Today Marash Girl received a letter in her mailbox from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology addresssed to her father Peter Bilezikian who passed away a number of years ago. Ironic, she thought. Looking at the return address on the envelope, she remembered that her father, upon nearing graduation from Watertown High School, had been offered a scholarship to M.I.T. Born in Marash, Peter had arrived in the United States knowing no English. Having no schooling, he entered the first grade as a 9 year old, and graduated to the 6th grade in one year -- he would laugh when he told us that! Acing his school work, he found himself graduating from Watertown High School in 1932 with a full scholarship to M.I.T. And he wanted to attend. But he had been working with his brother as an electrician and repairman while he was in high school. "Are you going to go to college and leave me to take care of our parents all by myself?" his brother asked him. Of course, Peter's answer was in the negative, and so he gave up his scholarship to M.I.T. and joined his brother establishing their business -- first on Bowers Street in the corner of a building owned by their uncle, Rev. Vartan Bilezikian, and then on Newtonville Avenue in Newtonville Square: Newtonville Electrical Company, Inc., Newtonville, Massachusetts. But Peter actually did attend M.I.T. at night, although he had worked all day with his brother at the shop.
Whenever folks would ask him if he had gone to M.I.T., he would laugh and answer, "Sure, I went to M.I.T. . . . I walked right past it!"