Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sultan Abdul Hamid

Yesterday, Marash Girl received via email the above document from her nephew Michael, Grandpa Peter's grandson, a document he had found on the internet recording  Grandpa Peter's membership in the Order of the Masons.  (Note that the nationality is listed as Marashli, Armenia!) Several years after Grandpa Peter had joined the Dalhousie Lodge (Newtonville, Massachusetts) of the Masons, a Roman Catholic priest gifted Grandpa Peter a biography on the life of Sultan Abdul Hamid and in that biography, Grandpa Peter learned that the Sultan who had been responsible for the killing of many Armenians, that very same Sultan had been a Mason!  Grandpa Peter quit the Masons as soon as he learned that fact (and perhaps because, by then, he had become aware of a few other Masonic realities!)

Monday, September 29, 2014

The longer you live . . .

Survivor of the Armenian Genocide, Peter Bilezikian, born in 1915 in Marash, reached the age of 90 years when he asked his daughter, "How much longer can I live, anyway?"  She answered him,
"You know what they say . . . the longer you live, the longer you'll live!"

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Don't worry, I see you!

Newtonville, Massachusetts, 10 A.M. Friday morning - Marash Girl heading east at the Walnut Street crosswalk (corner of Austin Street).  About to cross the street, she met a young woman crossing in  the opposite direction who appeared a bit flustered as she asked Marash Girl, "Did you see that ambulance go by?  It nearly hit me as I was crossing the street, and I was in the crosswalk!"  Marash Girl wondered if the ambulance had been looking for business . . .

Same day, 30 minutes later, on Mt. Auburn Street, crossing Dexter Avenue in Watertown, the heart of the Armenian community --  Armenian funeral homes on opposite corners . . . . a car barely missed Marash Girl as it barreled through the stop sign going about 30 miles an hour, crossing Mt. Auburn Street to Dexter Avenue where Marash Girl was dutifully walking in the cross walk. (She should have known better!)  Alarmed, she called out to the guy driving the car who shouted back out of his car window as he skimmed by, barely missing Marash Girl:  "Don't worry! I see you!" 

Marash Girl wondered if  the guys in the car wanted to drum up a little business for  the funeral homes!

As Marash Girl has noted earlier in this blog, more folks are killed crossing the street using crosswalks than crossing the street between intersections!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hydrangeas in the trash!

One of the most beautiful bouquets that Marash Girl has ever seen was laying on the sidewalk in Watertown, bundled up and ready to be picked up next trash day!  Although it was not trash day, Marash Girl picked up the bouquet,  and carried the flowers to Newton Corner where she shared them with her neighbors.  The event brought to mind the day four years ago she came home from Wilbraham, to find her 100 year old (possibly 140 year old) hydrangea bush gone -- only the tree stumps left.  Who could have, who would have stolen a whole tree? Was this God's way of returning what was taken from her . . . and allowing her to share the bounty with her neighbors?

Hydrangeas in the morning on the tree belt in Watertown on Trash Day!
Salvaged hydrangeas that afternoon, somewhat the worse for wear: sharing with the neighbors in Newton Corner
One neighbor replied, "No, thank you, I have a palm tree. I can only take care of one thing at a time!"

Friday, September 26, 2014

And speaking of investing . . .

And speaking of investing . . .

Marash Girl wonders, as she rushes around packing her bag and preparing for a busy weekend . . .

Which is more valuable:  time or space?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Invest in America!

David Bosworth's presentation at the Boisi Center on Tuesday brought to mind Vahan Topalian's pronouncement of many years ago:  "People are not interested in reading the news in the newspapers; they just want to look at the ads."

And Peter Bilezikian, a good businessman, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923), a man who loved the United States for welcoming the Armenian survivors,   would always say, "If you're going to buy stocks,  invest in America -- you'll never go wrong.   . . . And the same goes for cars . . . buy American!"

