Sunday, March 1, 2015

William Tapply, in DEAD WINTER, provides a smile for a Sunday morning

Whiling away the winter doldrums, Marash Girl has been whipping through (at the rate of about one book a day) the William G. Tapply's murder mysteries -- novels set in the Boston area and sometimes Maine, featuring Brady Coyne a lawyer and recreational fisherman. In DEAD WINTER (an appropriate title for the past month of February), Brady Coyne's client, a pastor who lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, proposes the following riddle:

Question:  "Know how to make Holy Water?"

Answer:  "By boiling the hell out of it!"

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A thank you to the family for past kindnesses

Sevan Sisserian wrote on Facebook:
"Hello, I am not from the Bilezikjian family . But very grateful for their kindness. 
When my grandmother, her sister and my great grandmother escaped from Marash [during the genocide] they stayed with the Bilezikjian family in Aleppo until they were able to be on their own."  May God bless all of those who helped their "brothers and sisters" in time of need.

Friday, February 27, 2015

160,000 Page Views

Today Marash Girl celebrates the 160,000th page view!  A big thank you to my faithful readers!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Turkish Man from Aintab Dreams of Return of Armenians

Facebook post by

  • Robin Thomson Thats my dream.Thats in my heart.I have been grown in armenian quarter in Aintab.Whenever I see armenian homes I dream on that I wish they could come back here again and we could be neighbours forever.

    Would that all of his countrymen felt the same way!

    N.B. Marash Girl's maternal grandparents hail from Aintab (now known as Gaziaintab), a city in southeast Turkey and "among the oldest continiuosly inhabited cities in the world" . . . Yester Bosnian and Garabed Vartanian but were fortunate enough to see the "handwriting on the wall" and left Aintab very early in the 20th century, before the mass slaughter (1908) and before the genocide (1915-1922). They settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kahraman Marash posts 1919 Map of Marash on Facebook

Osman Koker, editor of 100 yil önce Türkiye'de Ermeniler Orlando Carlo Calumeno Koleksiyonu'ndan kartpostallarla,  comments, "The original version of this map is Armenian.  It was drawn by an Armenian Marashtsi physician Harootion Der Ghazarian in Aleppo after 1920.  Krikor H. Kaloosdian used this version of the map in his book (Marash gam Kermanig yev Heros Zeytoon, published in Newyork in 1934) for the first time.  And Stanley E. Kerr redrew and translated the map into English and published it in his book (The Lions of Marash) in

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Banners Celebrating Genocide Displayed in Turkey

Armenian Weekly, Feb. 23, 2015

Banners Celebrating Genocide Displayed in Turkey

Anti-Armenian Protests Held in Istanbul

Anti-Armenian banners celebrating the Armenian Genocide have been displayed in cities around Turkey. Meanwhile, on Feb. 22, two protests were held under the banner of “Demonstrations Condemning the Khojali Genocide and Armenian Terror,” in the Kadikoy and Beyoglu districts in Istanbul. Some protesters chanted anti-Armenian slogans, while others invoked the name of Ogun Samast, the ultra-nationalist youth who gunned down Agos Editor Hrant Dink in 2007.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Charles Pambookian, Iwo Jima, and The Boston Symphony

2/23/45 Raising Flag Iwo Jima - Photo credit: Joe Rosenthal, Assoc. Press
This month is the anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February - 26 March 1945), one of the bloodiest battles in World War II.  Marash Girl's knowledge of this battle is dim, but the aftermath of the battle in the person of her uncle, Charlie Pambookian, was real.  Uncle Charlie, a tall, handsome man, was always humble, always quiet.  He walked with a slight limp.  When Marash Girl asked, he said the limp was caused by shrapnel in his leg, shrapnel incurred during the Battle of Iwo Jima, World War Two.  He enlisted as a member of the United States Marines during World War II.  He and his company were the first to land on the island of Iwo Jima, and as he was immediately wounded, he was taken off the island.  Most of the rest of his company never survived. Uncle Charlie told Marash Girl that for years after that, he would sit in the back row of Symphony Hall whenever they had their rehearsals.  Just sit there and listen to the music.  It was the only way he had to deal with what today we know as PTSD and survivor's guilt.  He was born in Newton, Massachusetts, son of Marash Girl's grandmother's sister, Mary Kurtgusian Pambookian and her husband Jack (Hagop) Pambookian, both survivors of the Armenian Genocide from Marash.  Uncle Charlie grew up in Newtonville, Massachusetts, living most of his life on Albemarle Road, and attended Newton Public Schools. Charles Pambookian passed away at his summer home in   S.Harpswell, Maine, in 1987 at the age of 62. Uncle Charlie, we admire you! We love you! We miss you!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Don't watch the news!

