; Altoona, the Golden City - Behold the charm!

Of course, to a Greek immigrant fresh from the ancient landmarks of historic Greece, these details were not known as yet. But Anastasius N. Notopoulos, like a beauty-loving Greek, could not help noticing the beauty of Altoona's environing timbered hills and the enlivening breath of the city's high altitude. He felt its surge and his blood quickened, for on his way to Chicago, whither he was bound, his train had stopped in Altoona and he was fascinated. This was in 1896.

This impression he carried with him to Chicago, and it was to be a lasting, ever-occurring thought. Chicago. After quaffing Altoona's natural charms, the great wind-blast city of the prairies had no allurement for him. But for two years Anast N. Notopoulos, a practical minded man, stuck to Chicago and started his business career in America, merchandising fruits and vegetables.

He made good at this trade, for it is the distinguishing quality of Anast N. Notopoulos to marshall the best there is in him to whatever occupation he wants to apply his native ability and business acumen. From an early age this sturdy theatre magnate had convinced himself that hard work was the only road to success. Like Andrew Carnegie he believed success was ninety-nine per cent of perspiration and only one per cent of - I forget what it was. But whatever it could have been, beside this mountain of steady work it could have been nothing else but a mouse.

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Mr. Anast N. Notopoulos had fallen in love with Altoona at first sight, and absence made the heart grow fonder. So, two years after, in 1898, he boarded train back here. He heard the noise of the hammers in the workshops and saw iron-horses filling the roundhouses. Business was thriving - people were rolling in clover, so to say. There was no biting wind here, no storm-lashed lake; no thousand-deviled elevated trains to crash on one's head, if at all. Here reigned peace and plenty. Hither came puffing black engines like wounded soldiers of thousand battles from all over the System's great network. Gold tinkled with silver in pay envelopes. He observed the broad smile and the sparkle in every business man's eye - especially on pay days . . . Good! It was the promised land of Canaan flowing with gold and silver - and Mr. Notopoulos there and then decided to make Altoona his home.

With all that, however, Notopoulos, level-headed and calculating, did not rush at it full tilt, as if he were staking a claim for a gold mine. He studied his grounds carefully and figured his possibilities. And the outcome of it was that he rented a small vacant store, fitted it as a hat-cleaning parlor, and handing its management over to a friend, he returned to Chicago - for a bird in hand was worth five in the bush. At any rate, he established his contact; he could go and come at intervals and thus establish a more solid foothold.

So, after two years of careful trial, A. N. Notopoulos finally decided to move to Altoona permanently as he did in 1900, just the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

In order to succeed and grow from a small beginning one must have a great deal of patience, tenacity of purpose, diligence, and, of course, business ability. A sagacious man is naturally gifted with ability to carry out whatever he undertakes; instinct and prudence guide his hand; he seldom fails, especially when he measures before he jumps. The mark that Mr. Notopoulos' steady climb from hat-cleaning to a man owning and successfully operating eight splendid motion picture theatres - three in Altoona and five in nearby cities. It is some achievement, we must grant, for an immigrant youth who arrived in America thirty-seven years ago with a capital of a few dollars and half-a-dozen English words; it is remarkable.

Early to bed, early to rise, and in two years Anastasius surprised those who were watching him. He was strict with himself as he was strict with his men. He demanded a full measure of loyalty and commensurate work. He set himself as an example and measured conduct with the Golden Rule. So, little by little, Mr. Notopoulos became the owner of more than one such parlors. In 1902 he went to Lancaster, Pa. and added another of the same. And while things were going well with him he suddenly discovered he was alone. Single blessedness must therefore be merged in conjugal felicity, he thought. For what's the use of plodding and accumulating when you haven't any one dear and near to share it with you, he thought. What's the good when one shuffles the coil with no one to mourn - and plenty of relatives to haggle over the inheritance, he thought. A man must live a full life, and, while he's able, must do his duty towards God and men.

And in 1903 this young, tireless Grecian, while the August sun was blazing over him, left Altoona for Greece in search of the Golden Fleece in the shape of a becoming spouse.

In Tripolis, where he was born, Anastasius met Helen Ververis, daughter of a high army officer. She possessed all the accomplishments of a daughter of an archontic Grecian family - domestic as well as intellectual. Young Anastasius was a lucky man; he found in her the girl he had been dreaming of marrying when the time came. She, too, reciprocated all his sentiments, and they were duly married amid the rejoicings of their old kinds and friends in his native place.

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With a superabundant zeal and courage, shortly after the wedding, Mr. Notopoulos returned to Altoona with his charming wife and under her loving care he resumed his business occupations. In 1904 he opened another parlor in Johnstown, Pa. He started saving his money and investing in real estate property. He bought, built, and rented. He helped his friends, starting them in business of their own. Those who had been faithful he financed and opened stores, or appointed managers to his theatres and business places. In 1912 he opened the Palace Theatre in Altoona, his first theatre, and began to build the Olympic. In 1919 he purchased the Capitol, then the Mishler theatres. Thus he gradually expanded his operations, carefully and laou-laou as the modern Greeks are wont to say.

And five years after his landing to this country he seemed secured his full naturalization papers.

But during all this busy career, Mr. Notopoulos, a devout Orthodox Christian, did never neglect his religion. There was at this time no Orthodox place of worship in Altoona. The members of the small colony were not organized. It was a glaring lack of interest. Something had to be done for the general welfare. He took upon himself the task. Mrs. Helen Notopoulos was also equally pious; and side by side with her husband in this sacred cause, they eventually forged the unorganized Greek Colony of Altoona into an organized Orthodox Community.

Somewhere in the late tens this movement taking impetus, a third floor hall on the principal street was rented and converted into a chapel. But it was not the place they wanted. The Greeks of Altoona got inspired with the ambition of owning and congregating for worship in a regular Orthodox church edifice. They inaugurated a church fund and started contributing to it liberally. They visited the outlying colonies and brought in satisfactory results. The church fund commenced growing, and when it was sufficiently large - I believe in the neighborhood of $28,000 or more - they began to look for a good site. No doubt Mr. and Mrs. Notopoulos had done more than their share in augmenting the fund, as they always do for sacred or laudable causes.

As soon as they were ready, in a general convention, they nominated a committee with Mr. Notopoulos as chairman, and petition was made to the State for a charter. It was to be known as The Hellenic Community of the Holy Trinity - Agia Trias - of Altoona, Pa.

The Hebrew Synagogue on the corner of 13th Avenue and 15th Street was being offered for sale. The Hebrews had built a larger and more elegant synagogue elsewhere in the city. It was an excellent opportunity, Mr. Notopoulos thought, to proceed immediately with negotiations for its purchase. And in 1924 this strongly built edifice duly changed hands. It is now a matter of great pride to the Greeks of Altoona to own such a beautiful church. The Holy Orthodox Hellenic Church, The Holy Trinity, although not of Byrantine architecture is the most elegant church between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. No other Greek edifice could rival with it in point of solidity, decoration and location, thanks to the patient endeavors of Mr. and Mrs. Notopoulos and their friends.

Meanwhile, as this hand-working, swiftly rising Greek immigrant steadfastly pursued his career, at one or two year intervals, his wife presented him with a lusty, scale-tipping child; boy after boy, enough to send the most optimistic Greek father on to ecstatic heights. It is God's special bounty in the Balkan lands to give him a son as a reward for goodness, though daughters are also prized especially in those families whose larder is full and the blessings of God manifold and multifarious.

