Senior Center of Greater Richmond

Creating Opportunities for Healthy Aging Through Social Engagement

Member Spotlight: An Interview by Joan Galimore

This interview involves a member who would like to remain anonymous.  We won't have names or pictures but a few of you may see a friend.

Those who recognize this depiction will know she is highly favored and honored. She is special as the keeper of old world charm and proper etiquette. She exudes conservatism and confidence. By setting the highest standards of lady-like behavior, she models by her character. She is petite and daintily clad in crisp white blouses and colorful skirts worn below the knee, of course. Her hair and make-up are impeccably done. It is as if her mother ingrained in her the values of being a lady and to respect herself. She can still hear her mother's voice saying, "proper young ladies never wear pants or skirts above the knee. Always wear your gloves and carry your purse when going out in public. How are you going to find a nice young man to marry looking like that? Put on your stockings and heels. Never wear red. It is too flashy. "Remember, you are representing our good family name." Even now, she carries herself with dignity and aplomb.

Her parents emigrated from Greece because their property was confiscated during the war. Her father would have had to become a soldier or a prisoner of war. Instead, he chose to come to the United States where he could find work in factories in Richmond.  Although he spoke little English, he eventually operated a restaurant on Second Street in downtown Richmond. Finding new friends at the Greek Orthodox Church, the family thrived.

Born in Richmond on December 27th (what a Christmas present for her parents) she was the third of four children. Surrounded by her family, her childhood was full of love and joy. Upon graduating from Thomas Jefferson igh School, she fell in love and eloped with her high school sweetheart. During her childhood, the whole family spoke Greek at home. She is still fluent in the Greek language. Although she taught Greek to her children, they rarely speak it anymore. 

-- Joan Galimore

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