The secret to being happy?

Don't read the newspapers! Don't watch the news!

Many years ago, Grandpa Peter was having a problem getting to sleep at night.

His doctor told him, "If you're having trouble getting to sleep, don't watch the 11 o' clock news!"

Grandpa Peter stopped watching the 11 o'clock news. It worked like a charm!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

New Englander heads for Iceland to get warm!

The cold and the wind continue, so harsh at 9 degrees fahrenheit, that even unfriendly passersby can't help but comment on it.  Marash Girl addressed one such person as she shivered her way from the parking lot to the post office:  "Cold enough for ya?" she grinned.  His reply: "My friend just flew to Iceland to get warm.  It's warmer up there!"

Friday, February 20, 2015

Old Fashioned Tap Bell Tempts Visitors Young and Old . . .

"Please Ring Bell For Service" - Notice Tap Bell on left side of photo.

Newton Centre Post Office . . . "This old fashioned tap bell is so much fun to ring, even when you're at your station! I'll bet a little kid would be tempted just to take it home with him," spouted a customer to the postal clerk behind the counter.  "But his mother would return it that same day!" answered the postal clerk.  "She wouldn't be able to stand her son's constant ringing of the bell!"

Marash Girl hasn't seen one of these tap bells since she was in elementary school!  In fact, she didn't even know she knew the name for it, but when she typed "tap bell"  into an internet search (because you have to tap it to make it ring), up it came! The tap bells are available from any number of restaurant and office supply stores.  She's wondering as she writes . . . "Now let's see . . . who can I gift that little bell to . . ."  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Starbucks Ad Raises More Than Balloons

If readers spot more of these posters, please alert Starbucks customer service at 800.782.7282.
A Starbucks poster raised more than balloons when it pictured women wearing Armenian taraz,  one  woman carrying a takeout cup of Starbucks coffee, all of the women looking happily up into a sky full of balloons which sported the Turkish star and crescent.  The ad which raised the ire of the Armenian community,  has since, Marash Girl is told, been removed, but Marash Girl is dismayed to observe  that after 100 years, the public, in the person of a Starbucks public relation firm, does not know the truth about the Armenian Genocide! Can you imagine such a photo of Jewish folks looking happily up at balloons covered with German swastikas?
The faux pas reminded Marash Girl of the day she introduced herself, giving her full name ending in "ian".  "What kind of a name is that?"  asked the new acquaintance.  "Armenian," Marash Girl  replied, grinning.   "Oh, I know!" said the new acquaintance proudly.  "You're Turkish!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How many millionaires in Newton, Massachusetts?

So Marash Girl was standing in a long line at the post office, joshing with the old guy standing behind her.  Did you hear what the Newton Patch reported?  Newton Has 1,136 Millionaires.  Can you believe it?  Oh, he said, Newton has more than that.  Every house in Newton is worth at least a million dollars... so how many millionaires is that?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

HALEP VALİSİNİN MARAŞ ZİYARETİ - The Aleppo Vali's visit to Marash, circa early 20th century

Never seen picture of Marash Boy's relative Hagop Agha Khirlakian (relative to Kalpakians -- a medical family of doctors, dentists and pharmacists, on Nishan Charkoudian's maternal side). Osman Koker
believes that the Mutassarif who was so supportive to the Armenians  until the one day he disappeared was not the Mutassarif in this photo, but rather was Ismail Kemal Bey who was Mutassarif from 1915 to 1917 in Marash.

HALEP VALİSİNİN MARAŞ ZİYARETİ The Aleppo Vali's visit to Marash, probably early 20th Century.
Photo Credit: Kahraman Marash

Monday, February 16, 2015

More photos of Sunday's blizzard

Corner of Maple Circle and Maple Avenue.  Where's the Corner?

In background: steeple of church designed by H. H. Richardson. 

Newton woman rescues cat from certain drowning

Yesterday morning, on a day when snow piles were higher than most 6th graders are tall, a Newton woman, still barefoot in her robe, unwittingly let her cat out for its daily routine.  As the cat disappeared under the snow drifts, the woman leaped into the 0 degree fray, unshod, into 4 foot high drifts, and saved her beautiful black cat from what would have been certain death.