In 1906, three years after her marriage his wife presented him a son, and he named after his grandfather. Then in 1907 James was born, like David Copperfield, with a caul - which goes to say that James an American Greek was

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destined to become a professor of his Alma Mater at Amherst College, Massachusetts, as he is now, much to the honor and joy of his parents. George, the third son, blinked his eyes at the Altoona daylight in 1909, and Constantine followed him two years later. Seven robust children, all sons, bright and promising were born to the happy father, each marking one more step forward in his career. John and Alexander are now law students and Victor, the youngest, the enfant gatee of the family. But A. N. is still one theatre ahead of them - if we were to count them as we do his theatres.

Besides his four mentioned theatres, Mr. Notopoulos owns the Grand in Huntingdon, Pa., the Strand at Cumberland, Md., the Capitol at Butler, Pa. and the Penn at Ambridge, Pa. Of course, it is obvious that out of all these possessions Altoona is directly and indirectly benefited, to the extent that a great portion of the proceeds from these theatres is deposited in the city's banking institutions. They enable local banks to loan and finance local enterprises. What I mean to say that Anast N. Notopoulos, by virtue of this fact, is one of the biggest dividend-bearing assets of Altoona, as an individual citizen perhaps the biggest. Today he is one of the most outstanding Greek personalities in America in point of material achievements; and if we were to consider his early surroundings, when Greece was too poor to afford proper educational facilities to her sons, we can frankly say that he is the most outstanding.

Yet, with all that, Mr. Notopoulos is modest about it. He honestly believes his success was the result of hard work and clean living. Altoona is surely proud of such a good citizen, who has seldom procrastinated when an honest opportunity came and who, equipped with a sound, practical head, with prudence and steadfast determination - plus a great love for his work - keeps on adding to Altoona's wealth, growth, and prosperity. More power to him.

AMERICA! When Greece was the glory of the world and ruled the empire of the intellect by her laws, learning, and liberty; when blind Homer sang his Iliad to the accomplishment of his lyre, or, later, Socrates propounded his philosophy on

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the market place of Athens, - and Greeks were the spiritual masters of the vast Roman Empire upon the shores of an unknown continent there stretched an empire vaster than all the known world, and more majestic in its virgin grandeur. The Indians were its undisputed masters. In its limitless virgin forests their war-whoop echoed from hill to lake. They saw their Great Spirit in the rising sun and they worshipped it; they saw an implacable Genius in the storms and floods and they feared it. Their imperial court was around a blazing council-fire, and their chariot the canoe. They were truly the unchallenged masters of a virgin continent, "where no human foot had ever trod and no human eye ever penetrated," but their own.

AMERICA! "Her mighty lakes, like oceans of liquid silver; her mountains with their bright aerial tints; her valleys teeming with wild fertility; her tremendous cataracts thundering in their solitudes; her boundless plains, waving with spontaneous verdure; her broad deep rivers, rolling in solemn silence to the ocean; her trackless forests where vegetation puts forth all its magnificence. . ." thus raptured Washington Irving. Truly God's Country!

Into this sublime vastness, whose virgin atmosphere were pure of injustice, tyranny, hypocrisy, of religious intolerance and persecution, of arrogant aristocracy, and brutality of rulers, came pilgrims and colonizers - from England, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, they came to these virgin soil seeking liberty and freedom-.

As they cultivated their plots and plowed their fields they began to think (how couldn't they, amid such thought-provoking sublimity of the sky, forest and water?) and while they lifted their eyes around them they saw their Creator. And out of this thought and revelation was born the immortal Declaration of Independence. Man stood forth in all his pristine majesty and power - a Human Being, with the Breath of the Mightier than the Mightiest in his soul, and created by Him with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

As this sacred principle commenced to elaborate itself before his vision it developed in him power for action, and he rose to realize his divine inheritance by forging his ploughshare into an instrument of righteousness. In other words, he laid down his principles and began to fight for them. All men were created equal.

For seven long years he bled himself while fighting for the principles he had thus evoked. And God sent him a man greater than Moses, a man who offered up his life and his fortune for his country and lifted his voice and arm for freedom." The great George Washington, who, with the power of God in his soul, led him on to victory.

Those who fought were truly inspired men; they went through hell; they endured cold, hunger, nakedness. "Their bare feet were seen through their worn-out shoes; their clothes not sufficient to cover their nakedness; their shirts hanging in strings; their hair clotted with blood and mud. . . cold stung them like a whip, their huts were like dungeons; sick men lay in filthy hovels, covered only by their rags, dying and dead comrades by their sides. . ." Hunger raged among them. "One of them driven to the last extreme of hunger, ate his own fingers up to the joints before he died. They were unhumanly treated by the British. They ate clay, the lime, the stone of their prison walls in British prisons; several who had died in the yards had pieces of bark, wood, clay, and stones in their mouths, which raving hunger had caused them to take in the last agonies of life. . ."

But at Yorktown victory at last was won. Bear this in mind when you hear the strains of Yankee Doodle; thank you and pray for their souls. For by their supreme sacrifice they have established the freedom you now enjoy and share with their descendants. Be grateful.

Real Americanism started with them and upon the sacred altar of their self-sacrifice, soon after, the Constitution of the United States was framed. "This is a

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government of the people," it said, "by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign nation of many sovereign states; a perfect union, one and inseparable, established upon the principle of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity." Indeed, a supreme masterpiece - a Holy Charter, born of God and "voicing the harmony of the world!"

THIS God-born Constitution began to light the world like a beacon, guiding hitherward the persecuted and the downtrodden of many lands. Under its benign protection (and God showering His manifold blessings) the nation began to gather strength. It grew and prospered, and as it enjoyed its blessing, its heart expanded with sympathy and kindness. "Greater desire filled its bosom, to help each other" and humanity in general. So, the benevolently disposed American Nation opened its gates to all the nations of the world with indiscriminate generosity. In came the Jew, the Slav, the Latin, and the Oriental. In came the Greeks and the Balkans -

Some were insensible to these sacred traditions and selfishly sought economic independence at a great cost to the nation. Some came to loot and depart with the loot. Some stuck like leeches and sucked and grew fat without contributing anything in return. But a great many others came to cast their lot with the descendants of the heroes of the Revolution, share of their blessings, and offer in return whatever was best and noblest in their nature, the most precious of traditions they had inherited from their forefathers, as a token of gratefulness and good faith.

Among the last comers were the Greeks. At first they came in diffidently. Among them were many who came with an aim and departed shortly after it was realized. At any rate, they were to old and raw to be able to assimilate themselves with the spirit or institutions of America. But they left the younger generation behind them. And this young generation, as it grew in girth, education, and outlook, became Americanized to an extent that they conceived an affection for the country.

It has been a great privilege for this writer to be able to lead them on into demonstrating their affection in an open, visible manner, by organizing themselves. At last, after twelve years of unremitting work, his efforts were crowned' and an association was formed among the progressive Grecians for the promotion and encouragement of loyalty to the United States of America; allegiance to its flag; support to its Constitution, obedience to its laws, and reverence for its history and tradition. And now the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, in point of patriotism and example, is the most ardent than any kindred organization ever conceived and framed by any nationality in America. I am proud to say that our beloved President, Franklin D. Roosevelt - God bless him and keep him in good health - is a full member of it, and, in all humanity, this writer his spiritual father, so to say. Twelve years of constant missionary work among them, together with the training they received in American camps during the war, helped to materialize this writer's lifelong ambition. For this writer, son of an agent of the American Board of Commissioners, at the age of six could recite every word of the National Anthem and declaim out of his Swinton the ride of Paul Revere and the execution of Nathan Hale. In other words, in spirit and in truth, he was born an American.