Is that even possible today?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

David Bosworth: The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America: The Moral Origins of the Great Recession (2014)

David Bosworth, the author of The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America: The Moral Origins of the Great Recession (2014) spoke yesterday at the Boisi Center, Boston College, on "The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America -- the Moral Origins of the Great Recession".  Below, Marash Girl has attempted to summarize Prof. Bosworth's presentation as often as possible in his words.

The American story is an "inside story", seductive rather than coercive, David Bosworth ascertained.  Consumer capitalism produces the goods, but not "the good".  Rather it creates addictive consumption.  Virtual America is designed to grow profits as it entertains.  Look at Disneyland created in 1955, says Bosworth; Disney defines our core philosophy. (Marash Girl can't remember the Disney song that Bosworth sang at this point, with Alan Wolfe joining in.) Our civic centers have become enclosed malls.  The volunteers who used to go door to door to save the whales now take 30% of the proceeds!  It is, as Bosworth sees it, the demise of virtue.  Virtuous America has become virtual America.  We are surrounded in our virtual world by all that we "must have". Bosworth posits that we have become (at our places of work) Dr. Jekyl, and (at our homes) Mr. Hyde.  Submissiveness to whatever is required of us in the workplace  allows for us to self-indulge when we return home.  Humility and honesty get edited out of the workplace, Bosworth stated.  "Our faith has become a prosperity theology.  We are experiencing 'evangelical Mammonism' -- a belief that products will save us and solve all of our personal problems.  The 'soft duplicity', the monetizing of arts and culture, has led to the cultural contradictions of philanthro-capitalism. . . The unbridled pursuit of 'stuff' is not a ruling purpose worthy of society; our society cannot survive this."

At the Boston College's Boisi Center, Prof. David Bosworth considers the questions asked of him by his esteemed audience of professors and students.
And as if to confirm all that Prof. Bosworth said yesterday, today's Wall Street Journal announces, "The SEC is investigating whether bond giant Pacific Investment Management Co. artificially boosted the returns of a popular fund aimed at small investors, the latest challenge for the firm run by investor Bill Gross."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Go South, young man!

A furry caterpillar heads south on Newtonville Avenue, as the temperatures drop precipitously!

Monday, September 22, 2014

"I wanna be a drunk when I grow up!"

When I was a  boy living on Lincoln Street (which is no longer there) in Brighton, Massachusetts, that was during the 1920's,  I  wanted to be a drunk when I grew up.

Why is that?

Because the drunks that I saw on the streets and sleeping in the hallways of the "Three Castles" (our apartment complex) . . .   those drunks were always happy! replied Peter Bilezikian,  a man who had survived the Armenian Genocide.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Did I just hear Brooklynese?

Overheard at a yard sale yesterday . . .

That man came from Brooklyn, right?

Yeah, but he left when he was 8 years old!

Well, I guess you can take the man out of Brooklyn, but you can't take Brooklyn out of the man!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Armenian (?) Flag at the JFK Library in Boston, Massachusetts

While at the JFK Library, Marash Girl wandered over to the gift shop, and there she found a vase of flags for sale:
What is wrong with this picture?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Maureen Dowd and Robert Redford Chat at Boston's JFK Library

Marash Girl dreamed that she stood in line at the JFK auditorium waiting to get Robert Redford's autograph, but by the time she got to the front of the line, neither she nor Robert Redford had paper to write on.  It was so disappointing!  But surprise of surprises, when she got home, there he was at her home, socializing with the family.  But that was only a dream . . . a dream that she had after attending the conversation between Maureen Dowd and Robert Redford at Boston's JFK Library.  Here's what happened.

