Follow by Email

Συνολικες προβολες

Ο καιρός στο χωριό μας

Jo Preferes, the American Indian wedded to Karitsa

By Giannis Vasileiou Gavriil

Gifted artist
Inspirational writer 
Passionate activist 
Devoted wife
Loving mother 
Caring grandmother
The remarkable life story of the American Indian bride of Karitsa, Josephine (Jo) Proferes, as it unfolds in extended correspondence between her in Clarkston Washington in the United States and Giannis (John) Gavriil, a distant relative of her husband, in Athens Greece. 

This was by no means the original intent, yet the narrative to emerge out of the 100 or so pieces of correspondence and 40 000 words of text is truly amazing. What comes to light is the life story of her and a young boy from Karitsa who in the late 1920s finds himself in Edwardsville, Luzerne, Pennsylvania. Unable to integrate well in his new environment, in his teenage years he rebels, runs away and drifts aimlessly in life and the new country for more than twenty years … until he finds the love of his life, a much younger American Indian girl, whom he marries and raises a family.

In her twilight years, long after the passing of the boy from Karitsa, the wife, a talented artist, endeavours to fulfil a long held dream; as a monument to their eternal love to paint on canvas the family home in Karitsa, with nothing to go on apart from the hazy recounts of her late husband.

The readiness of her penfriend from Athens, a descendant of Karitsa himself, to fill the void, results in the exchange of correspondence spanning a period of three years.

We are truly grateful to both Jo and John for sharing it with us.

By way of preface to their fascinating correspondence John notes:

"On January 12, 2007 I received the following message from my uncle George Thoma Proferes from America:

... Did I send you the web site for Jo Proferes?
Do you have the picture of her Christ?
If not I will send you a copy.
I just received a letter from Jo which I will send to you. The letter is personal. Use the information for the family tree but please keep the letter private ...

"So began my contact, extended correspondence and heart rending journey into the life of Jo Proferes, nee Lowman, the American Indian wife of John Peter Proferes who migrated to America from Karitsa, aged 6, in 1927.

"Initially my correspondence with Jo involved the collection of missing details in documenting my extended family branches of the Family Trees of Karitsa, a collaborative venture with others that had begun much earlier. I considered it an opportunity that just could not be missed. But from her very letter it was apparent our correspondence promised to be much more than that, insightful, deeply moving and captivatingly interesting.

"Her replies to my questions were meticulously accurate and detailed. Not only that, she was also keen to share so many interesting snippets about her life; her childhood, meeting and marrying the young man from Karitsa John P. Preferes, her family, her interests, her work. Often letters would be accompanied with photographs of her artwork, creative pieces illustrating what a truly remarkable and talented artist she truly is.

"In addition to her artistic talents, she has also published a significant body of literary work, is a fervent activist for social justice causes close to her heart, all the while sustaining a passionate devotion to her husband and care of her family.

"What follows are glimpses through the window into Jo's life and world."
29 January 2007
First letter from John
(01-1)
Hi Jo,
My name is Giannis Gavriil (John) from Athens Greece.

Some time ago I found out about you from my uncle George Proferes of Virginia Beach. He is my father’s first cousin from his mother's side. I believe that he and you are also cousins. He sent me the Birch-Hill-Studios web address to see your marvellous artwork.

I visit Karitsa about twice a year. I have fond memories of the village since I was a very yang boy. Back then we used to spend three months there every summer during the school holidays. If you have any relatives in Karitsa I would be very interested to know.

To begin I'm attaching four pictures from the village.  I hope you like them.

Western part of Karitsa 
The building in front is the school, which was closed in 1994. 
Children now are bussed to a district school in Geraki, some six miles away. 
SA500032
Church of Evangelistria in Karitsa
Another view of the village
SA500022

A neighbourhood of the village
SA500010
Sincerely,
John Gavriil
Athens Greece

8 February 2007
First letter from Jo
(01-2)
Hello John,
I did not receive any message or pictures from you. You do have my correct address. A few messages were recently quarantined by my virus scan. I have no idea who these are from, but I can't believe they were from you. I do not know what happened. Before you try to send the pictures again, let's see if you get this letter, and your reply comes back to me.


I am not Greek, I am a true American, a little bit of everything. I married John Proferes in 1955. He was born at Karitsa, in 1920. He was the son of Peter Proferes, whose father was Konstantine Proferes. Peter had three brothers, they were Nick, George, and John. All were born in Greece.