But in the beginning of the present century there were only a few thousand Greeks in America. Up to 1882 there were approximately 126 Greeks in the United States. Up to 1892 about 3000; up to 1902, about 45,000. The great onrush started during the years that followed these three periods, when they began to immigrate in waves of twenty and thirty thousand yearly.

I would like to emphasize here that those immigrants of any nationality whatsoever who came to this country with a moral purpose, for a sacred cause, let us

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say - for freedom of thought and action, and the enjoyment of a peaceful life eventually distinguished themselves, much to the credit of the American nation, in various occupations. So were the handful of Greeks of the late eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries - those who sought shelter from Turkish massacres and oppressions. For example, the first governor of Alaska was a Greek in 1783, according to Bancroft. The Reverend George Papadakis was a chaplain in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and later, rector of the Grace Church in Memphis. Dr. Sophocles was for 41 years professor at Harvard. Dr. John Zachos, curator of Cooper Union in New York for 28 years. Co. Lucas Miller was a member of the Wisconsin Assembly; Captain George Calvocoresses (a refugee from the massacres in the island of Chios) was head of a military academy in Vermont. His son, Rear Admiral George Patridge Calvocoresses was appointed by Admiral Dewey, at the battle of Manilla executive officer of his flagship, and later, was commandant at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. Dr. Michael Anagnos was director of the famous Perkins Institute for the Blind at Boston.

So, the third period immigrants, which includes Mr. A. N. Notopoulos and those I am going to mention presently were rather from the sturdy working classes of provincial Greece, who were inspired by their preceding friends to come to this country for work. They were from the younger generation, in their twenties and early thirties - they came here seeking work. As I can recall, few of them returned, the rest served as a background for the fourth period immigrants, most of whom were youths over sixteen years of age.

Therefore, to the fourth period immigrants belongs most of the honor of participating under the Old Glory in the Great War - some sixty thousand of them from an aggregate number of 300,000.

However, the second permanent Greek to arrive in Altoona, after A. N. Notopoulos, was HERCULES (Henry) PAPADEAS. He came to the United States in 1900 from his native village of Pegea or Mikre Anastasova, where he was born in 1880. He went to Savannah, Ga. at first, but two years after came to Altoona. He was an enterprising Greek, forthwith starting a confectionery store. By dint of hard work he prospered, and when the time was ripe for him to get married, he returned to his native home, in 1912, to find the girl whom Providence had destined to become his wife. He is now the father of nine healthy children, five of whom were born in Altoona; Sophia is a fair maiden of 19; Joanna, 17; Agnes, 16; Liberty, 14; Stella, 12, Barbara, 11, Helen, 10; Christie, 9; and George, 7. Papadeas is naturally a proud father. By his industry and thriftiness he became a substantial property holder and law-abiding, tax-paying citizen.

About the same year, 1902, VASILIOS (William) VASILARIOTES, leaving his native village of Kategorion of Messinia, took passage for America and came directly to Altoona. In fact he is the first Greek in History of the Altoona Greek Community to come directly form Greece to this city. He has faithfully stuck to his post. He became a confectioner, saved up enough to bring his family over. He worked and multiplied. Among his living children there is Stavroula who was born in Greece in 1897. And when the family came here, Elias was born in 1908. Verna (Evangelia) his younger daughter is now 21. Mr. Vasilariotes named his present beautiful confectionery after her. William is a full naturalized American citizen since 1912, and in his present location thirteen years, dispensing soda, and now both soda and beer. Born in 1876, he is still a hardworker and law-abiding citizen.

In 1905 Altoona had another Greek cast in his lot, in the person of L. C. PAPADEAS. He was born at Mikre Anastasova of Kalamata in 1884, immigrating

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to the United States in 1894, at ten years of age. He was ticketed to his father at Savannah, Ga., who had preceded him by four years. He stayed with him five years attending public schools and helping him in his store. Then he came to Altoona, worked at the P. R. R. shops until 1909, then started a confectionery right where he is now. In 1914 he married a girl from his home town, by whom he has eight children, five boys and three girls, all born here: William, 18; Helen, 17; George, 15; Theodore, 14; Constantine, 13; Nicholas, 11; Jane, 7; Sophia, 5. Mr. Papadeas, by dint and hardwork, owns his own home and several real estate properties. He is a popular man, well-liked for his peaceful conduct.

In 1907 JAMES PANTAZES arrived in Altoona and has remained ever since. He, too, is a confectioner; married, father of three Altoona-born children, and a law abiding naturalized American citizen.

Also in 1907, FRANK ATHENS, part owner of the Eton Restaurant, came directly to Altoona from his native place of Karterodi of Messinia, where he was born 42 years ago. He left town after awhile and went to Rockford, Ill. But most of his years he spent in Clearfield County and operated confectioneries and restaurants, frequently visiting Altoona where his relatives were living. From Clearfield County he enlisted in the army on September 1917 and served one year in France, taking action in the Argonne-Muse and St. Mihiel sectors, guarding ammunition trains as private of 350th Ammunition Train, of 80th Division. In 1919 he was honorably discharged as sergeant returning to his place of enlistment. He is a member of the American Legion and V. F. W.; and one of the progressive Greeks in both Clearfield and Blair Counties. His partner, Harry Coumoundouros, a Spartan Greek, is also a dividend-bearing asset and an industrious, law-abiding citizen.

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Mr. MILTON PAPADEAS is a Greek of gigantic proportions, and owner of a corner confectionery. He speaks the American fluently, is of genial disposition, with a strong voice from an equally strong throat. He is the youngest of the elder Papadeases, born at the same place, aged 39. When he immigrated to this country in 1908 Altoona was his tangeant, for his brother Henry was here waiting for him. Milton attended private schools here while helping his brother and learning his trade. In 1918 he was drafted to serve in the war, a private in 110th Infantry. In 1919 he was honorably discharged as a first class private. In 1925 he married Panayiota and since then he has been waiting for a visit from the stork. He is a Scottish Rite Mason, an Odd Fellow, besides be a member of the American Legion. Good for Milton, with a thundering, hearty laugh, especially when business is a good and justifies such indulgence!

JAMES, JOHN and GEORGE NOTOPOULOS are nephews of the great A. N. And they are indeed proud of the fact. They own the Famous Restaurant and manage the Taverns; they are staunch Tripolitans, the province that has sent to this country the most industrious and the most peaceful business Greeks - progressive aggressive. James is the oldest, 35 years of age, deep thinking, sure-footed, who came directly to his uncle in Altoona, after his schooling, in 1910. John is an even-tempered, lovable young man of 33. He followed his brother one year after, in 1911. George is some cook, Chef de la Cuisine Americaine, master of the culinary art, young as he is. Go to the Famous Restaurant and sample his alimentary productions, and taste the savor of his masterful gravies. George is an exemplary Hellene of 30, and is in Altoona since 1915. He is a married man, and the father of a lusty infant child. The three of them are exceedingly industrious, and good safe bets. What more can Altoona desire?

