I was born in a small village named Vresthena near Sparta, Greece, in a poor but loving family, with two other siblings: my brother Argiri and my sister Niki, all working the farms to grow our food.
Life was difficult, but my parents were able to raise us as normal as any other parent in our village. I was too young to work in the farms, and I was a happy kid playing with my neighborhood friends, Taki and Themis, until the dark day of the Nazi's invasion and occupation of Greece.
April 1941 was the first of many days and years of death and destruction of Greece and my village. It was a tragic day when the Nazis stormed our village, and the first time in my short life to witness the death of another human being. Most devastating to me, it was my friend who was shot dead by the Nazis in front of my eyes. It changed my life forever.
These barbaric atrocities became part of my daily life for the next four years. I watched my neighbors and villagers being tortured and executed on the streets and in their homes. Many died from starvation and sickness, and many chose death over life.
It was many weeks before I could see my father because he was hiding in caves up high in the mountains when the Nazis were in the village-- at times, a month or two. The only way I could visit him was when my mother would take me to his hiding cave, more than an hour walking distance under the dark of night to bring him food, water, and medicine.
My mother struggled to feed us all because the Nazis did not allow us to work the farms and grow our food; she had to make meals out of wild vegetables that my siblings and I had to dig up from the ground around our house. The only bread she could make for us was cornbread, which we called (bobota). She could make this from corn we had stored before the occupation until we ran out of it.
We all celebrated the Nazi defeat and got back our freedom, but the celebration was short lived, because a new war was about to begin--a Civil War. This war was unlike the Greeks killing Nazis; it was Greeks killing Greeks and brothers killing brothers.
This war was planned by the KKE (The Greek Communist Party), working with the communist countries on our northern border to deliver Greece to communist Russia. This, however, failed because of the help of President Harry S. Truman, the US president at the time.
My American Accomplishments
After a few years of hard work, I attended college. After graduation, I was drafted into the US Army. Instead, I decided to join the US Airforce and proudly served my new country traveling around the US and overseas. It was most monumental for me to go back to my old country as a US citizen and service man-- a high point in my new life.
When I finished my service, I met the love of my life, Katie, and soon we got married.
After working for a small high-tech company as a field service engineer, traveling the world for a second time, and gaining an extensive amount of experience of the marketplace, I decided to start my own high-tech company to manufacture automation equipment. With my past vast experience with wirewrapping systems, our first product was a semi-automatic rewrapping machine while my wife, Katie, raised two children at the same time.
I traveled the world for a third time, this time as founder and president of a small, high technology company, manufacturing wirewrapping equipment used in most all the telecommunications corporations around the world.
As the company grew with new engineering talent, we developed and marketed many other automaton systems for such industries as printed circuit boards, die-cutting, and microelectronics industries.
This was our first automation system of drilling and inserting test pins in a test board.
When Katie and I retired, we moved to Florida, and I found time to start writing the story that I wanted to write the first day I came to America in 1956. This was a project I thought I could start and finish like any other project I did in business, but being a writer was not in my blood, but what was in my heart … I wanted to tell the world a story of a young child growing up under the most horrific life events of daily fear for his life, hunger and sickness with no doctors or medicine available during his young and tender years.
After many unexpected life events and many challenges to my writing ability, I finally published my life story in May of 2020 (five years later), with the help of my wife Katie and others.