Greek-American Stories: About Aging

This is a subject I know a lot about, being a participating member. But, it’s something everybody is going to know a lot about, too, eventually. I remember when my friends, all pre-baby boomers, and I used to get together; we’d talk about boys, when’s the next dance, our jobs, and our Neanderthal parents. Now, we get together when we can remember each other and talk about eventful visits to the doctor, the dentist, calorie consumption, dietary fiber, and about all the delicious foods we used to eat that we’re now told are bad for us. How did we get to this age eating bad foods? Now we’re told to eat in Technicolor: eat green, yellow, and red veggies; consume those same ingredients in soups, sides, snacks, and deserts. (Turnip cookies, anyone?)

Once, I danced the cha-cha-cha, spun a hula hoop, and wore out my Union Chicago skates. Now, my slippers have to be skid proof. My bathrobe has to be short so I won’t trip over it. And, my bathroom wall has handles for safety measures. In the old days at work, coffee breaks in the office cafeteria had us tossing a paper plate like a Frisbee for some fun, exchanging jokes, or sitting around and reading about who Burt Reynolds is marrying this time. After all, the Constitution says that we had the inalienable right to be free – carefree. I don’t recall ever being obsessed with material things, except… keep your paws off my bike! My grandson keeps coming to my house and checks out my new Toyota, asking if it’s paid for yet; how many miles have I put on it, and why there is a scratch on the door.

I’m alarmed at the new generation who we expect will be taking over where we goofed… left off. They all look so young! It’s scary to think I’d go to the doctor and find someone with a shaved head, tattoos down the arms, a nose pierce, and the receptionist wearing a bare midriff with a ruby in the naval. When I go to the doctor’s office, I expect to see someone in a white jacket, stethoscope around the neck, looking like Albert Einstein, right? Not someone who looks like a member of The Grateful Dead. Hey! He’s the one I have to trust when holding a long, sharp instrument that’s pointed at me when he asks, “where does it hurt?”

Just imagine voting for representatives in Congress or occupants of the White House who are so young and anxious for some ‘action’ that they send the Green Berets to invade Brooklyn because there was a brawl at the basketball game. Or, proclaim National Darth Vader Day in honor of Science Fiction writers, or vote to replace the outdated, ancient scientists in labs who insist on believing there’s evidence of climate change all because some places in Houston and New Mexico went under water, and Ohio and Kansas experienced 220 tornados. I mean, come on!

Of course, there’s the other side to the logic about having the younger generation take over, like if my family and I board a plane for Greece, this year. I sure wouldn’t want to find the pilot older than me. That could mean seeing the pilot staring out at us from the cockpit, wondering what th’ hell are we all doing there, then, announcing, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your…ahh,” he snaps his fingers. “Pilot! That’s it! And, my name is Capt…..ahh, just give me a minute.” The airline stewardess comes and stands beside him. “Oh, veveos! Capt. Angela Figouris.” The stewardess whispers, hoarsely. “I’m Angela Figouris. You’re Captain Yiorgos Xehasiaris.” He laughs and says, “of course. I’m Captain Yiorgos Xehasiaris. And, in a few minutes we will be 35,000 feet up and going to….ahh…” he turns to the stewardess, again, who announces to the passengers with an assuring smile, “Greece.” You can see that it could be a real problem. Imagine the cockpit door open during flight and we discover the pilot and co-pilot have pushed the ‘automatic pilot’ button while they’re napping as we head for Nairobi. Gee! I can’t go there. I don’t know anyone there, I don’t  think! But, growing old does have its compensations, like…ahh, just give me a minute.


The news about air travel lately hasn't been pleasant.

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A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


2 Germans, a Spaniard and a Senegalese Killed in Building Collapse in Spain’s Mallorca Island

MADRID (AP) — Spain's National Police on Friday gave details on four people killed when a building housing a bar and restaurant club collapsed on the island of Mallorca.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A ruling by the top United Nations court ordering Israel to halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah has deepened its disconnect with the United States over an operation that faces mounting international condemnation but that American officials describe, at least for now, as limited and targeted.

ATHENS – Father Alexander Karloutsos, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, arrived in Athens in advance of the 4th International Conference on Religious Freedom of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

BROOKLYN, NY – The Coney Island Chapter 200 of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) recently gathered to celebrate AHEPA Sunday on May 19, a momentous occasion that recognized the unwavering commitment and remarkable contributions of its members to both the organization and the broader community.

VENTURA, CA - Writer Natasha Kayes rediscovered the reason why she loved the family-run Greek restaurant Stephen’s Market and Grill in Ventura, California when she returned to eat after being away for some years.

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