You’ve reached your limit of free articles for this month.
Get unlimited access to The National Herald,
starting as low as $7.99/month for digital subscription & $5.99/month for a delivery by mail subscription


Greek-American Stories: Welcome, Home, Odysseus

You know I like reading ancient Greek history. OK, so, I tell it in my own way. Hey! I say it the way I see it! Well, I already wrote about the Trojan War and Greek soldiers being stuffed into a wooden horse waiting to attack the city of Troy for the return of the beautiful Helen. Today, I decided to tell you another saga – in my inimitable way, of course.

This is about Odysseus’s journey home to Ithaca taking ten years because Poseidon condemned him. But, having Athena on his side and his own smarts, saved his life during the horrific journey where many of his sailors were eaten by the giant, Polyphemus. Athena knew about the mess going on in his house. So, just before he arrived, she had him disguised as an old, decrepit beggar. He needed a goddess for that? How hard is it finding rags and a phony beard to look like a homeless bum? Anyway, it worked! Inside his palace Penelope was enduring a mob of powerful nobles who believed Odysseus was long dead. They were competing for his kingdom and nagging her to choose a husband among them. Her house was a misery for a long time. I’d figure a pit bulldog would have solved her problem. They hung around, drinkin’ and stuffin’ their guts, taking inventory and listing the valuables.

Odysseus noticed his son, Telemachus. Crooking his finger he took him aside and lifting the phony beard, said, “Guess who?” Telemachus was so heartened when he realized the disgusting creep beside him is actually, ‘papa’. Then, looking out at the motley crew, he murmurs, “Ha ha – ha ha – ha!” Then, the raggedy old bum staggers up to Penelope and with shaky hands and gruff voice, tells her about the demise of her poor, beloved Odysseus, while watching her reactions, closely. They were good! Tears ran down her face hearing about his terrible sufferings, his adventure into the place of the dead, the sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis, who had eaten a few sailors, and other fantastic misadventures that beset poor Odysseus before he succumbed to a horrific death.

I’ll bet he didn’t tell her about the beautiful nymph, Calypso, who saved his life and promised him eternal life and youth forever if he would stay with her and be her lover.  And, he did stay – for a while. Hey! Why not? He was treated like a god! But, after a time, doing nothing but being a lover began to become a bit tedious and boring after the hell of a journey he’d endured. He decided it’s time to go home. That’s what comes when you have no hobbies – it was a time before Scrabble.

During Odysseus’ s absence, pressure had been mounting on Penelope, sitting at a loom for years, telling them she’d make up her mind who to choose when she finished the wall to wall carpet. At night, she’d pull out a few rows to prolong its finishing. That’s when she did some tall thinking. Those lazy, parasitic bums, who don’t even clean up after sacrificing all those animals they bar-b-cued, gotta be taught a lesson. Taking out her husband’s bow, she promised to offer herself as wife to anyone who could bend the mighty bow her husband left behind. Telemachus rubbed his hands in glee, thinking, what an opportunity to place a bet! Each one tried to bend it. No one could! What did they expect? They were so out of shape after boozin’ and gorging like they did for so long.

The nobles watched, giggling, as the old decrepit man stepped forward. Penelope, handed him the bow he requested, nervously thinking, ‘Hey! Suppose he wins! It’s back to the loom, that’s what!’ Raising the bow he aimed high and sent the arrows sailing, ‘up, up and away’!

It didn’t take long for the suitors to get the message and run like hell off the property. But, Penelope wanted more proof. Even without the disguise he didn’t look too good. Hey! Ten harrowing years will do it! She took him into their bedroom and said, “what’s wrong here?” He said, ‘don’t you remember that one of the legs of the bed I built had a tree growing out of it?” That was the final proof! That ragged stranger who landed in Ithaca to seek restitution was, in fact, the island’s rightful king. And, rule he did!



Leading the way among widely respected left-leaning publications, the New York Times and the Atlantic have sounded the alarm – albeit with the volume not at full blast – that Joe Biden is too old to run again in 2024.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

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.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.