In 1910 WILLIAM (Vasilios) ARSENIOU, a sturdy son of Thessaly, came to Altoona and started in the restaurant business. He was born at Kalabaka in 1888. Kalabaka is a unique city and famous for its skyland monasteries, which are built on cliffs more than one thousand feet high. In the old times the only means to reach their dizzy heights was by being pulled up by the monks in a net. Now rock stairways have been built, and the thrill one got while dangling in the air hundreds of feet above terra firma is gone. On the top of these solitary cliffs whole establishments are posed of stone pillars. There nestle like eagle nests, higher than the turret on the Empire State Building, amid miles and miles of valleys and hills and plains around them, the medieval monasteries of Hagios Stephanos, Hagia Trias, Hagios Barlaam, and the Meteoron. In their chapels yellow beeswax candles burn before old Ikonostasia and illuminate the walls covered with Byzantine centuries-old iconographies. As you come out of their incense reeking vaults you behold

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the romantic Pindus mountains crowned with fleecy cloudbands beyond and the serpentine course of the rivers rolling toward the coast. It is certainly the sight of a lifetime. From this region Mr. Arseniou hails. He immigrated in 1908, went to Lowell, Mass., worked in the mills for four years. In 1921 he married Paraskevy Zosiea from Kastakion, Thessaly, by whom he has three children, all born in Altoona: Katherine born in 1922; George, 1924 and Eva, 1926. Mr. William Arseniou is a full American citizen, and very progressive. JOHN, his brother, was born in 1884 and immigrated in 1915. He is married to Viola Tsara and has five children all born in Altoona: Charles, 1922; James, 1924; Aglaia 1926, and two others. The brothers own their restaurant along with MR. FRANK MIHELIS, who is a proficient cook, and the SILVER MOON, under his chefdom made good success and many satisfied customers. Mr. Mihelis is a native son of the beautiful island of Lemnos, and industrious, peaceful young man.


Mr. CHRIST TRIVELAS was born at Athens, Greece, in 1893, and schooled there before coming to this country, in 1909, on a cold, windy day of the month of March. However, in 1911, he came to Altoona from Sheboygan, Wis., where he had directly gone from Ellis Island. In 1916, after working for five years in restaurants, he became partner of James Pantazes in the restaurant which the latter had opened in 1911. In 1918 Christ Trivelas married Calliope Drosaki of Altoona, by whom he has five children: Evengelos, 14; Nicholas, 12; Stavroula, 10; Efthimia, 8; and Athanasia, 4. PETE, who is mostly found in the Sugar Bowl in the mornings and is often mistaken for Christ, is his twin brother. Pete came to Altoona directly from the old home in 1911 and joined his brother. Both together they tried many ventures. But on this point they are reticent and modest. Christ is the spokesman for Pete. He said: "It is not how many stores we had or theatres we owned, but what we are today. Those days are past and gone. The battle is right here in this store, where we are working almost every night and day to make our living and bring up our children." Pete is also married; his wife, Katina nee Papamenidou of Ashville Park, N. J., presented Pete with three children: Nicholas aged

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7; Demetrios, 5, and Georgios, 3. The brothers live in a home of their own, and take active interest in the progress and welfare of the community. They are Athenians, descendants of old Andres Athenaioi, who were amazingly learned men, fond of pageantry, eager for news, and tireless in attending in a day all the plays performed in the various theatres of their magnificent city. Imagine an American attending nine theatres in a single day - and those with the vault of heaven for a roof. They strained themselves not to miss a single word the masked actors at the sallies of the great comedian Aristophanes, shed tears at the tragedies of Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus; they rapturously applauded the orations of Demosthenes. What an audience! What powerful minds they must have had to retain everything they heard and saw. Truly, the Men of Athens were great. They had erected the most magnificent temples, in point of art and architecture; the Erechtheion with its treasures of art; the Parthenon, supreme in its glory on the Acropolis, dedicated to Athena the Virgin - Parthenos - with her huge gold and ivory statue, the masterpiece of the greatest sculptor of all ages, Phidias, standing in the middle of the temple, facing toward the rising sun. Oh, those were glorious days, the Glory that was Greece. Even today though Glory departed, their ruins remain a living symbol of their immortality. "Time, like death," says the Milford Bard, "is an impartial conqueror. The monuments of genius and the arts fall alike before him in the path of his irresistible might. He hath uprooted the firm foundation of greatness and grandeur . . . the tottering temples of Greece and the . . . ruins of Athens and Sparta . . . their philosophers are dumb in death; the Academy, the Porch, and the Lyceum no longer resound with the doctrines of Plato, Zeno, and their illustrious competitors. Their fame alone has survived the general wreck. . ."

In 1913 Altoona received an industrious young man by the name of FRANK (Photios) DAREGAS, who is now running the Alto Lunch with his partners. Frank was born at Nissi of Kalamata in 1894. After attending high school, he immigrated in 1913 to America, coming directly to this city, and has been operating restaurants here ever since. Frank possessed the spirit of progressiveness; he took a leading part in the growth and promotion of the welfare of the community. When others balked he stepped forward and assumed responsible offices. He was elected for several terms its secretary, and held other positions, and he never failed to discharge his duties creditably. In 1932 he married the widow of the late Mr. Kekalas, who brought him seven foster children: Andy, 17; Arthur, 16; Mike, 14; Ethel, 13; Bill, 10 and Andrew, 7. Frank is a naturalized American citizen; owns his home, and seldom loses his equanimity. His brother GEORGE followed him three years later and became his right hand. He also is a naturalized citizen and a member of the Ahepa, which fact shows he is equally progressive. Their partner

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GEORGE KOUTALES hails from the same native town and since 1907 in this country, all in Altoona. Therefore, Altoona should be well pleased to have such peaceful, law-abiding citizens.

The same year, 1913, ushered GUS (Constantinos) MASTOS in Altoona from Mansfield, O. whither he had gone to learn the candy trade. He had immigrated in 1907. When he came here he was employed as a candymaker by Miles Bros. In 1917 he started his first store, the Chicago Quick Lunch. In 1918 he was drafted to serve during the war at Camp Lee, Va. He was faithful, and when he was honorably discharged he had been promoted to a mess sergeant. In 1919, returning to his place of enlistment, he saw an opportunity to go to Phillipsburg, Pa., and start his Sanitary Restaurant. He sold that out in 1924 and came back again to his beloved mountain city. In 1921 he married Marigo Stathaki from Altoona, and now has one living daughter, Helen, 12 years old. GUS is a member of the American Legion and Quarante Hommes et Fluit Cheveaux, or Forty and Eight. He owns his home and serves as treasurer of his little community creditably, because they found him a sturdy, public-spirited Hellene - always active. His brother PETER is a young man of 28, and in America since 1923. He went to Phillipsburg when his brother owned the Sanitary Restaurant there. In 1925 PETE married Vasilike Athanasopoulos of Altoona, and has now three children: Theophanis, 6; George, 5; Nicholas, 4. Both brothers were born at Vordoni of Sparta and were schooled there. Sparta produced the great law-giver, Lycurgus, who put health and love of home ahead of everything and abolished silver and gold currency by substituting heavy iron coins. In order to carry a dollar's worth of change, the Spartan had to have a good-sized wheelbarrow and cart it to the market place. So, when one day an illustrious visitor asked a Spartan mother where she kept her jewels, she proudly pointed at her sons, "These are my jewels," she answered. The Spartans ate from a common table, their popular dish being the melas zomos or the black broth. They blindly believed in eugenics. History relates that all children who were born defective were cast in a dugout. Inhuman as this is to us, the Spartans lived in an old age barbarous in this respect. Their supreme ideal was to died in the defense of their homeland. When a Spartan mother sent her son to war, she handed him his shield, saying, EI TAN EI EPI TAN - either return victorious or dead upon it.