Peter married Legeri Mastorakis, and they had five children. Constantine (Gus), John (my husband), Grace, Bess, and Tommy. Tommy died young, after being in the Korean War. I think it was the Korean, he was too young for World War II. Both girls married Greeks. Peter had insisted that his children return to Greece and marry, "unspoiled Greeks, none that had been born in the U.S.".

Only Gus and John were born in Greece, the other three were born here. Gus was 9, and John was 6 when they came over with their mother on a ship.

My husband insisted the first Profereses were descended from a Greek king. This had to be before the Turks (Muslims) invaded Greece and occupied it for over 350 years. I think he may have been trying to get my goat, but he might have been serious.

According to Gus, the name Proferes means “Royal Robe Purple”. Peter Proferes, my husband's father, acquired a whole city block in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He had a sweet shop, fountain and fast food (hamburgers and hot dogs) restaurant on part of the bottom floor, and rented the rest to a Jewish clothing store. There were several floors in the building. There was a casino on one floor, and a dance hall on another, I don’t remember what else. Peter Proferes made a fortune, but lost it during the great depression. After WW II he started the business back up and made another fortune. His wife died. He returned to Greece when he retired, died, and is buried there.

John Proferes’ brother, Gus, was a U.S. Air Force career man (World War II), who was called to work at NASA after he retired. He moved to Cocoa, Florida to be near Cape Canaveral. He still lives in Florida, in some place where he orders his meals from a kitchen and they have recreation rooms and private apartments. Gus did go back to Greece, at least twice, I know. He gave me some colored photos of Karitsa for my family cookbook. He spent about 20 years in the Air Force, and went to Greece at least once, while overseas. The first time he went there was no road for vehicles to Karitsa, they went by donkey, so it was a long time ago, but after World War II.

John’s sister Bess married a Greek professor of Greek language and culture, at a Greek University. They live in N.J. He speaks English. Because he is so much older than she, she is training to be a volunteer docent at a big museum in N.J. so she will have something to do when he passes. They had one daughter, whom they took to Greece every summer to soak up Greek culture, so she would marry a Greek. She married an Irishman, a plastic surgeon.

John Proferes left home at 14, got caught and sent home, left again at 15, bummed around, rode freight trains as a hobo, picked fruit and bid on jobs to stack and load lumber, then when we married (he was 36) he went to work at the local mill, learned to grade lumber, and identify species, and worked as a well paid foreman of P.F.I. Research until it closed, he then went back to the saw mill to run a big saw. He had maintained his Union rights, so made good wages until he retired. He refused to let me work, except as artist, and writer.


John ran away from home when he was 14 or 15, and never went back, he did not want anything to do with his father, Peter Proferes. His brother, Gus, looked for him, and finally found him about 1980. Gus and his wife came out a couple of times, and our son David went back to Florida where Gus lived and worked there for awhile. My husband, John Proferes, flew (he was afraid of flying and this was his first and only trip by plane) back to Florida in 2001, and met all of Gus Proferes' children. Their sister, Grace, had died sometime before this, and Gus's wife, Mary was also gone. She died in 1998. Bess came from New Jersey to meet John. She was younger, and had not seen John since she was a little girl. 

I stayed here, I was trying to finish up some educational coloring books that I was writing and illustrating, and our son, David, was on his way up from Arizona with my brother. David stopped in southern Idaho to pick up his three young sons, who lived with their mother, and bring them, too. I was going to help my son with some legal papers, so I could not go with John to Florida. But I wanted him to be with his family again before he died.


Both of our Sons, Joseph and David Proferes, are dead. I will write you about that in another letter. I feel that it is important to record family history. There will be Proferes in the future who will want to know. 

Now, it is time for me to wake up my great grandson and get his breakfast, and then drive him to school.
Sincerely,
Jo Proferes
8 February 2007
Letter from John
(03-1)

Hello Jo,
I received your reply. I don’t know what the problem was with my first e-mail. I sent it to the same address. I will forward the e-mail again with Karitsa’s photos to see if you receive them. Probably Uncle George sent you this e-mail as well.

I was surprised reading that your husband was John Proferes (Giannis Profyris) from Karitsa. I thought that your surname (Proferes) may have come from my uncle George Proferes VA side, and that you and George were probably cousins (with your father and his father being brothers born in the village of Agios Andreas, near Karitsa). Can you please clarify this point? I kind of think something like this had been explained to me by Uncle George. Maybe I misunderstood.

