While registering for classes, San Jose State College, Fall 1962, I was standing in a very long line (trying, of course, to get the very most entertaining/good/approachable professor I could for whatever class I really didn't want to take and electives I didn't want to elect). Suddenly I glanced behind me and there was a registration table almost empty! What class could it be that nobody wanted? I went to see.
The guardian angel of my young life had turned me around and put me in line for some kind of beginning art class. I signed immediately. I don't know why I took art, I never had before. However, the very first day of the¨art¨ class, I did. There SHE was in person...Brilliant Artist. The visiting (one year) Professor (full) of Art (sculpture especially) turned out to be from an important University in the mid-West. She had panache. She had cropped hair, she buzzed, hummed, darted and chatted on/on and off/off on any topic while riding on a breeze of whatever-inspiration-it-was-that-she-appreciated-at that very moment in time. She was exciting, she was Peter Pan and Coco Chanel and Betty Davis and she filled the room with electricity...she crackled, she laughed she set us free to discover nature and its creativity! We did. I did. I got an A. I changed my major immediately - Fine Art (Water Color emphasis later), thank you very much destiny.
Meanwhile, I moved into another kind of Greek house after leaving my fraternity. This one, a room and board one, owned by Ana Poulos who was probably in her early eighties already. Smart. Funny. A card shark. Missed nothing. Ana and her older brother, Theo Jonni, had purchased a huge old wooden house near downtown San Jose (just a few blocks from campus). They had previously owned an Italian Restaurant in the San Francisco East Bay. Chef ¨Uncle Jonny¨ and sister/leader Ana decided, in retirement, to bring several young relatives, directly from Greece, over to study/work in the boarding house, and then sponsor them to become American Citizens. There we were, three floors of delightfulness eating delicious served meals served in the dining room by very handsome Greeks, plus, doing line dances up and down the stairs, eating Mousakka and drinking 5 Star Mataxa and Ouzo. There were ten other ¨boarders¨ like me (and three real Greek cousins). I stayed for two years at Ana's and Ana never cared where I went, who I went to San Francisco with or anything else personal about me...she named me ¨the little one¨ and knew I was ¨clever¨, disappeared a lot and probably drank too much...she liked me and I adored her and I think she always knew what was ¨up¨ with me.
Σ 'αγαπώ με πάθος
to be continued