In 1913 APOSTOLOS ACARACANDAS, owner of the Washington Lunch, found his way to Altoona. He, like William Arseniou, was born at Kalabaka of Thessaly where the stylite monasteries repose upon sheer cliffs. He was born in 1896, graduated the junior high at the age of 14, and immigrating in 1912. He went to Lowell, Mass., worked six months in the foundry, and came to this city after, to work at the P. R. R. Shops. He saved up and four years later he opened his lunchroom, which he operated for 12 years. He is a full citizen, is married to Constantina Tassi of Kastrikion of his native home. Mr. Caracandas has now three Altoona born children: Eleftherios aged 6; Stephanos 4 and Christos, 2. Mr. Apostolos works hard to make both ends meet, to support his family and make friends. He is a sociable and peaceful citizen.

When JAMES PANAGOPLOS came to Altoona from Boston in 1916, he was representing a grocery house, and all the commissions he managed to earn went to procure his personal needs. He had no extra money, but he had a great ambition to promote himself in this city. Having enough faith in his ability and industry, he forthwith applied himself to realize his purpose. He knew the grocery game well. He went out and got acquainted with people, made friends, won their confidence. For four hard years he worked honestly and impressed himself to his customers and the local dealers. He had no capital but character, ability and industry, which,

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in the long, are capital of a moral kind. And in 1920 with very little money but a good credit, he opened is first grocery store, calling it the Italian American Grocery. For his Italian customers he hired an Italian girl, Miss Christina Duva. She became just as much interested in the success of the grocery as was James, her boss, and, in return her boss got very much interested in her, with the result they were duly married in 1923. Meanwhile the little store had grown into a well-stock concern. Then Mrs. Panagoplos withdrew and devoted her attention to her household duties. She gave him two bright children, James, Jr., aged 9 and Antonia, 7. Mr. Panagoplos kept on making friends. He helped in the establishment of the Greek Community church, was repeatedly elected as president. Six years ago he expanded his business by adding a bakery, the Marathon Bakery, specializing in Italian breads and bakery products. James was born at Arfara of Messina 35 years ago; he immigrated in 1911. He is still full of energy and zeal. He is contemplating to organize among his people a political association and encourage those who had neglected taking out citizenship papers to apply for them. It is a laudable cause, well worth hearty cooperation.

We come to the New Depot Lunch and find there the Chamoutalis brother and their partner MIKE GEORGE. They are from Kara Burnu of Asia Minor. PHOTIOS CHAMOUTALIS was born in 1897, came to America in 1916; went to Bethlehem, Pa., and worked there in the mills. In Altoona he opened lunch business in 1918 and 1920. In 1925 he married Marie Blahaki from Crete and now has three children to inherit him; Steliani, Vasiliki and Nicholas, all born in this city. GEORGE CHAMOUTALIS is 32 years old and came to this country in 1915, and to Altoona, 1918, worked for the late George Carides in 1925, and then had a business of his own, the New York and, later, the New Depot. Mr. George is married and has three children born here, and a foster child. Irene, Porine and Nicholas - and Bernie his foster child. MIKE GEORGE is from the same native place, immigrating

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to American together George Chamoutalis in 1915. He is their cousin, a full citizen, but a single man. Good, industrious, peaceful, law-abiding and progressive, these three New Depot Lunch owners are.

GEORGE CONTAKOS is the worthy owner of the Coney Island Lunch and Restaurant on Eleventh Avenue and a staunch Spartan of 53. One of the early comers to the United States (1899) Mr. Contakos by his conduct, industry and endurance, prepared the way for many deserving Greeks who came later and found the table spread; that is, a place to go and a compatriot to help in their search for work. Mr. Contakos is a Levetsovite, a progressive man, devoted to his business and to the proper upbringing of his children. He came to Altoona in 1919 and opened his present place two doors above. He came with his family and added to the numerical growth of Altoona. He is the proud father of five children: Demetrios, aged 18, born in his father's old home; Christina, 16, born in New York; Anna, 15, a New Yorker; Stavroula, 13, Altoonan; so is Leonidas, 10, who perpetuates the heroic name of the greatest Spartan general of old, who amazed the world with his immortal feat at the Thermopylae, with his three hundred Spartans against 10,000 Persians. As Lord Byron sings: -

"The Assyarian came down like a wolf on the fold.
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
The hosts with their banners at sunset were seen;
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
The host on the morrow lay withered and strown."

Mr. Contakos owns his home, is a full American citizen and a good father.

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MR. J. S. KISSON, owner of the Union Dye Works, is a well head and much traveled Hellene. He speaks several languages fluently, and recounts episodes of his variegated life interestingly. He is an educated man, graduate of the Marasli College of Constantinople, and if he should start enumerating the places he has visited and the occupations he had followed, he says, this little book would prove inadequate to contain even a small part of it. In this respect Mr. Kisson was very modest. Suffice it to say that he came to this country in 1915, and to Altoona in 1923, forthwith starting his present establishment. While in New York Mr. Kisson met and married his accomplished wife, Marie Frangeneou, in 1916; and Stavroula, their only child was born at Altoona. He is a full-fledged United States citizen, believing in hard work and honest living. That is why his numerous American friends like him and respect him. Mr. Kisson is a good dividend-bearing asset to the city.

There is no other prettier Sweet-Shop-and-Tea-Room establishment between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh than the MARIGOLD. It is the product of the genius of its proprietor MR. LOUIS P. CUMMINGS. He visualized all its arrangements and appointments, drew its plan, said to the outfitter, I want this lamp here and this counter there, and the ceiling, like a heavenly dome, to reflect peace and security for my valued patrons. And as he said (thusly) it was done. High booths, brilliant when sheen and cleanliness; sanitary kitchen, homelike foods, and Mrs. Cummings, the matron, to supervise. Messieurs Doubtful Thomases can easily verify this rhapsody by going there to look, see, taste and be sorry for doubting me! Am epos am ergon! ERGO! Mr. Cummings is a Spartan about whom (the Spartans) Lord Byron said: -

"Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylee!"

Of course, at the time the poet wrote these lines Mr. Cummings was not as yet born, so that he reduced the number to two, and put Cummings at the head to correspond old Leonidas, what? Mr. Cummings came to Altoona in 1928, so he is the youngest pioneer, I mean Chronologically! But even at that, during this short period of sojourn he made more friends and acquaintances than one who happened to be born here. Mr. Cummings is a proud father of a charming daughter attending College at Indiana, Pa. And Mrs. Cummings, his better half, is of old Pennsylvania stock, with Southern sheen on her face, by virtue of her long residence at Norfolk, Va. Cheerio!

The chartered Hellenic Holy Trinity Church Community of Altoona at present, all told, numbers four hundred souls - men, women and children. There are approximately seventy families, hundred and eighty children born in the city. A good percentage from the adult Greeks work at the railroad shops, and the remainder in the twenty-five business places owned by their fellow racials.

