Monday, April 30, 2018

"April showers . . ."

April showers bring May flowers, or so goes the ancient wisdom , , , Well, May is almost here, and so far, RAIN, RAIN, RAIN!

Friday, April 27, 2018


Marash Girl was raised in a culture in which chickpeas played a very important part . . . roasted salted chickpeas (eaten as one would roasted, salted peanuts ), and (beginning with dried chickpeas), soaked chickpeas that were later cooked into a "soolu" which contained fried onions and stewed tomatoes.  Delicious!  But chickpeas played an important in the aphorisms of the Armenian people as well. One in particular that Marash Girl will always remember:  "Lep deyersin, leplebou anliar."  Marash Girl has written the expression here as she heard it.  Unsure about the spelling . . . but to continue . . . the meaning of the expression is the important thing, since it was always spoken and she has never seen it written.  Meaning:  'When they say "chick", chickpea is understood.'  In other words, do I have to spell it out for you?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Let Your Lawn Go Wild!

Marash Girl let her lawn go wild.  And look what she got?
A yardful of vinca.  She never has to mow the lawn again! And to add to the joy, the neighborhood kids can pick flowers to their hearts content and never have to worry about destroying the garden!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

"If it weren't for the Turks, not one Armenian would be alive today."

Commemorating the survival of Marash Girl's father and his family was painful, and so he would always speak in irony.   Peter loved irony, and when it came to the Armenian Genocide, a Genocide which he survived, he was particularly witty:

 "If it weren't for the Turks, not one Armenian would be alive today," he was wont to say.

What did he mean?  Aside from irony, he was so appreciative of the help given him and his family in escaping the genocide of the Armenian people, a genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish government against their Armenian population between 1915-1920, that Peter always quoted the above, to his dying day at 98 years old.  That was Marash Girl's father!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

On April 24, remembering the family that survived

Front lower left: Peter Bilezikian, standing behind to the left, Gulenia Bilezikian (Sulahian), To right of Gulenia is Yepros Kurtgusian Bilezikian, standing behind Yepros is Paul Bilezikian, to the right in photo back row is Mary Kurtgusian Pambookian.

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Way We Were c. 1961

Back row, r.:  Nevdon Kupelian, George Bedirian, MJ Githens;
front row, r.: Pauline, Bethel, Martha, Raffi Yeghiayan

Photos compliments of Nevdon Kupelian

Sunday, April 22, 2018

One Word Out Of Me . . .

Marash Girl's dad used to love to hear his friends brag about how they could make their children behave . . . he would always counter with a grin and the following:  "My children?  Just one word out of me  . . . and they do as they please!"  Do you believe it?

Saturday, April 21, 2018

First Signs of Spring: Chives for the Tasting!

Growing wild in Marsh Girl's front yard are wild chives . . . and all the neighborhood children love to come by to take one chive sprig and nibble at it until it is finished.  But they know they can come by tomorrow for another taste treat . . . as long as spring . . . or the chives . . . last!

Friday, April 20, 2018


At Claflin Elementary School in Newtonville, insults would fly, but so would the rejoinders!  Though she doesn't remember the insults, Marash Girl still remembers the favorite response to the insults that would hang loose and free at Claflin: "It takes one to know one!"  And that shut the hecklers up!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Another Dreary New England Day!

As Marash Girl's father used to ask on such a day, "What do they do in Boston when it rains?"  After many fruitless efforts by his assembled entourage at coming up with the correct answer, her father would laugh and say, "They let it rain!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


When the roar of the street repair vehicles fills the early morning airwaves, Marash Girl's mind goes back to an old Armenian expression, an expression that she heard throughout her childhood . . . Bashladu!  What does it meant literally?  "It's begun!"  But more figuratively, it means aggravation of the speaker: "Oh, no, that's begun again!"  It could refer to a complaining child, or an unpleasant request, miserable weather, the repeated request of a cranky child, or simply what's happening today:  the unending roar of street repair vehicles! Here it goes again . . . it's begun!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"Good Enough For The Poor People!"