Captured on camera by Marash Girl.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Little Quail Sends Coals to Newcastle

Marash Girl received this photo yesterday from Little Quail and the little quails on Little Quail's birthday . . . celebrating in Western Maryland what we in Massachusetts would call no snow at all!
But then, again, they couldn't very well cross country ski in this:
Photo taken facing southwest on Maple Avenue at 7:30 A.M. in the midst of a blizzard!
Photo credit:  God

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Birthday, Little Quail!

Happy Birthday, Little Quail!  We love you on Valentine's Day and every day!  Have fun cross-country skiing!  Just think!  If you were here in Massachusetts, all you'd have to do would be to walk outside, strap on your skis, and go!

Note: Public Domain Photo

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Icing on the Cake

Friend:  Why do you think your father almost made it to 100?

Marash Girl:  He never ate the icing on the cake!

Friend:  Huh?  He never ate the ICE on the cake?  What?

Marash Girl:  No! Get your mind out of the snow drifts . . . .
He never ate the ICING on the cake!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Don't forget the brandy!

As Marash Boy headed out on foot into the snow covered wilderness 8 miles west of Boston, he called back, "If you have to send the St. Bernard dogs out after me, don't forget the brandy!"

He forgot to add, "And make that Armenian brandy!"

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Diggin' out before the next snow storm hits . . .

"Diggin' out before the next snow storm hits . . .  "               Photo by Marash Girl

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

And more to come . . .

12 noon, Freb. 10, 2015 - "And More to Come!"

Front loader and dump truck at Maple Circle and Maple Avenue, Newton Corner - A moment to be thankful for!                                               Photo by Marash Girl

Monday, February 9, 2015

Another snowy day, eh? Well, not in Florida!

Photo credit: Posted on Facebook by Adam Putnam - 7 Feb 2015
"Get your Valentine a flat of Fla berries!"

Post submitted by  Sistah Sarah, in Georgia . . . "where we won't have strawberries till March."

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Graffiti along the Massachusetts Turnpike

Down to a crawl, commuting into Boston on the Massachusetts Turnpike this week, passenger Karoun managed to snap this photo.  What in the world is the "artist" trying to say, and how in the world did the "artist" manage to paint it without being arrested? The graffiti has been there for months, untouched.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Snow, snow, and more snow!

Marash Girl has snow fatigue; so rather than writing more about snow and more snow forecast for the next three days, let her take a break.

Walking through the halls of Brigham and Women’s Hospita recentlyl, heading for a routine exam, Marash Girl and Marash Boy walked  passed the fertility clinic.

 “Lucky we never had to go to a fertility clinic,” commented Marash Girl

Well, if ever we had had such problems, we could have gotten a moska for you to wear!

(See Marash Girl blog, January 13, 2014:

Friday, February 6, 2015

Happy Birthday, Massachusetts!

Today, February 6, 2015, marks the 227th birthday of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! On February 6, 1788, Massachusetts became the sixth "state" to join the Union.  

How will you celebrate?  

Perhaps a dinner at the Union Oyster House, Boston's oldest restaurant still in operation . . . 

How about a cup of coffee and a Boston Creme Donut at Dunkin' Donuts, an American global doughnut company and coffeehouse chain based in Canton, Massachusetts and founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts?

Or a lobster roll, or better yet a bowl of New England Clam Chowder, or a freshly prepared piece of codfish or scrod, as some in Massachusetts prefer to call the Massachusetts' state fish.

Toast Massachusetts with a glass of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice, Polar Gingerale (one of the few brands of gingerale made without preservatives!) or Sam Adams Beer,  while you and the kids crunch on Cape Cod Potato Chips.  And for dessert there are always Fig Newtons (created in Newton, Massachusetts) and Toll House chocolate chip cookies (originally created and served by Kenneth and Ruth Wakefield in the 1930's at their Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.

And after all of that (or perhaps before), play a game of basketball, a game originating in Springfield, Massachusetts (Basketball originated in 1891 when a future Presbyterian minister named James Naismith (1861-1939) was assigned to teach a physical education class at a Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) training school in Springfield, Massachusetts. . . [From the internet]

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Massachusetts Congratulates Victorious New England Patriots

The Boston Patriots greet their fans as they parade down Boston's major streets!
Confetti flew through the cold winter air over Boston's streets yesterday welcoming home  the 
victorious Boston Patriots!