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The church of Holy Trinity is the center of their religious and social gatherings. In the vestry of the church an afternoon parochial school is conducted for the teaching of Greek and catechism to the children. The Reverend Demetrios Chrysaedes is the officiating priest and the school teacher. I found the reverend father a quiet, unassuming shepherd of his flock. For the past six years he has been officiating in this community, he has won the esteem and affection of all the members, and under his spiritual guidance the community is dwelling in peace and brotherly love.

The majority of the local Greeks are naturalized citizens, speaking the language of the land remarkably well, in comparison. Having made Altoona their permanent home, they are interested in its civic as well as their commercial development. They have made, comparatively speaking, good progress, assuming the duties and responsibilities that go with good citizenship seriously. They have made many friends among the natives. During, the war many of them had cheerfully obeyed the bugle call and proved their affection for their adopted country valiantly on many battlefronts, distinguishing themselves in action and in the faithful performance of their duties. This brochure is too small to enumerate the life and activity of every member. The instances given in the above biographies are sufficient to impress any loyal American that the Greeks have entered wholeheartedly into the American life, and are bringing up their children in the proper manner. Credit is due them from every hand. When the Altoona-born children grow to manhood there is no telling in what distinguishing roles they will take part. America has had state governors, rear admirals, professors, clergymen and eminent educators from the race before. We hope their examples shall ever be kept before their eyes and inspire them to higher things. They must not forget that great sacrifices have been made by their predecessors - sacrifices and self-denials and extreme sufferings, periods similar to those this writer is still undergoing - to make a race known and appreciated by the great American people. The new generation has a supremely important duty to discharge in return. In other words, they shall have to prove that such sacrifices have not been made in vain.

In fact they (the new generation) have begun in the right direction. Altoona is proud to have one of its American Greek sons, Mr. James A. Notopoulos occupying a professional chair at Amherst University. Two of his brothers are attending law schools; three more are forging ahead in the theatrical profession, or management. One other Altoona boy is studying medicine at the Alabama University. Let them give to the country of their birth the best and noblest they have inherited from the history of their race. America shall be grateful.

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Among Our Friends


HAVE THE GREEKS of Altoona many friends from the ranks of their native fellow-citizens? Most decidedly they have. And what is more, they are loudly and generously demonstrating their friendship through the pages of this brochure. The writer interviewed all of them, and one and all, they have been profuse in their expression of friendship and genuine interest. Most of them are old friends. To them a greater portion of our Grecian business progress is due: - to their friendly advice and equally generous assistance. They were our mentors, they were always ready with their purse and hand to cooperate in the success of our business. When we had no credit they extended credit. They watched us grow during the past thirty or more years, always willing to guide us. And now, whatever their personal experiences must have been, they are, through their advertisements (the only practical way) publicly welcoming us, and again extending their hand of friendship.

WE HAVE Mr. Sheep of the Reid Tobacco Co., an old friend and always interested in our progress. Mr. Haller, the baker, and his leonine son, are our true friends. Mesars Wilson and Lane of the First National Bank, an Crane and Dillon of the Altoona Trust, highly praised the thriftiness of our race. Mr. Keiser of the Pennsylvania Coffee Co., approved cheerfully our progressive movement. We have had hearty cooperation from Fry Brothers of the Altoona Ice Co.; while Mr. Carlcherson of Curry, Canan & Co., received us with great courtesy and listened approvingly. We have good friends in the persons of De Barber Brothers. A sympathetic cooperator is Mr. Hoister of the French Dry Cleaners. Mr. Jones the

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undertaker forgot for a moment his approaching hunting trip and gave his car with a broad smile (of course, he didn't slash it). L. H. Hileman of the Quality Dairy was very prompt in subscribing; while the affable manager of the Standard Furniture Co. was as generous and affable as he could be under the circumstances. Mr. Bell of the Penn Motors, Inc., handsome and alert, put his seal of approval with clock-wise precision. Mr. McGinnis, the athletic, energetic, and able manager of Montgomery Ward & Co., manifested genuine interest in us. Mr. Rodgers of Prutzman Co., a business man, every inch of him, tagged the name of his concern in approval. I met both Mr. Stevens and Mr. Coslin of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., and found them aggressively progressive and extremely courteous. Mr. Pall, leaving aside for a second his fruit merchandising, extended us his glad hand. The erudile and surprisingly fluent manager of the Penn Cress Ice Cream Co., left nothing to be desired in point of courtesy and ready cooperation, Charles Shimminger sells flowers but talks like a banker (ask Mr. Hoister) had his little advertisement is as brief of letters as he is with words. Dr. Yocum A. Kopp, our public-spirited druggist, is indeed a lovable gentleman and a good friend. Kranich Bros. Jewelers and Opticians - well, you can't beat them in tact and efficiency. Abe Cohen, whose father had his business side by side with Mr. A. N. Notopoulos, departed from his rigid rule and put his seal of friendship in large letters. Mr. A. Berman, the man of gold and silver, proved instantly that he had also a heart of gold, polished with business courtesy. How about Mr. Park Hite? Read what he says in his little notice. The Hollenback boys know the intricacies of radiology as thoroughly as they know what project to countenance. Ross Hatch, chubby and affable, with his powerful son to help him, was prompt in showing his friendly interest. J. B. Felty, our old friend, with his candied words remembered us despite some very pertinent reasons. He certainly has been a helpful friend to all confectioners. Crigger Bros. are sweet as the apples and as luscious as the oranges they sell. Mr. and Mrs. Makdad of the Altoona Plate Glass indeed, surprised us with their public-spirited cooperation. H. Baker Yon is Napoleonic in stature but big of heart. Our old friend W. H. McEldowney, still alert and tireless, profusely congratulated us. Mr. Cobb of the Builders Supply was as brief and prompt as he is with words. Mr. Eugene Myers was as bright and cherry and fragrant as his choice American Beauty Roses, and as golden as the goldenrods he handles in his store. Mr. Marcus the open faced, far seeing, affable jeweler is another friend of the Greeks. Mr. Zimmers, tall and young, decided in a business-like manner. Mr. Geltman of the Ford cars is as powerful and resilient as the new V-8, and he was as willing as the Ford is in pickup and - whizzzz-bang-ness!(?) Dr. SAX is the sweet air dentist and highly skilled odontovgaltes. Mr. Davis of the Straehman Bakery wishes more power to the Hellenes of Altoona and Continued success of their undertakings.

These are not all however. There are more and just as sincere in their good wishes as those I have the pleasure to enumerate. Some we had no opportunity to visit or know, some for obvious reasons do not appear, others had valid reasons . . . and so forth. But the Grecians of Altoona for all of them have a big THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU!


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Ancient Greeks and Modern Americans


The American nation, physically, is a composite of different nationalities, chiefly of Germanic or Nordic races who were the first to colonize the land; but in the essentials of progressiveness, intellectuality and courage, the American people are the spiritual children of Greece and heirs to all her imperishable traditions; that is, the same spirit that animated the old Greeks to great achievements is animating the Americans of today into achievements that in magnitude and daring, surely, have never been rivaled through the ages.

