Friday, August 19, 2011

Lords, Barons & Bums!

Yesterday, we started the day off with a visit to the "Armenian" Starbucks in Watertown Square, the Starbucks where Charlie Mosesian and his cadre of friends used to sit and chat -- they still sit and chat, though Charlie is now the unseen guest at their round table.  Marash Girl got to talking with one of the fellows, who just happened to be Marashtsi.  Recently having had an operation, he was wearing a neck support.  Marash Girl asked him what had happened.  Was he trying to get away from a cute young lady who was hugging him and wouldn't let go?  No, he said, in all seriousness, as he started to give her the gruesome details and show her the photos on his iphone.  Oh, come on, Marash Girl said.  Be like my father Peter and make a joke out of it.  Remember? He made a joke out of everything!  Yes, the Marashtsi fellow admitted.  For years after he retired, your father would come to the meetings of the Union of Marash Armenians, and tell me the following which I remember to this day.  "You know, my friend, in England, when you don't work,  they call you  a Lord. In France, when you don't work, they call you a Baron, but here in the United States, if you don't work, they call you a bum.  .  .  that's me . . .  a bum!"

N.B.  It should be noted here that my dad was rarely to be taken at face value.  When he called himself a bum, he was making a joke about the fact that he and his brother no longer were the proprietors of Newtonville Electrical Co., Inc., 439 Newtonville Avenue, Newtonville, Massachusetts, a business they had begun in the early 1930's at 84 Bowers Street in Newtonville, Massachusetts.  After closing the shop, Peter was working from his home, repairing anything and everything he could for folks, and asking them, in lieu of payment, to write a check to their favorite charity, or his:  The Watertown Evangelical Church on 182 Arlington Street in Watertown, Massachusetts (formerly the United Armenian Brethren Evangelical Church of Watertown), or at the time he began telling the joke about Lords, Barons & Bums, for the Relief Fund of the Earthquake that had just occurred in Armenia.


  1. Hi Marash Girl. Bet we are distant relatives. Have done lots of research on our last name (with and without the "c"). Looks like the name started with our common distant relative Baldwin I (adopted son of Thoros and First Lord of Marasch). Your Dad Peter sounds like someone I would have liked to know.

    Milton Marasch (

  2. Marasch Girl, Sorry I thought maybe your last name was Marash. It looks like maybe you were referring to your families city of origin (where my name also originated). We have met several Turkish people who spoke very highly of the city. Am delighted to see so many former residents of Marash getting together.

    Milton Marasch