Every time anyone in the house would complain about anything, suggesting that what was happening, or what was a part of daily life, was not good enough, Peter would say, somewhat ironically, "Good enough for the poor people!"  Which he once was!  In fact, growing up in North Brighton in a three story walkup, during the Great Depression, he would see drunks happily hanging on to the lamp posts.  His conclusion?  "When I grow up, I want to be a drunk!"

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Boston Marathon: Snow, Wind, Rain, or Shine!

Looking out the window at the grey skies dripping with rain, tree limbs shivering in the wind, Marash Girl (for the first time in many a year) has decided to stay home and wait for the results of the Boston Marathon to appear across her newly gifted television screen.  Marash Girl, for as long as she can remember, whenever she was at home on that wonderful Monday (as a child or as an adult), would walk up to the corner of Lowell Avenue and Commonwealth to  cheer the runners on their way to Boston.  Now, hovered at her computer, keeping a wary eye on the wind and the rain, she continues to cheer the runners on to victory!  And the wonderful thing about victory at the Boston Marathon is that you are a victor whether you are first to come in or last to come in!  You've made it!  Bravo!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

What is a ring donut?

For years, Marash Girl understood donuts to be a sweet circle of dough with a whole in the center, or as some dieters used to call doughnuts, a big fat zero.  But yesterday, Marash Girl met up with a new concept . . . that of the ring donut  . . . as opposed to a cruller?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A friend from the Past

Marash Girl's best friend from Day Junior High School called her last month.  Or rather, she returned Marash Girl's call.  What memories that call elicited!  Back in the day, Marash Girl's parents could never understand how Marash Girl could have just left school and still,  upon her return home, have enough new information to share with her friend for an hour on the telephone.

Friday, April 13, 2018

ART AND SOUL at the New Rep

A Rock and Roll enthusiasts celebrate at the Reception and Concert at the Mosessian Theatre in Watertown:  Art and Soul

Rock 'n Roll historian, acclaimed author, & prolific storyteller Peter Guralnick (photo below) was honored yesterday evening at the Mosessian Theatre.  "The Art & Soul exhibition features  professional and emerging contemporary art, as well as fan art, that is inspired by, pays tribute to or otherwise celebrates musicians, bands and music culture."

Below, Peter Guralnick signs copies of his new book, SWEET SOUL MUSIC:  RHYTHM AND BLUES AND THE SOUTHERN DREAM OF FREEDOM.


Above photos by Marash Girl

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Friday, April 13

No black cats in sight, but still, ya gotta be careful!  Tomorrow is Friday the 13th!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Roar on Maple Avenue

Methinks Marash Girl has Spring Fever (do you know what that is?) or could it be the construction vehicles on the street in front of her house, vehicles that drive up well before 7 AM and get to work exactly at 7 AM.  The roar that emanates from these vehicles eradicates any sense of rest that the folks on Maple Avenue may have experienced during the night!

When will this all end?  Do we really need new sidewalks on the other side of this little dead-end street?

Ear plugs, please!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

My Daddy Is Not A Liar!

Driving along Route One the other day, Marash Girl remembered a long ago occurrence; in fact, an event that took place when she was 8 years old (not telling how long ago that was!)  Marash Girl was going fishing with her father . . . her father was driving along the old Route One when a policeman on a motorcycle pulled out from behind a large billboard that was installed on the side of the road and pulled my father over.  As they argued about the speed at which Marash Girl's father was driving, the policeman accused her father:  "You're a liar!"  Marash Girl immediately intervened into the discussion:  "My father is NOT a liar!"  At that point, both the policeman and my father burst out laughing, and, as they say, that was the end of that!  They bid each other farewell with the shaking of hands and the policeman's parting words, "Slow down!"

Monday, April 9, 2018

One Day Left from the Old Days

There's an old Armenian expression that refers to a moment in the present that takes you back into the past.  It translates, "One day left from the old days."  That was the phrase that entered her mind when the neighborhood children gathered at Marash Girl's front door with their cymbals and triangles and horns and voices singing songs to the spring day!  Marash Girl ran inside, grabbed her cymbals, and joined them in the celebration welcoming spring to New England.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Marash Girl Meets Limoges China

Marash Girl walked into the living room where her mom was visiting with Auntie Agnes.
"Hi, Auntie Agnes." As Marash Girl picked up a small china box from the fireplace mantel, Marash Girl waved to Auntie Agnes who was sitting on the sofa across from the fireplace.  "What's this ugly thing?" Marash Girl asked her mother in a loud voice.

