Melpomene’s gone missing! A 7-foot tin statue of the Greek muse that proudly stood outside the Bucklen Opera House in Elkhart, IN since 1884 has mysteriously disappeared, but the town’s local newspaper, the Elkhart Truth, got to the bottom of it. Over the years, people actually took shots at Melopomene, for target practice, and soon she was riddled with bullet holes. Pigeon droppings, spilled paint, and natural weather wear also caused the statue to decay to the point where people thought it was a hazard that could topple at any time. There was an attempt in 1986 to restore Melpomene, but some of the workers were careless in bringing down the statue, and broke it.
Attorney Richard Noser temporarily took custody of the piece, and the public’s intent was to restore the statue and place it in a park. It was soon thereafter determined, though, that the statue was too fragile – made of tin, not of cement – to endure a permanent outdoor climate. But Melpomene has found a good home. She sits in the Time Was Museum, safely tucked indoors, and even has a view of the opera house on which she stood for decades.
Greeks in the heart of Dixie…So reports Jim Meyers in the Tennessean, fessing that once he married into a Greek family, he enjoyed lamb like never before. While he still likes eating it the way he first learned to as well – with a slather of mint jelly on it – “I would need to cover my face with a napkin to hide my shame from their stern Hellenic gaze.”
Myers also describes his devotion to horta – greens, and how Bill Darsinos, owner of the nearby Southside Grill, has always had them on the menu. Though the array of entrees do not immediately make you think Greek, a careful glance reveals how Mediterranean cooking is infused throughout. The lamb chops, for instance, are topped with olive oil-lemon- sauce, with a side of fries tossed with feta & oregano. “Plants like dandelion, purslane, amaranth, mustard, nettles and fennel grow wild in the Mediterranean, and many can be found here as well,” Myers told the Tennessean. “This time of year, most of these broadleafs aren’t up yet, especially while cold-hearty edible chickweed runs rampant. In the summer, I plan to go on a pick-and-ride with Darsinos to see and identify the plants he enjoys but can’t name in English.”
If you thought it was a little too chilly standing outside in all those Greek parades last month, tell it to the Greeks of Alaska. The annual Greek Gala is set to take place in Anchorage on May 2, to benefit the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church there, which is the Northernmost Greek Orthodox church in the nation. The event will feature entertainment by the dance group “Stars of the North,” which consists of 30 children who have won multiple awards in national competitions over the years.
Church Services at Transfiguration are primarily in English with some Greek. During the Divine Liturgy, the Lord’s Prayer is recited in Greek, Arabic, Armenian, Romanian, Ukrainian, French, English and sometimes other languages. The parish has an active Philoptochos, Sunday School, Greek School, and other youth dance groups besides the Stars. The parish also operates the popular Alaska Greek Festival each August.
APRIL 9, 2015