Because Marash Boy had worked with Redford at Sundance many years ago,  because Marash Boy often reads Maureen Dowd's columns in the New York Times, because Marash Boy has always been interested (and sometimes involved) in politics, Marash Girl thought he might enjoy the conversation that was to take place between Maureen Dowd and Robert Redford at the J.F.K. Library.  Marash Boy, not accustomed to arriving early -- ever -- was not in a hurry, and when Marash Girl suggested that the lunchroom would close at 4:30, he agreed to leave the house at 4.  But when they arrived at 4:30, the parking lot was full, and the doors to the auditorium had opened to accommodate the crowds that were attending the event -- at 4:30 there were only 2 empty seats left, and those seats were in the last row at the back.  Marash Girl grabbed Marash Boy's jacket as he sat at a table nibbling on his salad while overlooking Boston Harbor; she ran back to the auditorium to protect the two seats that were left.  The only problem was that the two seats were too far back to see the stage or to snap a believable photo of the two stars (see photo below).  Visible, however, was the fact that not a person under 50 years old was in the room, and that included the presenters.

Maureen Dowd and Robert Redford: two redheads face off on stage!
At the heart of Robert Redford's message was T.S. Eliot's dictum in his "Four Quartets: "For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.”  Using the Sundance Festival as an example, Robert Redford said, "The Festival is not as much fun as at the beginning . . . It's the work that's fun . . . awards have never meant that much to me."

Robert Redford spent his formative years in a lower working class Mexican community in Los Angeles, California.  Growing up, his friends were all Mexican, but, he noted, "After World War II, we were no longer friends.  It was something about the 'American' thing," he said.   "This is a country that's all about winning . . . " he continued.  Growing up, Redford was always great in sports, the Red Sox his favorite team, and Ted Williams his hero. His film THE NATURAL was "a homage to the baseball that I loved," Redford commented.  "I don't know what's happened to sports now, with the money and violence . . . maybe it's television that did it . . ." 

Redford admitted that he draws, though he doesn't paint, that he writes poetry, though he can't recite . . . and that his favorite poet is William Butler Yeats.

"I never look back, but I keep trying . . . , " he said.  "Once I complete a film, I never view it again. . . I'm not comfortable seeing myself on film . . . I finish a film and move on!"  When concluding his films, he admitted, he likes to leave the audience with a question.  

He talked a lot about the fun times he had in his friendship with Paul Newman.

"Filmmaking in Hollywood," he said, "is a business which cannot afford to take chances. . . the fact which made it so important to support independent films . . .  and the reason I built Sundance."  After 6 years, though, he realized the Sundance films were going nowhere, which is why he started the Sundance Festival.  "It's the climb up that's really exciting . . . success itself is not as much fun."

On politics, Redford said of Obama, "I think he's a good man with a good mind who is over his head. . it took him too long to figure out 'how it works'", said Redford.  "There's sufficient debate about Isis and whether we should take immediate action . . . it all started in the prior administration -- Obama inherited a rotten deal with a lot of costs  . . . it makes me sad."  

Redford referred to the Republicans as the "Looney Tunes without the Merry Melodies".

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gathering Pears on Wilbraham Mountain

Post-tornado: Wilbraham Mountain, 4 years later.
The top of the mountain in Wilbraham was the place that the Charkoudian family chose as their summer country abode, a replacement for the mountain abode they had frequented in Marash, the land of their forefathers.

The little red "Radio Flyer" wagon that Marash Boy used to play with as a little boy, transplanted by the tornado. 
One of the pear trees survived the tornado!

Success!  A pear!

This year, we were hoping to poach our pears, but as it turned out, someone else beat us to it!

Note: Two pear trees were gifted to Deron and Karoun by Uncle Levon Bilezikian on the occasion of Deron's and Karoun's baptism at the St. Gregory Armenian Church in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts.  (Uncle Levon Bilezikian was born in Marash, married and brought up his family in Paris, moved to Newtonville, Massachusetts in the early 1960's.)  One of those pear trees, the pear tree in the 2 photos above, survived the tornado!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Are you the çeşnici başı for your family?

Sunday morning and leftover sweet potatoes.  What to do?  Let's make pancakes.