Snow banks provide a resting place for the confetti that rained down on Boston's streets yesterday, welcoming home the victorious Boston Patriots.

Photos by Karoun Charkoudian who comments as follows:

First photo: Team going by in the duck tour vehicles. Teammates connecting with audience, and as excited as they were.  Cheerleading squad.  Photos 2 & 3:  Red white and blue confetti covered all of the snowbanks. General mood:  Everyone was so happy. Loud sound system and dancing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Massachusetts Residents Suffer From Cabin Fever

Snow expected tonight, and again on Monday.  Being snowed in can wear on the nerves!  As cabin fever sets in, and folks become more and more frazzled, Marash Girl is reminded of one of her mother's favorite sayings:

Let's live in peace, not in pieces!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Blooms brave the Massachusetts snow!

Here in Massachusetts, the news is snow and more snow.  Folks have not been able to drive down Maple Avenue for 24 hours!  Nonetheless,t the flowers are  blooming in the east window of our kitchen!

Monday, February 2, 2015

MEMORIES OF MARASH: Roger Hagopian airs latest version of his documentary at ALMA, Watertown, Massachusetts; New England Patriots Win Super Bowl

New England Patriots Win Super Bowl

In perhaps the most dramatic Super Bowl ending ever, the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24, in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday. . . Wall Street Journal

Massachusetts native Roger Hagopian airs latest version of MEMORIES OF MARASH at ALMA (Armenian Museum of America, Watertown, Massachusetts.)  In perhaps the most dramatic version ever made so far of  "Memories of Marash",  filmmaker Roger Hagopian defeated the denialists on Super Bowl Sunday with his latest version of the tragic story of how the Marash Armenians, those who survived the genocide, were forced out of their ancestral homeland.  To see an earlier version of this film, go to Youtube and type in Memories of Marash: The Legacy of a Lost Armenian Community (2002).
The latest version of MEMORIES OF MARASH is for sale on DVD; just email Roger Hagopian to order:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Gurnet Island, Plymouth, Massachusetts

January, 2015:  This lone seagull guards Gurnet Island, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Photo by Marash Girl

Saturday, January 31, 2015

True Love: Swinging through a New England Winter

    Photo Op suggested by Karoun                                                                   Photo by Marash Girl

Friday, January 30, 2015

Love in the Time of Marash . . .

The presentation, Grandmothers & Grandchildren, presented by Fethiye Cetin (human rights activist and attorney in Turkey) and Ayse Gul Altinay (Professor of Anthropology at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey) on Wednesday evening at the Watertown Public Library, (Watertown, Massachusetts) brought to mind a conversation Marash Girl had with her father many years ago.  The conversation went like this:

Didn't they ever fall in love -- the Turkish men with Armenian women, the Armenian men with Turkish women?  asked teenaged Marash Girl of her father who had been born in Marash.

Yes, they did, but that was quickly put to an end, replied her father.

How? asked innocent Marash Girl.

They were murdered in their beds the very first night they were together.

By whom? insisted Marash Girl.

By either side, depending on which way it went.  The couple never survived to tell the tale, her father told her.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


FULL SPEECH: Amal Clooney on legal team in EHCR Armenian genocide case

Published on Jan 28, 2015
"Amal Clooney accuses Turkey of hypocrisy on freedom of speech in Armenian genocide trial.

Amal Clooney, the human rights barrister, has accused Turkey of double standards on freedom of expression for defending a Turkish Leftist who described the Armenian genocide an "international lie".

Mrs Clooney, who is representing Armenia on behalf of Doughty Street Chambers along with Geoffrey Robertson QC, said Turkey's stance was hypocritical "because of its disgraceful record on freedom of expression”, including prosecutions of Turkish-Armenians who campaign for the1915 massacres to be called a genocide.

She took on the case against Doğu Perinçek, chairman of the Turkish Workers' Party and an MP, who was found guilty of genocide denial and racial discrimination in Switzerland in 2007, but had his conviction overturned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after being defended by Turkey's government."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

We've had it up to here!

We've had it up to here!  Both hearing about the snow, and the snow itself (which is three feet deep in some places!)

Listening to the newscasters days before yesterday's snow storm, during the storm, and after the storm ad nauseam -- even on National Public Radio --  brought to mind one of Grandpa Peter's favorite sayings from Marash:

Kizdirip, kizdirip, yediriyorlar.  They reheat it and reheat it and force it down our throats!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

And speaking of snow . . . .

