The immigration process is not for the faint of heart or people who are impatient, which my grandfather was. His excitement about his new adventure waned over the two years he and my dad had to wait to get the green light to leave Greece.
As the months passed by, my grandfather wondered if the approval would ever come.
One day, he and my dad made a visit to a local fortune teller who lived in their village. The woman with piercing brown eyes looked at my dad and said not only would they be allowed to go to America, but they would become successful, and my dad would meet a woman with black hair and beautiful green eyes. At 13, my dad did not pay too much attention to this prediction, but years later, he would remember this conversation very well.
My dad turned 15 in June of 1955 and a few months later, the approval to immigrate to the United States finally came. It had been a little over two years since my grandpa had filed the paperwork. It was finally time for him to obtain passports and to arrange the travel plans to begin their journey. As my grandmother helped them pack, she battled being excited for them, worried about their upcoming journey, and downright distraught with grief.
In December, my dad, grandpa, and the rest of the family made the 75-mile trip to Athens. They spent the night with my dad’s brother, Chris, who lived in Athens. There was a huge party thrown for them by family and friends to see them off. It wasn’t every day that a couple of Greeks left for the United States. At the time my dad and grandfather came here, there were only about 50 Greek people immigrating to the United States annually. It was December in Greece but plenty warm enough to drink and eat outside by the sea.
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