Marash Girl put the sweet potatoes (without skins, of course) into the Cuisinart, blended them up 'til smooth, and added enough milk to equal the amount of liquid asked for in the recipe.  In other words, she substituted some of the sweet potatoes for some of the milk.  The batter completed, she dropped the pancakes in tablespoonful onto the griddle, and voila!

Marash Girl:  These pancakes are delicious!  Have some!

Murat:  How do you know they're delicious?

Marash Girl:  I don't follow the old saying, "Yapan Yemez"! Bu yapan yeh!

Murat:  Oh, so you're the çeşnici başı (the taster for the Sultan who will die if the food is poisoned)!
My aunt, a doctor for the employees of a Turkish government factory, had to taste the food before it was fed to the employees.  She was not only a doctor, but the factory's private çeşnici başı!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Politicians in the Sun

Former Massachusetts Commissioner of Community Affairs Leon Charkoudian greets Massachusetts Sheriff of Middlesex County Peter Koutoujian at the Newton YMCA where the sheriff's son Peter was playing soccer yesterday.

Note:  Commissioner Charkoudian's parents were born in Marash; Sherrif Koutoujian's grandparents were born in Marash!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bumia, Murat, and Merrick Farm

Approaching the farm stand on a recent trip to Merrick Farm 
(see http://marashgirl.blogspot.com/2014/09/stopping-by-merrick-farm-on-sunny.html ), Marash Boy gave an exclamation of joy.  Looking up to see what it was that gave Marash Boy such happiness, Marash Girl spied a bin of freshly picked okra -- but each of the okra in the bin was 4 inches long.  Too bad, said Marash Boy.  We can't make bumia with these.  Let me see, said Marash Girl as she bit into one.  They're delicious and crispy, not tough at all!  Of course we can make bumia with this.  And so throwing handfuls of okra into a bag, Marash Girl happily paid Farmer Merrick for what she knew would soon be a delicious Armenian treat!  Home they went with the okra, which Marash Girl displayed in a bowl on the kitchen table as she prepared to make the traditional Armenian Bumia.  In walked Murat, their friend from Turkey, who looked at the okra and exclaimed with disgust, "We throw those away!"  Marash Girl just laughed as she rinsed the okra and began to prepare supper.  

While she sautéed onions and garlic in olive oil in the bottom of a large heavy pot, Marash Girl sliced off the stem ends of the okra (to be tossed into her compost pile in the side yard-- the stems, not the okra), and sliced each okra into half inch pieces.  (Each okra was about 4 inches long including the stem -- certainly a throw-away had she not already eaten one, had she not known how delicious and crunchy they were!)  She then added the okra to the pot, stirred it around, added some leftover spaghetti sauce (she had no canned or fresh tomatoes which she would typically have used), and let the okra simmer for about a half hour, adding freshly squeezed lime juice at the very end; while the okra was simmering she looked around to see what she had to serve it with, and rather than bulgur which she typically would serve with bumia, she found black rice on the shelf and decided to cook that up with  water (rather than the traditional chicken broth -- and anyway, black rice was far from traditional!)  The results were amazing!  The okra was NOT slimy, but rather perfectly al dente and served over the black rice, a real taste treat. Marash Boy and Marash Girl couldn't eat enough of the delicious bumia with black rice!  Murat refused to even taste it!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

"Students are much nicer than clients!"

Marash Girl asked her friend why, after becoming a lawyer, she went into teaching law rather than "lawyering".  Her friend's answer was clear and to the point.  "Students are much nicer than clients."