There are so many striking similarities between the old Greeks and the modern Americans that make a pleasing revelation. There is that dauntless American enterprising spirit, for instance, in a Lindbergh, that beards the roaring Atlantic in its realm single-handed with an airplane, that has its counterpart in that mythical feat of Leander's swimming across the Hellespont. The same bold, adventurous spirit that impelled Jason and his Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece had also, after thirty-five hundred years, emboldened Captain John Smith and his colonizers to dare the perils of the seas in search of the Land of Golden Opportunity - the golden maize and the golden leaf.

It was this circumstance power of daring and adventure that peopled this land and developed in them a character marvelous for its buoyancy, keenness of vision, directness in action, energy, audacity, inventiveness and versatile many sidedness -the American Genius that digs a Panama Canal, that carves Roosevelt Dams in desert places, drills into the earth for oil, ploughs whole kingdoms for wheat, invents marvels, invests millions on an inflammable celluloid, revels in mass production, erects Empire State Buildings, makes princely fortunes out of a five-cent package of goods, and governs the greatest Republic of all Ages.

The same old Grecian nervous energy is manifesting itself in the American of today. Thucydides characterized the Greeks as a people who believed in hard work and regarded leisure as a disagreeable and wearisome occupation. One of the most outstanding traits of a Greek -old or modern -is his love to be always first in success, "always to be best and excelling others."

The Greeks, like the Americans, believed in competition; for "competition," says Hesiod, "stirs a man to work even though he be inactive. Neighbor vies with neighbor, potter grudges potter, and craftsman, craftsman! Good is this competition." . . .

The same love for freedom that rules the hearts of our present-day political leaders ruled also the very being of Demosthenes, when, in the name of free institutions, he climbed Mars Hills and appealed to the Athenian sense of honor, of duty -to their sense of moral responsibility and enlightened patriotism -to fight against the autocratic Macedonian.

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Like George Washington, Pericles was first in the hearts of his fellow countrymen: "The First Citizen of Athens." . . .

Indeed, at every angle the American sees himself in the old Greek; he feels the kinship -and may we not, the modern Greeks who have descended from such a people, who are now found among you here, sharing with you, in equal measure, the blessings and benefits bestowed upon the land by the blending of these splendid qualities in those who founded it, humbly claiming a portion of this heritage, such as we are, seek your right hand of friendship?



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Greek Religious Life


Next to his home, the Grecian loves his church. In fact, his home and church are one and inalienable in his thoughts and daily life. He adheres loyally to his church because he is born to it, because his church has limned its character in his soul and ramified its dogmas in every nook and corner of his spiritual being. At heart the Greek is a pietist, and this inborn quality keeps his convictions together and deepens them. It is the basic element that is stimulating his devotion to his family altars. The Greek owes his racial and political independences to his church and to no other.

In every Orthodox home there is a nook or place for the family ikon. An olive-oil lamp, suspended from the ceiling before it, perpetually burns. The members offer up their prayers there night and morning, crossing themselves; and the family Saint is often called upon to intercede with God vicariously in their behalf.

A Grecian might neglect attending church regularly, but he is a poor Orthodox when he fails to attend church during Easter, Christmas, or on his name day, which he celebrates instead of his birthday. He fasts during Megale Hebdomas, drinks black coffee, eschews flesh, fowl or fish.

The Greek Orthodox Church has the most impressive ceremonial of any steed rich in pageantry, gorgeous in dramatic settings. Its symbolism, imagery, rites, types, and liturgy are very impressive.

The Greek Orthodox Church edifice is of Byzantine architecture and invariably faces east. The ornamentation of the interior is gorgeous; the walls are covered with ikons of the Lord, apostles, and latter martyred saints. Wherever a communicant turns he faces a saint to remind him of his sacrifice and martyrdom. Red, gold, green, blue, and purple colors predominate. The sanctuary is partitioned off at the southern wall with beautiful panel work bearing in larger figures images representing Gospel characters! The Holy Table is in the middle of the sanctuary, and is resplendent with gold embroidered cloth and gold and silver vessels used for sacramental purposes.

The priest officiates in vestments of gold and silver contexture. By the main entrance of the church, occupying a section of the eastern wall, is an oblong table called the Pangarion, upon which beeswax candles of various sizes are displayed. A little farther from it is the hexagonal stand, the Ikonostasion, supporting the ikon of the Saint of that day's calendar.

Each communicant upon entering the church, stops at the Pangarion and selects the candle he wishes to offer, and then approaches the huge candelabrum beside the Ikonostasion. There he lights his candle, sticking it in one of its prongs. Then, addressing himself (or herself) to the ikon, strikes the sign of the cross repeatedly on his breast, and bows to kiss a part of it, saying: "Agie Haralambe Voetha Me," or whatever saint is on there.

As soon as these are gone through he seeks a convenient standing room on the nave, for there are no pews in a Greek church. He usually stands out the whole service erect, and at some well-known points, follows the cantors in a low humming voice, and fervently crosses himself whenever the name of the Holy Virgin is chanted by the priest.

The service consumes about three hours and is a long series of incantations, candle-burning, incense-burning, change of priestly vestments and processions. Up

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to recent time instrumental music was not tolerated. There are two cantors stationed at either side of the sanctuary with their small choir of Isson-holders, who do all the chanting (in Byzantine music) for the congregation.


The Beginning of Greek Immigration


INHERENTLY, the Greeks are not an emigrating people. A Greek loves his country passionately; he is devoted to his family, and is born to his religion. In the old days those who left home for foreign lands were mainly teachers and artisans, who were rather induced to do so. It was in this way that in the Roman era they became the spiritual masters of their conquerors; in this way they carried their lights in all directions and redeemed civilization from the Dark Ages; they taught and inspired and encouraged mankind in every laudable endeavor.

Soon after the fall of the Roman Empire Vandals began to trample all over Greece. Later the Turks subjugated the fair land, and all that was the pride and glory stuck to his home and sought consolation in his religion -until, finally, the Turkish yoke waxing exceedingly oppressive, his love of liberty still ablaze, he rose to overthrow it.

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Seven years of decimating struggle against overwhelming odds in 1821 reduced Greece into a land inhabited by old men, women, and children -impoverished, her fields fallow, her commerce ruined. And in the face of this unbearable poverty the growing generation began to lift its eyes towards more prosperous lands; they must go out and find work to keep the old folk from starvation and misery.

So, they first started immigrating into the adjacent countries; Egypt, Rumania, Russia, and then along the late eighties into America.

The Grecians are not essentially an agricultural or laboring people; the are inherently a commercial people, given largely to importing, exporting, and the business of shop keeping. They certainly excel in all these and show remarkable sagacity and acumen. But America in those days was a laborer's country. She was not prepared to offer them opportunities along those lines. America had to build her railroads; she had to erect her factories, and level down her mountains for raw materials.

And he, the Greek immigrant, on the other hand, did not come at first to America with the intention to remain permanently. He had come with the sole object to relieve his pressing financial obligations at home; he came to work, do anything, and send some money back home before the usurer foreclosed the mortgage on the old family home, or a heartless creditor sent his father into a debtor's cell for the want of a few dollars. For money was the scarcest thing in Greece, and tilling the rockhound soil the most unproductive.

Besides, the Greek immigrant found out that he could not keep a shop from the start, because he spoke no English. And English was tongue-defying, ear confusing language. It consisted of monosyllabic words that made maddening short sentences. Before the honey-flowing, polisyllabic Greek, English was a trickling spring besides a singing cataract. At any rate, it was a very hard language for him to learn. So, he had to follow the line of least resistance and seek work -crude, unskilled work -in railroad camps, in the mills, and -in cities -he took up peddling fruits on a pushcart, or worked as cook, waiter or dishwasher, at different hotels in New York. Not for long, however.