Marash Girl's mom cautioned Marash Girl.  "Oh, that's a gift . . ." but before Marash Girl's mom could finish her sentence, Marash Girl interrupted, "It's so awful.  Why do you have it here?"

"Auntie Agnes just gave it to us as a gift. She brought it from Paris. It's a piece of Limoges          China . . ." Marash Girl's mom said in a low voice.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Yogurtlu yumurta!

Mommy, Marash Girl can hear you singing its praises now!  When Marash Girl thinks of yogurt yumurta, she hears hear mother's voice, she sees her mother's smiling face!  She checked the internet to see if the recipe was recorded anywhere, but she could not find any hint of such a recipe.  So here it is, dear reader, in memory of Marash Girl's mommy!

Yogurt (in Marash Girl's childhood, it was her mother's homemade yogurt!)

Scrambled eggs (You know how to make scrambled egg, right?)

Crack a bunch of eggs.  Beat up the yolks with the whites.  Heat butter on stove and cook the eggs somewhat loosely scrambled (but not HARD scrambled).

Serve hot with cold yogurt spooned over the hot scrambled eggs, and there you have "Yogurtlu Yumurta", a perfect Saturday night supper!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Driving Down Lowell Avenue

And driving down Lowell Avenue today during the snowstorm reminded Marash Girl of her elementary school days, days when she would walk a good mile or more -- often in the snow -- from her house to Newtonville Square to the old brick Claflin School . . . passing the houses of classmates, friends and relatives . . . and after school, walking down Walnut Street and turning down Bowers Street to her daddy's store, Newtonville Electrical Company, to get a ride home . . . good memories.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Get Rid of the Bad!

Marash Girl has probably written about this advice that her dad's friend gave her many years ago, but she's going to write the advice once again.  Why?  It's advice that works well in many a circumstance.  The advice was given her by Johnnie Vaich, the owner (many years ago) of Vaich Camera Shop in Newtonville, Massachusetts.  When Marash Girl first ventured into photography (again, many years ago), she would take many photos of the same fence . . . (in those days, she loved photographing fences, especially old dilapidated fences, fences falling to the ground . . .)  Vaich's advice?  Don't try to choose the best photo; just get rid of the bad ones!  You'll end up with the best!  

Good advice to use in whatever realm you choose!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Put Up or Shut Up

Whenever kids in Marash Girl's elementary school (Claflin School) would get into a heated argument over something mindless (can't even think of an example), one kid would say to the other, "Put up or shut up!"  meaning, "Put up your dukes or shut up!"  Dukes?  Fists.  The disagreer usually shut up!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Return of the Easter Baskets

This Easter Sunday mystery gets curiouser and curiouser.  When we returned home on Easter Sunday early evening, we went up to work on the third floor, and when we came downstairs for supper, there were the two Easter baskets full to the brim with Easter goodies -- nothing missing -- inside of our house on the front hall table.  Yikes!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Who Would Steal Easter Baskets?

A desperate Easter Bunny must have stopped by Marash Girl's front porch yesterday morning, soon after she had put out a grocery bag full of treat-filled Easter baskets in preparation for her trip to her grandchildren's home for Easter dinner.  "Old Marash Girl went to the porch to gather the baskets of treats; But when she got there, The porch chair was bare, And so the poor grandkids had none."  Not so, however; Marash Girl would never allow her grandchildren to be disappointed on Easter, and so Marash Girl and Marash Boy scurried around to the local shops to gather up whatever Easter goodies and baskets they could find on Easter Sunday morning, and yes, they found baskets, and filled them with those Eater goodies.  But who would take a bag of treat filled Easter baskets from a small dead-end street in Newton Corner on Easter Sunday morning?  Only an April Fool!

P.S.  And speaking of April Fools, it's snowing outside -- the trees and grooves of the houses on the street all covered in white as I write this P.S.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Krisdos haryav y merelotz -- ohrnyal e haroutioun Krisdosi!