Friday, September 12, 2014

Yesterday was 9/11

Yesterday, 9/11 . . . Marash Girl prays for the souls of the nearly 3,000 folks that were lost in the attack, and she  gives her thanks to the Almighty that New York City eventually overcame the horror . . .  that her son  survived 9/11/2001, albeit after witnessing the second plane crash into the World Trade Center from the 38th floor of his office building at 388 Greenwich St., near the Holland tunnel entrance -- no supervisor in sight . . . He and his co-workers on the floor looked at each other, and without a word, walked towards the exit and down the 38 flights of stairs, not knowing what they were fleeing, what was awaiting them, where they would go . . .   at first, trying to return home while most people, after exiting the office building, headed north immediately, he was not allowed south of the Brooklyn Bridge.  So he walked north to a co-worker's place, just north of Canal Street and kept walking, never knowing what he was walking away from, what he was walking towards . . . he  walked on, kept walking north, and survived to tell the horrendous tale.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Iyi dīr ama bir dafa daha yapma!

Marash Boy's grandmother Turvant was the master of understatement. A native of Marash and a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, never did she want to hurt anyone's feelings. As a result, the little woman was often the master of comedy.  Should a dish that her daughter prepared be not to her liking . . . or worse . . .  she would simply say in her first language, "Iyi dīr . . . ama bir dafa daha yapma!" "It's good . . . but don't make it again!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We Grieve the Passing of our Dear Friend and Khnami, Dr. Hrair Atikian

Dr. Hrair Atikian (1940-2014)
46 year Sherman Oaks Resident and Prominent North Hollywood Orthodontist 
Dr. Hrair Atikian, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, passed away on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 in Burbank, CA due to complications caused by cancer.  He was 74.  Hrair Atikian was a resident of Sherman Oaks for 46 years, and a prominent orthodontist in North Hollywood for more than 35 years.  
Hrair was born on February 25, 1940 in Kessab (Kasab), Syria, the youngest of eight children blessed to Hovhannes and Martha Abdulian.  Two weeks after Hrair's birth, his biological mother passed away, whereupon Hrair was lovingly adopted by his maternal aunt, Efronia Atikian and her husband, Agop Atikian (a well-known chemist and schoolmaster) - whom he always warmly called "Mom and Dad."  The family immigrated to the United States in 1954, settling in Boonton, New Jersey, where Hrair attended Boonton High School and graduated in 1958.  Hrair then attended Cooper Union, where he studied mechanical engineering for two years.  After witnessing a downturn in the engineering industry, Hrair redirected his academic focus and enrolled in New York University (NYU), graduating in 1962 with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry.  Hrair moved to Boston, and from 1962-1966, Hrair attended Harvard School of Dental Medicine.  He graduated from Harvard Dental School in 1966 with a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree.  
In June of 1966, Hrair married Martha Bilezikian of Newton, Massachusetts.  They moved to Portland, Oregon where Hrair completed a post-doctorate program in Orthodontics at the University of Oregon Dental School.  In 1968, shortly after moving to Studio City, California, Dr. Atikian opened up his own very successful orthodontics practice in North Hollywood, California.  For 35 years, many local youth and adults received orthodontic treatment from Dr. Atikian.  He practiced with honesty and integrity, with a conservative approach.  Hrair was meticulous and dedicated in his practice of orthodontics.  
In late 1970, Hrair and Martha purchased their home in Sherman Oaks, where Hrair resided up until his passing.  Hrair and Martha had three daughters: Katherine ("Katie"), Caroline, and Alison - who brought Hrair much joy, love, and happiness.    
In 1994 Hrair and Martha separated and later divorced.  In 1996, Hrair married Mary (Ekmekji) Britton.  They enjoyed nearly 18 years of marriage, which included travel to Kessab, Syria and other destinations.  Mary lovingly cared for Hrair throughout his illness.  
Dr. Atikian practiced orthodontics until late 2003, at which time he entered an early retirement and sold his practice in order to care for his 34-year old daughter, Katie, in the last months of her life as she courageously battled pancreatic cancer.  The dedication, loyalty, diligence, and relentless sacrifice displayed at this time summarized Hrair's character absolutely.  Hrair was calm, hard working, loving, kind, loyal, and honest to the core.  He was intelligent, and had a quick and subtle wit.   
Hrair was very active in the local community, dedicating time and resources to the Armenian community and several American charitable organizations.  Hrair was involved with the Kessab Educational Association (KEA) since 1969, serving as Chairman three times, as well as Secretary and Treasurer.  Hrair's other civic involvements included: the Kiwanis Club - North Hollywood Chapter from 1969-2010; the United Armenian Congregational Church Deacons' Committee for 11 years, where he served as Chairman for 2 years; and the Merdinian Armenian School for 12 years.  Hrair's 12 years of service to the Merdinian Armenian School included 5 years as the Chairman.
An avid reader, Hrair enjoyed history, archaeology, and anthropology.  Other hobbies included stamp and coin collecting, and spending time with his children, grandchildren, and family - which in his own words were his "raison d'etre" or "reason for being."
Dr. Hrair Atikian is survived by his wife, Mary Atikian; his daughters, Caroline Atikian O'Malley and Alison Sykes; his grandchildren, Shannon Michelle O'Malley and Jack Ryan Kade O'Malley; his son-in-law, John O'Malley; his brothers, Misak, Daniel, and Vasken Abdulian, and their families; and his sister-in-laws, Joyce and Patsy Abdulian, and their families.  Dr. Atikian was predeceased by his daughter, Katie.  
A Memorial Service in Hrair Atikian's honor is scheduled at the United Armenian Congregational Church, 3480 Cahuenga Blvd. West, LA, CA  90068, on Saturday, September, 27th at 10:30 a.m.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School (13330 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks, CA  91423 - Memo Line: Hrair Atikian); or to the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) Kessab, Syria Fund (31 West Century Road, Paramus, New Jersey  07652 - Memo Line: Hrair Atikian).  
This obituary was prepared by Hrair's daughters, Caroline O'Malley and Alison Sykes.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Quick Trip Through the Brimfield Antiques Fair, Brimfield Massachusetts≈