"The smaller the snowflake, the greater the snowfall!"  
                                                                Azniv Sanjian Charkoudian

Translation from the Armenian into English by Marash Boy

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bear Cub in the Evergreens

Look out the dining room window, called Marash Boy yesterday morning!  There's a bear cub in the evergreen tree!  Marash Girl took a peek, and sure enough, there in the evergreen tree outside of her dining room window Marash Girl saw the profile of a little snow bear cub just waiting to have its picture taken! Do you see its profile?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Giving Thanks

Overheard at the gym:

 I always tell my children,

"Be thankful for what you have . . . and for what you don't have!"

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lentil Pilaf and Chicken Soup

Marash Boy was laughing uncontrollably yesterday evening when Marash Girl served soup for supper.  Ahsin was visiting.  "This soup is delicious!" Ahsin complimented.  Her mother, Marash Girl, told her the secret:  "Whenever you have leftover lentil pilaf, just throw it into your  leftover home made chicken soup.  Makes for a whole new taste treat!"

Marash Boy couldn't stop laughing.  "Jivan Tabibian should be here now . . . Who has leftover lentil pilaf to add to their leftover homemade chicken soup?"  he asked between chortles.

N.B. If you make a lot, you'll always have leftovers! You can find Marash Girl's recipe for Lentil Pilaf on Marash Girl's blog of Sunday, July 24, 2011, or simply cut and paste the address below into your browser:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sniper on a Minaret

Yesterday's broadcast (WBUR's Here & Now) by Robin Young -- A Sniper's Look at Snipers -- was a fresh reminder of an experience that Genocide survivor Peter Bilezikian had as a young boy.

Peter was always courageous though hungry.  It was during the Armenian Genocide -- circa 1918 -- when 6 year old Peter, running through the streets of Marash, saw an Armenian woman baking bread.  He was so hungry that, although he had been taught not to beg, he asked the woman for a bit of her bread. Her answer:  If I give you bread, I'll have nothing to feed my children.  At that moment, a bullet whizzed through Peter's cowlick, nicking his forehead (the scar there 'til the day he died) and hit the woman baking the bread between the eyes.  She fell to the ground, instantly dead.  A Turkish sniper from the top of a minaret had done his duty.

Peter, young as he was, hungry as he was, grabbed all the bread, ran under a staircase, and, as he tells it, ate every bit of the bread.  He said he was not hungry for days after.  And he never, in all his life, refused anyone who asked him for anything.  He had learned his lesson.

And so, Robin Young, tell this sniper story, if you can, as this year, 2015, is the 100th year anniversary of the Genocide of the Armenians by the Turks (1915-1922).  Yes.  Genocide of innocent Armenian women, men, children, babies.  Genocide by any other name is Genocide, is it not?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Onions and Garlic: More on Cooking from Marash

Marash Girl's mother-in-law (née Azniv Sanjian), while teaching Marash Girl in the ways of Marashtsi cooking, underscored the fact that she never used onions in a dish that contained garlic, nor did she use garlic in a meal that contained onions.  That struck Marash Girl as unusual, as Marash Girl had always combined the two when cooking tava, or soups, or fasulia . . .  (Perhaps that was the Aintepsi way of cooking?  Or Marash Girl's practice only?) What is your tradition?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Remembering Peter Koutoujian, Sr.

left to right:  Peter Koutoujian, Senior; Rev. Barkev Orchanian; Peter Bilezikian.
 at the commemoration of the Historic Defense of Marash held in Belmont, Massachusetts, in January of 2007.
Photo by Marash Girl
Marash Girl and Marash Boy send their condolences to the family and friends of Peter Koutoujian, Senior, who passed away in Waltham, Massachusetts, on January 16, 2015. He always had a smile and a kind word for all.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

John Bilezikjian -- We loved you and miss you!