Krisdos haryav y merelotz -- ohrnyal e haroutioun Krisdosi!
Christ is risen and conquered death . . . blessed is the resurrection of Christ!

So Armenians greet each other with joy on this holiest of days.

Playing the Armenian Easter Egg game in Southern California on Easter morning!  Photo by Marash Martha

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Getting Ready for Easter!

Now that you have those eggs dyed blood red (yes, blood red symbolizing the blood of Christ as the soldiers stabbed Christ as Christ hung dying on the cross), you must refrigerate the eggs to keep them fresh for Easter.  On Easter, you and your guests will play the age old Armenian Easter egg game which symbolizes Christ's breaking through the tomb and conquering death.  The game will be described in tomorrow's blog, so stay tuned!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Hot Cross Buns for the Neighborhood Kids on Good Friday

At noon (if not all day) on Good Friday, the clouds cover the sun. Yes, almost every Good Friday, the clouds cover the sun at noon.  This Friday, the first day of Passover and Good Friday, reminded Marash Girl that when her kids were growing up, all the neighborhood kids gathered to tell their stories of Easter and Passover, after which they all participated in shaping the dough for hot cross buns, and when the buns came out of the oven, decorating the baked buns with a cross made of white icing.  Yes, and of course, sitting on the front porch eating the buns they had hand decorated, buns still hot from the oven.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Onion Skins for Easter?

What?  Onion Skins for Easter?  Well, not exactly.  But we Armenians couldn't have Easter without onion skins.  It is the onion skins boiled in water that create a deep red dye.  Nope. Not red onion skins.  Brown onion skins!  (Who would have guessed?) Once the water turns red, you can remove the onion skins, and boil fresh eggs in the now crimson water, leaving those eggs to steep in the dye after the eggs have been boiled.  Or, alternatively, you can boil the eggs in the now red water with the onion skins remaining in the water with the eggs. (The egg shells are less likely to crack.)  This will result in boiled eggs which are deep red in color with an abstract design created by the skins with which the eggs were boiled.  Either way, the eggs are now ready for the Armenian Easter Egg game.  More on that tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Have you started gathering your onion skins yet?  You'd better get to the grocery store and beg the fruit and vegetable man to scour the bottom of the onion bin for you!  Why?  Tune in tomorrow to find out!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Playing the Piano for the Marashtsis in Watertown

Recently, Marash Girl attended a meeting of the Union of Marash Armenians, Watertown Chapter.  The entertainment consisted of a young man performing a piano duet with his teacher.  The scene was reminiscent of a day many years ago when Marash Girl herself was introduced, walked onto that same stage, and stood curtseying at the piano (could it have been the same grand piano?).  After the welcoming applause, all was quiet -- all was quiet until she sat on the piano bench, and played the first notes of the piece she had so carefully memorized  . . . that was the signal for the audience . . . the folks in the audience immediately began to chatter.  No matter!  Marash Girl happily played on, aware that were she to make a mistake, no-one would notice!  At her last note, all became silent for one moment, and then a thunder of applause -- applause, she realized , that the audience gladly proffered as they realized they could now go back to chattering without guilt, which was, in reality, the reason they had all gathered that day in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Doll at the Top of the Stairs

Auntie Azadouhi lived on the top floor of a third floor walkup in West Newton.  The stairs were dark and creaky, and after we reached the top of the stairs, and opened the door, there were more stairs to climb, but little Marash Girl and her cousins and siblings finally made it.  Uncle Paul would drive us there every year on Christmas Eve so that the six children could greet the commemoration of Christ's birth with song, Christmas carols sung (sans accompaniment) with zest to our Uncle Arakel and his daughters!  At the top of those stairs lived Uncle Arakel, and his two daughters, Azadouhi and Zarouhi, and his remaining son Ashod.  [Ara had gone drowned with his ship (he was a member of the United States Navy) when his ship was torpedoed during World War Two.]