A World of Neckties!

Note the Revolver front left!

Prayed for Peace

Garden faucet handles as colorful as the flowers they water!

Take your pick!

Merry Christmas 1892

Have a Coke!  Or some hot peppers?

Medzmama's Kneading Bowl?

It'll cure what ails ya!


Add an outboard motor to your rowboat and off you go!

Don't row, row, row your boat!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Feathers of Healing . . . Musqueam Native Lore

Could she still be there?  They met her two years ago, when they drove up a side street off Route 20 looking for a place to park during the Brimfield Fair.  (See http://marashgirl.blogspot.com/2012/12/rain-snow-and-native-americans.html) "Let's see if we can find the same house."  And Marash Boy, the in-house Indian with his unbelievable sense of direction, found her.  This is the street, he said, and that's the house, and there she is!  But this year there were no signs, and she was alone -- her daughter who had been at her side two years ago had died of a serious illness.  Her friend next door who had been with her last year had macular degeneration and could no longer get around so had moved to an elder care facility.  But there she was, alone, accepting this year only $3 for parking a block from the Brimfield Fair.  Do you remember us? they asked.  Of course, she answered.  You told us about praying for the health of our loved ones whenever we find a bird's feather on the ground.  Yes, she said, and I still do that.   

When I find a feather, I wonder who has fallen ill. You know, when I find a large feather, I know it means a serious illness.  I take the feather inside, place it in a vase or a bottle, and pray for the healing of the ill one.  I pray harder over the larger feather, for the larger feather represents the greater illness, and less insistently over the smaller feathers which represent the less serious illnesses.  My brother died at the beginning of World War I, and then my father moved out of the city --  bought a farm in West Brimfield.  I graduated from Springfield Tech in 1945. My family is from the Musqueam Indian Band  located up by Canada.  Grey Wolf wanted to marry me, but I didn't like him.  I married a man who was half Italian and half Irish.  We loved each other.  