Kissing Cousins.  April, 2011, Southern California:  cousins Berta Bilezikjian (left) and 
Bethel Bilezikian Charkoudian (right) express their love for their cousin, famous oud player John Bilezikjian (center).  All three are  children of Armenians who survived the genocide and came to this country early in the  20th Century from Marash, Ottoman Empire.
Photo Credit: Helen (Mrs. John) Bilezikjian

John Bilezikjian, a musician famous for his compositions, performances and recordings of Middle Eastern oud music -- a master oud player -- passed away yesterday morning,  January 19, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.  May God rest his soul.  Condolences and love.
John -- you are sorely missed.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tarkhana á la Rose Baboian

Rose Baboian, a friend of Marash Girl's mom, and a wonderful cook who was born in Aintep, suggests a recipe for sweet Tarkhana, a recipe that Marash Girl has never tried, and a food that Marash Boy's mother Azniv never made.  Perhaps it is unique to the Ainteptsis. Be that as it may, the recipe can be found in Rose Baboian's Armenian-American Cook Book, a cook book that is available for sale from Marash Girl's favorite bookstore, online at this link:

There are 35,000 books available at that site, most out-of-print, many on Armenian topics.  Check it out!

For more posts on tarkhana, scroll down to earlier postings.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tarkhana and the Armenians

Thanks to those of you who posted the photos (scroll down to yesterday's blog post) on Facebook . . . the photos Marash Girl reposted here yesterday. Mother-in-law, Azniv Sanjian Charkoudian, born in Marash, a survivor of the forced mass exodus to the desert, (known as the "death march" among us Armenians), used to make        թարխանա (tarkhana) in her new American home in Springfield, Massachusetts.  She would mix equal parts of boulghour (the large size used for making pilaf) with salt and her own homemade yogurt, simmering the mixture on the stove top, stirring the mixture constantly so it would not burn,  until it made a very thick paste; she  let the mixture set in the pot overnight. The next day, from the thickened mixture, she formed patties (about the size of a burger) which she would dry and later either make into soup, or soften with water and eat that way. Because the weather in Massachusetts was usually cold and rainy during the year, she had to dry the tarkhana patties in a tray placed on her radiator rather than on her rooftop as she used to do in Marash.
Notice the flat rooftops of Marash - photo from KAHRAMANMARAŞ, ( Bir Zamanlar Maraş ) Facebook page!
N.B. The patties were often taken on long trips for sustenance, as the patties were dry and could be softened with water and eaten just that way, or made into soup with water and fresh greens.  The Armenians probably used ermerouk (purslane) as it was the one green that was high in nutrition and grew readily along the roadside, even along the route that they had to travel during those terrible days of deportation and death a century ago.  Sorry.  Although she likes to stay positive, Marash Girl had to say it.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Armenians making Tarkhana - Photos from Facebook

Comment on photos from Facebook's KAHRAMANMARAŞ:  "My guess is the lower photo was taken before the war and the upper photo is a photo of food  production in the Armenian orphanage taken during the war or after the war." . . . for war, we might want to substitute the words Armenian Genocide.
Tarhana yapan Ermeniler

Friday, January 16, 2015


Write to your congressman to condemn the flogging of free speech in Saudi Arabia, the flogging of Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian jailed and flogged for blogging critiques of the Saudi government!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Peter and Jennie!

But for you two, our branch of the family tree would have ceased!  Thinking about you on the date of your wedding anniversary, Marash Girl remembers the story of the day before your wedding in 1940.  As Marash Girl has related earlier in this blog, Peter and Jennie were from diverse backgrounds -- Peter a Marashtsi, and Jennie an Ainteptsi . . . AND their families were from two different religious backgrounds -- both Protestant, but there the similarity ends.  Peter's family attended (and actually began) the United Armenian Brethren Evangelical Church on Arlington Street in Watertown, Massachusetts, and Jennie's family attended the more "liberal" Armenian Memorial Church on Bigelow Avenue in Watertown.  Thus, when Jennie purchased her wedding dress (some day soon Marash Girl will find the picture and post it here), Jennie thought nothing of purchasing a dress with short sleeves.  (Not sure why, as the wedding was in the middle of the winter, but perhaps the winter in 1940 was warmer than this winter! And then, again, in those days, the heat was cranked up so EVERYONE wore short sleeves inside in the winter.)  When Peter's older sister learned of this "lapse" in etiquette (on the day before the wedding), she stated that she would not attend Peter and Jennie's wedding unless Jennie's arms were covered.  And that, on the day before the wedding!  There was a big rush, then, to find some way of covering Jennie's beautiful arms -- far too beautiful, apparently, to be exposed to the eyes of the folks attending the wedding.  Salvation came with the purchase of long gloves, (luckily they sold them in those days), gloves that reached to the beginning of the short sleeves on Jennie's wedding dress.  And, yes, Peter's older sister attended the wedding. Phew!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Standing In Line . . .