Whenever we visited, Auntie Azadouhi would take down the beautifully crafted, beautifully dressed little doll from the top shelf of the closet at the top of the stairs and allow us to play with her childhood keepsake.  When we asked to take the doll home with us, she simply stated, "If you take it home with you, it won't be here the next time you visit, and you'll have no doll to play with!"  We accepted her reasoning as sound.  But years passed, and people passed, and Marash Girl still misses that doll that lived at the top of the stairs.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018

Musta Been a Lie!

Marash Girl's elementary school classmates had a smart retort for almost everything.  Today she's remembering (not forgetting) one such incident.  Whenever she wanted to comment to a friend, but forgot what she was about to say, the friend would snap back, "Musta been a lie!"

Thursday, March 22, 2018


It was our wonderful welcome when Karoun arrived and Karoun arrived!  Happy Birthday, Karoun!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Finish all the food on your plate!

Finish all the food on your plate, ordered Marash Girl's father.  "You don't know what it's like to go hungry!" he exclaimed.  In fact, if she, as early back as she can remember, left any food on her plate, she would have to eat it cold at supper, and if she didn't finish it then, she had to eat it cold for breakfast.  She learned quickly to finish all that was on her plate. .  . to the point where her friend asked her, many a year later, why Marash Girl was "cleaning her plate" of every bit of food.  Marash Girl stopped to ponder that for a bit, and then explained.  Her friend pointed out that it was only polite to leave a bit of something on your plate -- to show that you were not a "starving Armenian"!  Or to show, at least, that you were not food deprived.  The opposite in the Armenian culture -- finish it all to show that it was delicious, and that you appreciated the effort that your hostess, your mother, or the cook --  take your pick -- had made on your behalf.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Calm Before The Storm

We're waiting.  We're waiting.  The weather promises snow and the supermarkets are full.  The Boston area has been hit numerous times in the last several weeks with snow storms and the threat of same, and everyone seems surprised . . . snow?  Again?  Really? . . . but, hey, this is New England, and if you've lived here for any amount of time, you should be used to it (it being snow storms) by now!  Nevertheless, just a whisper of a pending snowstorm, and the supermarkets are full, the kids are joyful, (the possibility of no school and the chance to play in the snow), the electric company anxious! Those of us who live here in New England wonder what it must be like to live  in those areas of the USA where school is never called, folks never have to bundle up and stock up with supplies,  because there is not even the whisper of a chance for a snowstorm!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Raffi as Grimsby

 Takoma Park, Maryland:  Takoma Park Middle School's Drama Club Presented 
Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID on March 15, 16, and 17, 2018
Rafayel Charkoudian-Rogers playing Grimsby (second from left)

Friday, March 16, 2018

"Never Again!"

"This is What 'Never Again' Looks Like." Lorig Charkoudian (white hat) in upper left corner of photo.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lorig for Delegate in Maryland!

Finish all the food on your plate ...   So many supporters, so few yard signs!

There are so many people who want to show their support for Lorig's campaign with a yard sign, we're running out!

Come on, folks! Help us get a yard sign to all who want one by contributing to Lorig's Yard Sign Fund! We just need $2,000 to reach our goal of 400 more signs!

Click here to help!

Don't let these kids be the last to have a Lorig Charkoudian yard sign. (Seriously, they can't even vote.) Support the fund today!

Help us get a yard sign to every supporter! Thank you!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Free Writing, Free Thinking!

Have you ever just let your mind wander?  It's amazing what you might come up with . . . a long buried memory, a beautiful poem, a new way to make paklava . . . you never know!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fall without ceasing!

Watching the snow fall without ceasing!  That is to say, watching the snow, winter without ceasing!

 Just saw a Cedar Waxwing on the top branch of the tree outside of the dining room window . . . looking around, confused.  Join the crowd, Mr. Cedar Waxwing!

Or have a seat on our front porch!

Monday, March 12, 2018

"Amah da fasulia!"

And speaking of Armenian exclamations as Marash Girl was in her blog post of  3/10/18, Marash Girl remembers Dr. Hrair Atikian, an Armenian man born in Kessab, Syria, then studying in Boston,  Massachusetts, often exclaiming, "Amah da fasulia!"  and laughing joyously when visiting his soon to be wife in Newton, Massachusetts.  )Which translates, "But the green beans!"