Thank you for all the information you sent to me, all the names from your husband’s side and the interesting details about each of them. I’m going to check all these names with the Karitsa Family Tree and I will get back to you on these names in my next email, with additional information for the family tree.

I hope there are no more viruses with your computer.

Sincerely, 
John Gavriil
Athens Greece 
8 February 2007
Letter from John

(03-2)

Hello Jo,
Thank you for your reply. Your message was a very welcome one. You describe everything in such detail and I appreciate this very much.

It isn’t clear to me yet whether you and George Proferes are related. This is something I would like to have clarified.

I made mention in my previous email of the Karitsa Family Trees.

Actually there are two websites on Karitsa. Two friends of mine, both descendents of Karitsa, from Australia created them.

Dimitris Katsambis created the first site "Karitsa of Laconia" which can be found at http://karitsa.tripod.com

Stelios Hagias created the second site, the "Karitsa Family Trees", which can be found at http://tribalpages.com/tribes/karitsa (password: karitsa)

We work as a team and I assist both in researching at the local level (school, church and local council registries, interviewing people, taking photos, collecting/scanning old photos etc).

Crosschecking the data you sent me on the Proferes family with the family trees site three very interesting point emerge:

1. John Proferes had a brother Tommy who died young.

2. John Proferes is recorded being married to Josephine Lowman. Is this your maiden name? I have no idea how Stelios tracked you down. I know is that he is researches through genealogical sites in the US to find people from Karitsa who migrated in the old days. He was probably able to find something there.

3. John Proferes has fathered two children, Joseph and David.

If you wish to enter the family trees site, you will need to enter the password ‘karitsa’. You then select ‘P’ from the ‘List of Last Names’ and then the name ‘Profyris’. 

From the Profyris list you select John’s name, sequence number 143 ‘Profyris Yiannis ‘John’ Panagioti Const. Proferes US 1920-2004’. 

Feel free to advise us if you want to change, add to or omit any of John’s data on the site. The same for Gus, Grace and Bess.

If it is not a problem for you, I'd like a copy of the photograph Gus sent you. I'd also like any old photographs from Karitsa that you may have. Similarly if there is anything you'd like from the village, please let me know and the next time I get to go there I'll do my very best to assist.

Thank you very much.
Sincerely,
John
9 February 2007
Letter from John
(03-3)
Hello Jo,
Yesterday I sent you two emails, the first with the photos and a follow up.
Can you let me know if you received both of them?
Sincerely,
John
9 February 2007
Letter from Jo
 (03-4)
Hello John,
Yes, thank you, I received both, the photos are beautiful, and different from the two that my husband's brother, Gus, sent us.

The church is definitely the same, but in the photo you sent, we look up at it. In the one Gus sent us, the mountain is visible behind it, part of the village is to the right, and it appears that the photographer was above, and in front of the church. I wonder if Gus took the photos from an airplane, then went back and rode a donkey up to the village. He said that's how he got there the first time he went back to Greece.
Sincerely,
Jo
10 February 2007
Letter from Jo
(04-1)
Hello John,
Yes, my maiden name was Minerva Josephine Lowman. Originally Lowman was not spelled that way. I am not Greek. John Proferes, my husband, was Greek. He died July 08, 2004 at Clarkston, Washington. He ate lunch, said he wanted the leftover chicken and dressing for dinner, went to take a nap and did not wake up. The door to the bedroom was open. I sat in a recliner-chair 20 feet away, and never heard a sound. He just went to sleep. I hope I go that easy.

I would have to dig out some papers to see how the original "Lowman" name was spelled. I believe they were German Jews, because of the way the name was spelled. I was named for my mother's mother, whose father was a Scot named Gutthree which became Guthrie. Her mother was Irish. I don't know where the Minerva Josephine came from. My grandmother married a Leibert (another German Jew), who died when my mother was 5 years old. These Jews did not advertise the fact they were Jewish. But my mother used to say, "I am a 'High' German". I was a grown woman before I realized that my maternal grandfather was a Jew. These Jews were blue eyed Jews, nobody would have thought they were anything but regular Germans. The Leiberts were the first white to settle Florida, besides the Spanish, and they were Jews. And proud of it.