Last night,  Marash Girl was one of many Armenians who gathered to hear Taner Akçam, (Professor of Armenian Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts)  give a talk at the Armenian Church on Brattle Street in Cambridge, the talk entitled, "Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Armenian Genocide Survivors and the Aleppo Rescue House of the League of Nations" (summary to follow, hopefully tomorrow).  Preceding the talk was a, what else? chicken and pilaf dinner, a dinner for which we were to stand in line to get our meal.  Marash Girl's friends all rushed up to the line, but she stayed seated.  "Why are you sitting," they asked;"Come on up with us before the food runs out." She sat.  "I'll wait; if there's no food left, there's no food left."  "Why?" they asked.  "I'll try to explain it tomorrow in my blog post," she answered.

At last, when there were only two folks left standing in line, Marash Girl got up and, yes, walked over to the food table, actually standing in line herself for several minutes behind a fellow she had never met.  Typical of her style, she started a conversation with this fellow, or at least with the back of the head of this fellow who was standing in line in front of her.  

"I hate to stand in line for food," she told the back of his head.  "Especially with other Armenians; it reminds me of the days in Marash that my father spoke of, when there was no food except for the food that the missionaries were offering the hungry Armenians, the food that Armenian folks had to stand in long lines for, waiting and hoping that they made it up to the table before the food was done." 

"That's exactly why I came up now, to stand at the end of the line when it was no longer a line; I've heard those stories too, growing up! I'm Armenian from Iran," he said.

Marash Girl continued.  "My father would never stand in line for food. When he was a little boy in Marash,  his mother told him that she would rather have him go hungry than beg for food.  That's what standing in line, waiting (and hoping) for food meant to him.  Begging.  And I guess that goes for me, too."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Don't Let Your Family Tree Die!

Wondering who your great grandparents were and where they came from?  There may be an answer to your question at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts.  

The New England Historic Genealogical Society on Newbury Street in Boston has offered to be the repository for Armenian genealogical history — to accept materials (family trees, letters, oral histories) from the Armenian community relating to family history and genealogy, materials relating to Armenian families living in New England. 

Founded in 1845, the NEHGS is the country's founding genealogical organization and a leading national resource for family history research.  NEHGS has acted as a repository for family history material for years and is willing to accept materials from the Armenian community relating to family history and genealogy.  The NEHGS website includes several searchable databases of Armenian births, marriages, and deaths in Massachusetts between 1880 and 1915.  These extremely useful databases were compiled by William A. Brown, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and to Thailand, and are available for free on the NEHGS website, .

The Armenian community of New England is an early immigrant community in North America. The first Armenians to settle in New England came in the early 1800s to pursue religious education in American universities. These Armenians had been converted to Protestantism by the American missionaries (from Boston) operating in historic Armenia. The next wave of immigration occurred after the 1895 massacres of Armenians in Turkey, and those who survived the Armenian Genocide (1915-23) arrived on these shores in the 1920’s.  Armenians were attracted to New England because of the employment opportunities provided them by the textile factories of Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Hood Rubber Factory in Watertown, Massachusetts. Since the establishment of those first communities, Armenians have taken pride in contributing to their local communities and over the years have become an integral part of the multi-cultural fabric of American society. 

If you are one of the hundreds of individuals who has compiled a family history, please consider donating it to NEHGS. NEHGS is a  premier research center which offers access to unique content, publications, research materials, expert staff, and vast collections of rare artifacts & primary documents.  Online materials include a vast collection of resources — databases, articles, tutorials, charts,  and other research materials. NEHGS is hoping that New England Armenian-American genealogical materials will soon be added to its impressive collections of New England Irish-American materials, New England African-American materials, and New England Jewish American materials.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society is the place where your descendants  — your great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren — will be able to go to learn about their family history.   That is, if you deposit family history at the NEHGS for those descendants to discover in the future.  

Donations of family history documents are the basis of NEHGS’s amazing collection of over 28 million items—the largest collection of original family history research materials in the nation. NEHGS encourages donations of materials from members and non-members alike.

Want to ensure your family’s documents are preserved for future generations? Call or email  NEHGS archivist Judy Lucey at or 617-226-1223.  She will advise you on what NEHGS can accept and how you can go about submitting your materials.  You can find more information about donating materials on under “Library and Special Collections” or “Support.”

The donation of your family history is a gift to your ancestors, a gift to your descendants — a gift commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Another recipe for popovers -- this one from the 1940's!