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Happy Birthday, Deron Djan!

May our Deron have the happiest of days today as he celebrates his birthday (won't tell which one)!  Happy Birthday to the anoushigest, sirounigest, aghvorigest son in the whole wide world!  Even his NNHS senior class got the message when they presented him with the Boy's Senior Cup, the highest high school honor that could be bestowed upon a student at NNHS!

Saturday, March 10, 2018


And thinking of "Oho!", how many of you grew up with the expression, "Ahmahn!"  (When you say "Ahmahn", the "Ah" is said on a lower note and the rest of the word ends on an much extended higher note as an exclamation!)  How many years has it been since you've heard anyone say, "Ahmahn!"  Marash Girl can't even count the years.

An expression of annoyed amazement, an expression used by the folks from Marash and Aintab (by the Marashtsis and the Aintepsis), and expression of that Marash Girl wishes she could still hear.


Friday, March 9, 2018

"Oh, ho!"

"Oh, ho!"  How in the world would you translate that?  Marash Girl exclaimed, "Oh, ho!" this morning when things seemed to be going awry (the napkins wouldn't fit in the napkin holder after numerous tries . . .) but this expression has music attached to it and situations in which the expression would fit or would not fit.  Do any of you remember the Armenian old folks saying, "Oh, ho!"?  Do old folks say, "Oh, ho!" in other cultures?  Help Marash Girl out here, folks!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

An introduction to a stranger . . .

Marash Girl, writing to a new acquaintance, introduced herself in the following way:  "I grew up in an extended family — My dad’s mom and dad on the third floor, my uncle and auntie and 3 cousins on the second floor, my mom and dad, sister and brother and me on the first floor.  We had a big back yard to run around in and my dad had a wonderful vegetable garden, my uncle had fruit trees — mostly apples and pears, and my mom cooked delicious Armenian food.  It was a wonderful childhood."

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Step on a crack . . .

Growing up (many years ago), walking to and from Claflin (elementary) school, the kids would chant, "Step on a crack, you'll break your mother's back!"  Stepping on a crack was, therefore, to be avoided at all costs.  But recently, Marash Girl forgot the warning, and a week ago, upon receiving an upsetting (anti-immigrant) email from a sibling, Marash Girl needed to walk off her "marakh" and walk it off she did . . . down the street, across the parking lot, tripping over the crack where the parking lot met the sidewalk.  Yes, she did.  She tripped on the crack, but instead of breaking her mother's back (thank goodness that could not happen), she fell and injured her left knee.  Now that's some excuse, is it not, for not writing blog posts, but sometimes pain can be distracting enough to distract one from what one must do.  And write she must.  So she's back to writing.  More tomorrow! Promise!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Fishy Welcome Sign

Photo by Marash Girl
The lighthouse featured in this "fishy" welcome sign (above) prompted Marash Girl to photograph the east wall of Steamers, 311 Watertown StNonantum (Newton), Massachusetts.  Steamers sells the freshest of fish, fish that can be purchased (fresh) and prepared at home, purchased freshly cooked and carried home to serve, or, even more fun, fish that can be selected onsite, prepared onsite, and served onsite (along with side dishes) at the few tables perched next to the shop's two large windows.  [Owner and fishmonger Domenic Vincenzino starts each day with an early morning trip to Boston's fish pier, acquiring daily only the freshest of fish for his loyal customers.] Whoops!  Did Marash Girl get carried away with the freshness of the fish and use the word "fresh"  just once too often in this paragraph?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

God welcome you into His Kingdom, Rev. Billy Graham

Billy Graham, a household word on Lowell Avenue, has gone to be with his Lord and Savior.  Our prayers are with his family and all of us who benefitted from his wisdom and message of salvation.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The First Day

Unlike the father cited in yesterday's blog, Marash Girl's father always encouraged his children with the following words:

"Today is the first day of the rest of your life!"

No matter what mistakes they had made, no matter what how discouraged they may have felt, those words encouraged his children to continue to strive, to continue to thrive!