From railroad camps, from iron or cotton mills, from street peddling, these sturdy Greek pioneers, little by little, as soon as they had relieved their pressing old country obligations, as soon as they succeeded in settling off their sisters, in marriage providing them with dowry, commenced spreading out into the interior parts of the country to follow their natural bent; to open a store and go into business, as they say. They went into neighboring towns or cities looking for the store they had in mind -not so big, nor so high, bur large enough for a lunch room or candy store.

Sometimes they would take an unknown direction and stop haphazardly at a certain point along the way. And that little store they had so fondly visualized would suddenly oggle at them right there and then. "Doxasi ho Theos!" Glory be! and your Greek would then hang his coat and hat, plunge into the Mercurial game of selling perishable merchandise, with a stock of English words garnered indiscriminately and spoken in fiery Greek accent.

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so we have an element in this city who through this long, arduous perseverance, during the past twenty-five years gradually succeeded carving for themselves an enviable corner in its commercial life. They are contributing to its growth and prosperity, adding to its money circulation. It may prove of interest to know that through their business places they are, and have been circulating hundred of thousand of dollars a year in the city. They may be justly called dividend-bearing assets. They live happily; divorce or family rupture is unknown among them; they live amply, buy the best, and are only thrifty when thrift proves a productive investment.

They are law-abiding, uphold laudable civic movements, observe the ordinances, pay their taxes, and try to assimilate themselves with the ways of doing business in America. They try to pay their bills, promptly, seldom make unjust claims or give post-dated checks, though at times they may prove hard buyers. I have a number of their dealers to testify to this.

Greeks can make friends quickly, and when their friendship is reciprocated they are usually very loyal and go a long way out to show it. But, with all that, they are very careful and very suspicious in making friends or giving their confidences. The one who seeks their friendship must be an out-and-out moral man in affairs concerning his family and honor. He must be a moderate drinker, no gambler, or a monger, but a true lover of his home, his God, his country, and of hard work.




Page 10

Compliments of - Altoona Plate Glass Company "Glass for All Purposes" 725 Green Ave., Altoona, Pa.

Compliments of - L. C. Papadeas Confectionery, Home Made Candies Draught Beer Sandwiches, Etc. 717 7th Street, Altoona, Pa.

Compliments of - Pennsylvania Restaurant 110 Broad Street, Hollidaysburg, Pa.

Compliments of - Vitrolite "Better than Marble" and Plate Glass Construction Company 715 Chestnut Ave., Altoona, Pa.

Compliments of - Crigger Brothers Wholesale Fruits and Vegetables Telephone 2-2261, 1024 11th Ave., Altoona, Pa.

G. A. Zimmers Lumber Company, Inc. Lumber and Roofing Phone Dial 2-7485, 828 28th Street, Altoona, Pa.

Compliments of - H. Baker Yon Wholesale Confectioner 1616 14th Ave., Altoona, Pa.

Remington Typewriter Company 64 Goldschmid Building W. J. Young Manager

Page 11

EDGAR W. JONES, Funeral Director, Telephone 2-2661, 1222 13th Street, Altoona Pa.

Compliments of - The First National Bank, Altoona, Pa., Main Office 1206 11th Avenue, Altoona, Pa., Juniata Branch 5th Avenue and 7th Street, Juniata, Pa.

Page 15

"If it's Reid's it's Good" REID TOBACCO COMPANY Milton, Pa., Altoona, Pa.

Compliments of - Pennsylvania Coffee Co., Altoona, Pa. SPECIAL BLENDS FOR RESTAURANTS

Page 16

Flowers... Myers Brothers Florists 1112 12th Street, Altoona, Pa.

Gettman Auto Company 19th St. and Margaret Ave. Before you buy any car, drive the NEW FORD V-8

Compliments of - W. H. McEldowney McEldowney Bros. 812-814 Chestnut Avenue, Altoona, Pa.

General Builders Supply Company Altoona, Penna. Everything from Foundation to Roof Phone 9331, 1720 Margaret Ave.

Compliments of - Milton Papadeas Confectionery 1200 7th Ave., Altoona, Pa.

We Call and Deliver Union Dye Works J. G. Kisson, Prop. Cleaning-Pressing-Repairing Men's and Ladie's Hats Cleaned and Reblocked, Telephone 7647, 711 12th Ave., Altoona, Pa.

Compliments of - CURRY, CANAN, CO. "Wholesale Grocers" Altoona, Pa.

Page 17

Compliments of - Altoona Trust Company, Main Office 12th Avenue and 12th Street, Branch Office 8th Avenue and 12th Street

Page 18


Page 19

Compliments of - DE BARBER BROS. Distributors of Schlitz The Beer that made Milwaukee Famous SERVED AT ALL THE BETTER PLACES

Page 21

The Originators of the 50c Call and Delivery Plan, FRENCH DYE WORKS, First Dry Cleaner to sign the N.R.A. Code, There Will Be No Increase In Our Prices, Any Garments Cleaned and Pressed 50c All Work Called For and Delivered, Men's Hats Cleaned and Blocked 50c, Plant and Office 1511 13th Street, Telephone 6133

Compliments of - The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company

Compliments of - Penn-Cress ICE CREAM CO. 2801 Beale Avenue Phone 4011

Page 22

EDGAR W. JONES, Funeral Director, Telephone 2-2661, 1222 13th Street, Altoona, Pa.

SIMMOND'S 1432 11th Avenue, Felicitates You and Your 35th Anniversary in Altoona

Page 23

Compliments of - J. B. FELTY The Candy Man 1008 11th Ave. Altoona, Pa.

MARCUS Square Deal Jeweler, 1325 Eleventh Avenue, Altoona, Pa. REGISTERED OPTICIAN We do Expert Watch and Jewelry Repairing, Telephone 2-2315

Page 24

Compliments of - Altoona Sanitary Laundry, 2707-2717 Oak Avenue, Telephone 9468

Compliments of - H. Papadeas, Home Made Candies, Draught Beer and Sandwiches, 1628 8th Ave., Altoona, Pa.

Page 25

Compliments of - Ross A. Hatch, Fruits and Produce, 914 1/2 11th Ave. Altoona, Pa.

Compliments of - Verna's Confectionery and Lunch, Beer and Draught and in Bottles, Home Made Candies, 1105 11th Street, Altoona, Pa.

Compliments of - Sugar Bowl, Light Lunches Draught Beer, 150 11th Ave., Altoona, Pa.

Compliments of - New Depot Lunch, Clean, Quick and Prompt Service, Draught Beer, 1000 12th Street, Altoona, Pa.

Page 26

Compliments of - PENNA LUNCH, All Kinds of Sandwiches "MEET YOUR FRIENDS HERE" 1110 1/2 11th Avenue, Altoona, Pa.

Page 30

Compliments of - ETON RESTAURANT, Our Motto: "Service, Cleanliness, Quality" 1612 11th Avenue, Altoona, Pa.

PEERLESS PRINTING COMPANY, J. P. Stellabotte, PRINTERS - BINDERS, 1111 Eleventh Ave., Telephone [Dial] 4-1 5-1, Altoona, Pa.


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