Deciding to peruse her battered copy of Betty Crocker's Cookbook, 1st printing, 1969, for an earlier popover recipe (earlier than the recipes that are appearing now online and that appeared several years ago in Marash Girl's blog), Marash Girl found the following recipe on page 50 and decided to try it.

POPOVERS: A bread spectacular that pops up while baking forming crusty hollow shells.  Break and spread with butter or fill with creamed seafood or meat.

4 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups Gold Medal Flour
1 tsp salt

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.  Grease 12 deep custard cups (5 ounces) or 16 medium muffin cups.  With hand beater, beat eggs slight, add milk, flour (Msarash Girl used King Arthur Unbleached White Lour) and salt (Marash Girl used kosher salt).  (Marash Girl added a pat of butter, melted) and beat just until smooth.  Do not overheat.  (Marash Girl would say gently stir until almost smooth BY HAND). 

Fill custard cups 1/2 full, muffin cups 3/4 full, (or, adds Marash Girl, popover pans 3/4 full).  Bake 25 minutes. (At this point, in Marash Girl's oven, the popovers were done and she turned the oven off, leaving the oven door open and the popovers in the oven to dry slowly a bit more.)  Betty Crocker says to lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until deep golden born.  As stated two sentences ago, Marash Girl did not follow this last step.  Betty crocker says to immediately remove from pan and serve hot.  Makes 12 to 16 popovers.

Marash Girl was delighted with the results and recommends that you try the recipe yourself; quick and easy and very impressive to those who have never made popovers or who have never eaten hot popovers fresh from the oven.

In the old days, Boston's Pier Four would serve hot popovers  to every guest they seated before the guests even ordered -- hot popovers fresh from their ovens -- but that was in the old days . . .

Sunday, January 11, 2015

There's a hole in the bucket!

One of our favorite songs ("our" being Marash Girl's two grandchildren -- scroll down to previous post to see their photos -- and Marash Girl) is the old folk song which begins, "There's a hole in the bucket . . ."  (see lyrics below), a song that Marash Girl et al sing whenever they're going on long trips or long walks, a song which ends with the three of us in gales of laughter.

Was Marash Girl ever surprised when, wandering through the Fine Arts Museum in Springfield (Massachusetts), she saw the painting below with no identification of artist or title.  

Whether the painting was painted after the song, or the song was written after the painting, she'll never know, but of one thing she's certain: 
there's a hole in the bucket!

There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

        Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        Oh fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.

With what shall I mend it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I mend it, dear Liza, with what?

        With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, with a straw.

But the straw is too long, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The straw is too long, dear Liza, too long.

        Cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        Then cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, cut it.

With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, with what?

        With an ax, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        With an ax, dear Henry, dear Henry, with an ax.

The ax is too dull, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The ax is too dull, dear Liza, too dull.

        Sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        Oh sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, hone it.

On what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
On what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, with what?

        On a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        On a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, a stone.

But the stone is too dry, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The stone is too dry, dear Liza, too dry.

        Then wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        Then wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, wet it.

With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, with what?

        Try water, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        Try water, dear Henry, dear Henry,use water.

In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, in what?

        In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, a bucket.

There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

How did you celebrate the New Year?

   In Maryland, we celebrate the New Year with kale salad (for $$$) and 
black-eyed peas (for luck) . . .  a Southern tradition! And you?

Friday, January 9, 2015

May God Give You Brains!

Yesterday, sitting in a sunny window at Whole Foods drinking a cup of coffee, Marash Girl watched the world of Whole Foods pass her by.  Among that world was a man carrying an armful of flowers, the man and the flowers unprotected by even the lightest of plastic, carrying the flowers into the zero degree fahrenheit weather of a New England winter afternoon.

"You'd better get a paper bag to cover those blooms," Marash Girl suggested to this stranger.

But stranger than strange was this stranger when he answered, "But I'm only going across the way to my car."  

"But your flowers . . . " Marash Girl stuttered.

"I'm only going across the way to my car," reiterated the strange stranger, who either knew nothing about flowers, knew nothing about zero degree weather in New England, or knew nothing. . .

This was one occasion where Marash Girl wished the man knew Turkish.  She would have said to him (Marash Boy's favorite expression from Marash):

"May God give me money, you . . . brains!"  Allah beni para ver, seni akīl

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dinosaur at the Springfield Science Museum

 A visit to the Springfield Science Museum, Springfield, Massachusetts, 
created more excitement than Marash Girl had bargained for!