How he had learned this lesson, where he had heard these words?  Were the  words a translation from the Armenian?  Were they words his Yankee teachers had taught him in Watertown?  Marash Girl will never know, but what she does know is the truth of the words.  Read them and feel encouraged:

"Today is the first day of the rest of your life!"

Monday, February 19, 2018


THE LAST INHABITANT.  Okay, so the title was depressing enough, but Marash Girl didn't believe her friend when her friend told Marash Girl that the film was going to be a real downer.  Marash Girl loves film, and couldn't accept the suggestion that the film would be over the top (or rather under the bottom) in the realm of depressing.  Well, it was!  And to make things worse, her friend -- the friend who invited Marash Girl to this depressing film -- admitted at the end of the film that her father had always advised her that "each day that you live, you are one day closer to your death."  Granted, Marash Girl's friend's father had survived the Armenian Genocide and that certainly could have colored his views on life and death. . . but still . . . to say that to his young daughter?  Really?

Sunday, February 18, 2018


"Djannum,"  Marash Girl's dad would say as he hugged her.  "Djannum," her grandmother would say as she put both arms around Marash Girl.

What does djannum mean?  The words mean, "My soul!"  What does that mean when one person says "Djannum" to another?  More than words can tell.  How can someone mean more to a person than his/her own soul.  And that's what all her dear departed (the ones who were born in Marash) would call Marash Girl as they hugged and kissed her.

No-one has called Marash Girl "Djannum" for decades . . . decades.  She misses them, she misses their hugs, she misses their words of love, she misses being called "Djannum".

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Remembering Our First Automatic Dishwasher

Remembering Our First Automatic Dishwasher  . . .  and no, I'm not remembering my grandma or my mommy.  I'm remembering the very first time my mother was gifted an automatic electric dishwasher by my father.  And smarty pants Marash Girl said, and I quote, "What do you need an automatic dishwasher for?  It's so much fun to wash dishes!"  Well, needless to say, Marash Girl is "eating her words" every day, and apologizing aloud to her mom who is in heaven . . .Who said dishwashing is fun?  Young Marash Girl? What a fool!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Birthday, Lorig!

My Valentine to the family was the gift of love from the Lord above when Lorig was born!

Monday, February 12, 2018

This Year's Gathering of the Union of Marash Armenians Honors President Nevart Kouyoumjian

Several hundred Marashtsi Armenians gathered yesterday in Belmont, Massachusetts, to honor Mrs. Nevart Kouyoumjian, longtime President of the Union of Marash Armenians, Watertown Chapter.
Nevart: "I wondered why there were so many people here today!"(FYI, it was a miserable, cold, rainy Sunday afternoon, and clearly, Nevart had no idea that she was being honored.)
The featured speaker, Sherriff Peter Koutoujian, began, "I'm the only Hye Sheriff there is!  How can I say, 'No!' to Nevart when she calls me and begins, "Hokis, goukas?"

The gathered further celebrated by singing Yerevan - Erepouni, the first several stanzas of which Marash Girl has taken the liberty of printing below:

Yerevan tarts adz, im Erepouni;
Tou mer nor Tevin,mer no Ani.
Mer pokrig high, you meds yerazank,
Mer tare guard, mer kare nazan.

Yerevan tars adz, im Erepouni,
tarer es antes, pays menatsel es badin.
Ko Massis horror, ko Arax morov.
Medians tarot, Yerevan!

Men aryan gantcher, ounenk mer serum.
Angular drencher, ounenk ter shad
Mer gantchn grants key, i your ge gortchi,
Grants kez, mer dak dentchn el ge sartchi.

Gyankoum amen ser linoume drapear,
Msg men colors enk kennov april.
Dak e sere mer, she karerit bes,
Hin e sere mer, tsk tarerit bes.

Lyrics: Paruyr Sevak; Music: Edgar Hovhannisyan

l. to r.  Sheriff of Middlesex County Peter Koutoujian honors Mrs. Nevart Kouyoumjian

Honored Guest, President Nevart Kouyoumjian
Honored guests congratulate Mrs. Nevart Kouyoumjian (center front). Photo by Marash Gir
Watertown Marashtsis gather to honor President Nevart Kouyoumjian