Two 'Lowman" brothers came over on a ship, from Germany, in the 1700s. Neither had the money to pay for the fare, so, the ship's captain auctioned them off to the highest bidder. A wealthy farmer in Pennsylvania bought my ancestor. I do not know what happened to the other boy. The farmer found my ancestor very reliable. He left the young man in charge of his farm and returned to Europe for three years.

Several years later this boy was given his freedom and a wad of money and he supposedly became wealthy, then moved to North Carolina. Eventually he, or one of my ancestors moved west to Louisiana then up into Missouri. My Paternal grandfather, a "Lowman", married an American Indian girl. As I said, I am a true American, a little bit of everything.

I am going to call John's sister, Bess, and get her okay to give you her e-mail address. I am sure there was more than just "Tommy" to Tommy's name. I have a black and white photo of him someplace, he was about 9 or 10 at the time, I think. Bess can tell you all about him. Gus could too, but I don't think he has an e-mail address anymore, and he is hard to reach by phone. He is in and out of the hospital and has recently been diagnosed with cancer. Bess's husband always returns to Greece for funeral's of his old friends. They Live in New Jersey. His name is Athan Efstathiou. They live in Kearny, New Jersey.

I believe George Proferes told me when he first found me (on the internet, I think) that he and my husband had the same great grandfather, so George and my husband were cousins.
Sincerely,
Jo Proferes

11 February 2007
Letter from John
(05-1)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for your very interesting and detailed letter. It explains everything about you and the origin of your name Josephine (Jo).

You are a very important person. As you say, you are a true American, a little bit of everything. I am saddened about John passing away, so easily but peacefully in his sleep.


John was from Karitsa and the next time I go there I shall light a candle in his memory at Agios Konstantinos (Saint Constantine), the small church next to the cemetery.

The description of your maternal side was very instructive so was that of your paternal side, particularly how your grandfather married an American Indian girl, which explains to me your wonderful Indian expressive artwork. Sorry, but my limited English doesn’t allow me to say what I really want to say.

Thank you for calling Bess.

For the purposes of the Karitsa Family Trees, we would appreciate details about your children and of course your permission to include them. 
Sincerely,
John
11 February 2007
Letter from Jo
(05-2)
Hello John,
Please feel free to use anything I send you for family trees, and please do light a candle for my John.

I am sending the Karitsa pictures on to my daughter. She loves everything Greek. She and her father were very close. He was a very, very good father, and grandfather, and great grandfather.

I did not know I was Indian until I was about 15 when an uncle came from Illinois and told me and my younger brother the family secret. My older brother was grown and gone, he was my mother's child, but not my father's child, hers by another man. My older brother was 2 years old when my mother married my father.

The reason being Indian was secret was that there was, and still is, prejudice against Indians, as well as Negroes. Jobs are easier to get for white people. Anybody who could pass for white in those days did so, many did not tell even their wives and children. My father had to have know he was Indian. My grandmother was supposed to have been Black Irish, and Black Dutch. That is what the Cherokees who stayed behind in the east when the rest of them were sent to Oklahoma to the reservation, called themselves. Many Indians in the eastern United States were light skinned people, though my grandmother was a western Indian.

The uncle from Illinois had very dark eyes, unlike my father, who had yellow eyes with a few little black specks, sort of like pepper. His skin was milk white, and his hair very straight and blue-black. Though so light skinned, he was very dark where the sun tanned him, white under his shirt. He had no hair on his body. He was very tall, and so am I. When I was young I was 6 feet 2 inches tall, now shrunk to 6 feet. My younger brother was 6 feet 4 inches, as was my father. All of my father's ancestors were tall. My mother was 5 feet 6 inches tall, but all her male ancestors were tall.

Indian blood fades out quickly. I have known people who were half Indian, and had blue eyes. Many times those who are half Indian also have blond hair.

My husband, John Proferes, was brown eyed (not dark brown, sort of reddish brown), light brown skin, no body hair, and no scent glands under his arms. He was not tall, he was about 5 feet 7 inches, and had big muscles. He was incredibly strong. His brother, Gus, said John could pick up a 200 pound man and throw him across a room by the time he was 12 years old. A chemist who worked for P.F.I. Research with John told me after John died that it was John's great physical strength that first impressed him about John.

