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Greek-American Stories: Easy Come, Easy Go

The guys around the table at Dixon’s that Sunday were anxious to see Yiannis. Word was that Yiannis had given a very frantic woman in church a ten dollar bill she had lost.  George shook his head, slowly. “I don’t know. There’s got to be more to that story.” Dimos said, “what more, George? I have it from my wife who told me about it. This woman was distraught, my wife said. She’d lost the ten dollar bill somewhere around the aisles where she had been sitting. When service was over, she saw her get up, look in her purse and that’s when she got so nervous she started to cry. Her purse was empty. Yiannis happened to be in church after services, helping Father Apostoli to clean up after the St. Thoma service.”

Kipreos grew excited. “Wow! Imagine that! That means Yiannis did two very good deeds – help Father Apostoli clean up and then, give what that poor distraught woman lost. You gotta give him the credit due him.” George remained silent but doubtful.

John spoke up. “Look, guys! Maybe, Yiannis has changed his tightwad ways. People do change y’know. I know someone who never bought his nephews gifts for any occasion. But, when he got very sick – on his death bed, those kids took good care of him, fed and washed him. After that, he changed a lot. Who’d have believed it? Those kids now have bicycles and a generous allowance – all from him. He’s a new man, I tell you.”

George pouted. “He hardly ever gets out of bed until Areti goes to work.” ”Ahh, come on, George! Don’t be so stubborn. He’s…” The conversation ceased when they noticed Mr. Good Will enter, get his coffee, and sit among them. And after his usual greetings he asked them, “what’s new?”

“According to Dimos, YOU,” George said between sips. John was first to mention what they’d heard from Dimos’ wife. “It was really a generous thing to do!” he said. George added, “coming from you.” Ignoring him, Yiannis said, “oh, that! Hey! I didn’t really feel I did anything special. I saw this poor woman search her purse and she got really upset when she saw that the only money she had on her was gone.” He paused to sip his coffee. “It was no big deal handing her that ten dollar bill.”

“You gotta be careful Yiannis,” George told him. “You have High Blood Pressure. Letting go of ten dollars for any reason could be fatal for you.” Reaching out for a donut, Yiannis made a face. “Well, let me tell you, wise guy, it was no big deal. Father Apostoli was so touched by my action that he gave me all the holy bread left over from the St. Thoma service. I have enough bread for a week, at least!”

Kipreos nodded, “Father Apostoli was, probably, glad you helped him out helping him clean up. He’s not young anymore.” Feeling a wave of pride, Yiannis nodded in agreement and took another bite of his donut. “I felt sorry for her. Just watching her face light up when I handed her the ten bucks was my reward.” Then, leaning back, wiping his chin, he reported, ”but, it was a very lucky day for me all around. I have to say, it all came out even. Lose some; win some, as they say.” Dimos, curious, asked, “Lucky? How so?”

“Well, I went to church a little later than I expected. After lighting a candle I went to join everyone. I greeted your wife, Dimos, and a few others, then went to take a seat. But…” he sipped more coffee and reached out for a second donut. “I remembered I promised Areti that I’d light a candle for her departed mother. So, I got up and went back to where the candles were. I searched the fifty cents for a candle and when I looked down under the Icon I noticed something there. I bent down to get it and…” they lost patience at Yiannis’ long pause. John spoke up. “Well? What was it?” Waving out his arms, he told them, “I found a ten dollar bill.”

 

 

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