The threesome chatted a bit more, and then Marash Boy and Marash Girl bid farewell to the woman and wandered down the hill to the Brimfield Fair . . . Take a look at the photo below and comment.  What are the chances that, very soon after leaving their Musqueam Native friend, they would find this bottle of feathers at a booth at the Brimfield Antiques Fair?  (The only bottle of feathers they saw during their whole tour of the fair!)
[More photos of the Brimfield Fair tomorrow!] 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stopping by Merrick Farm on a Sunny Afternoon

Stopping by Merrick Farm on this sunny afternoon, Marash Girl and Marash Boy were in luck!  Farmer Llewelyn Merrick was on hand to greet them and share a few laughs as they selected fresh produce from the Merrick Farmstand.  (Marash Boy was thrilled to find fresh okra for Bumia!)

Long an admirer of the Merricks and Merrick Farm, Marash Girl and family have always purchased fresh corn from the farm at the foot of Wilbraham Mountain. Lorig, Deron & Karoun worked on the farm during their summer vacations.  As Deron once proudly stated to his grandfather after working long and hard one hot summer's day and coming home with a roll of quarters and a bagful of fresh vegetables from the farm, "Look, Grandpa, I'm putting food on the table!"

Farmer Lewellyn Merrick displays his white pumpkin:  "Who grows white pumpkins?" he laughed.

The Merrick Farm Stand at 651 Main Street in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, is open late June through late November, 7 days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Cruelty of Leplebou Ouzoum

Writing yesterday's post (scroll down, see below) on  leplebou ouzoum brought back sad memories as well.  It brought back the memory of the Armenians' days of hunger and want, and Peter's memory of a rich cousin holding out leplebou ouzoum  and asking hungry Peter if he wanted any, six year old Peter saying yes, and the wealthy older cousin laughing and tossing the tasty tidbits into his own mouth,   taunting Peter with the words, "Do you want some?" -- gleefully repeating the cruelty.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Leplebou Ouzoum

Leplebou Ouzoum --  the words themselves are fun to say, almost as much fun as eating the treat -- leplebou ouzum was a quick and easy handful of munchies that Marash Girl's father used to love to eat, and love to talk about.  Simply saying the words brought a smile to his face, as, no doubt, eating the treat did.

A little boy in Marash in the early 1900's, Bedros longed to have a handful of those dry roasted chick peas and raisins -- always available to serve to guests  when he was a little boy (though not available to him during the genocide),  roasted chick peas and raisins offered the perfect balance of bland and sweet, dry and moist, dessert and meal, all in one.

Tears later -- whoops, Marash girl meant to write "years later", leplebou ouzoum continued to bring joy into their home.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Patience of the Blue Heron

A Blue Heron patiently awaits lunch at the base of the Watertown Dam on the
Charles River in Watertown, Massachusetts
Photo by Marash Girl

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Three Cheers for the King!

Marash Girl got a ride back home from the automobile repair shop this morning by a young Moroccan man who had just arrived in Boston after a 6 hour plane flight from Morocco.  When Marash Girl asked him how things were in his country, he said they were fine -- not like in the other parts of that world.

"Why is that?" Marash Girl asked him.

"That's because the other countries have presidents.  We have a king."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cecchi's Farm, Agawam, Massachusetts

Cecchi's Farms, perhaps one of the last surviving farms in Agawam, Massachusetts, continues to supply the greater Springfield (Massachusetts) community with the freshest in local produce.
"Corn so fresh the ears still wiggle!"

Heirloom tomatoes, a la Cecchi's Farm
Cecchi's baby potatoes are as colorful as his heirloom tomatoes!
Many years ago, Medzmama (Marash Boy's Mom) used to look forward to the first frost when Farmer Cecchi became her hero, as he would allow her to go onto the fields and harvest tiny baby eggplant so that she could pickle the rarely prepared Armenian delicacy, stuffed baby eggplant, Marash Boy's favorite, and candied eggplant "patlijan datlusu".