He said that one morning there were 4 men trying to pick up a 50 gallon steel barrel full of chemicals and put it on a shelf that was waist high. I do not know why they did not use a fork lift, but, anyway when John walked in, the 4 men were struggling with the barrel. They set it back down to rest. John asked the chemist where he wanted the barrel put. The chemist told him on the shelf. John walked over, put his arms around the barrel and lifted it onto the shelf. John was unusually strong. But one of the reasons that 4 men could not get the barrel up and on the shelf was that they got in each other's way, and one, or even two of them, was not strong enough to lift it. I understand that the barrel full of chemicals weighed about 500 pounds.

I knew Greeks when I lived in Arizona, who said many places in the state of Arizona looked like Greece. They were from Athens. He was very tall, blond, with blue eyes, she had light brown eyes, light brown hair, and her skin was medium dark. He spoke English well, she understood, but couldn't speak much English. Nice people. She spun wool with her fingers to make a heavy yarn, which she knitted or crocheted into blankets. She also made rag rugs out of old clothes, as did my mother. They both taught me to crochet that summer. I was 10 years old. At that time my dad worked on the railroad, laying ties, as a section hand. Mr. Kirk was the Section Foreman. I know that Kirk is not a Greek name. I think they had changed their name to Americanize it. They came to visit us later, after we had moved to a different place in Arizona, after the war (World War II).

I will tell you another time how it was that we had moved to Arizona in 1941.

I do not know which websites George sent you. My own site is still there, but the database was outdated (open to the bright new hackers) so I took off the shopping cart that had prints for sale. Below is a couple of sites where you can see some of my work, and I will attach three graphics of Arizona, where I grew up. One, with the lady in green is one view of Arizona's Grand Canyon. These three are from “People, Places and Events in Arizona’s History”, a collection of twenty large oils used by the Arizona Historical Society in 1987 to celebrate Arizona’s Diamond Jubilee Birthday Celebration. This work was exhibited by the Arizona Hall of Fame in 1988. The Painting, “Central and Washington”, oil (36"X54"), from this series was included in the February, 1987, Arizona Highways Magazine.

Poetess Enchanted
End of Apache Warfare
Central and Washington
I am an established historical artist. I achieved modest fame with twenty authentic, museum size oils of the Nez Perce War of 1877, which became the Nez Perce Bicentennial Exhibit in 1976. This was the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho’s Bicentennial Exhibit. A special presentation of this work, narrated, and in color was televised nationally by PBS from the Idaho Statehouse that year. PBS has since used several of these paintings in different documentaries. "America's Battlefields", and "Sacred Journey of the Nez Perce", to name two.

In 2003 the U.S. Forest Service (in memory of what the Nez Perce did for Lewis and Clark) put ten of the twenty Nez Perce Bicentennial Exhibit paintings on their site at: www.fs.fed.us/npnht/art This site is usually up and running.

A sample of horses that I did before I started doing historical work can be seen at:
http://www.arabs-iowa.com/MalabarMain.htm

Black Is Beautiful
I will let you know when I have talked to Bess, I will try to call her this evening while my great grandson is taking his bath, so I will not be interrupted.

Thank you for including us in the family tree
Sincerely,
Jo


P.S. Have you been to the United States and visited the western states? Maybe Arizona?
12 February 2007
Letter from John
(06-1)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for another very interesting letter.


When I sent you my first email, I didn't imagine that I was going to find a person like you with such an interesting life story and family history: Irish, Dutch, German, Jewish, Scottish, Indian American, Greek bride, artist, writer... the list goes on and on ...

Next time I plan to visit Karitsa is end of May. I'll certainly light a candle for John and also take some pictures for you.

I am 62 years old, married to Katerina, and we have two sons, Vasilis (Bill) and Nikos (Nicholas), both still not married. I was employed by Olympic Airways, the Greek airline, for the last 20 years as a computer/systems programmer and have recently retired.


I have been to the United States many times, unfortunately not to Arizona. I have been on duty at New Orleans, Dallas Texas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, as well as Harrisburg Pennsylvania to meet my uncle John Sempeles.

George sent me your website address: http://www.proferes.com/home.asp

Thank you for the photographs of your three Arizona paintings. They are spectacular.
I’ve seen also the new sites with your work. I liked them all a great deal. I was surprised at how incredibly strong John was. I have heard of another man from Karitsa who was also unbelievably strong like John. His name was Konstantinos Malavazos (popularly known as Konstantiroumanos). Bear in mind both John and Konstantinos were born in Karitsa… I will attach two anecdotes about him!

I am attaching four more photos from Karitsa you might like:

Karitsa 1951
One of the most memorable photographs ever from the village.
Taken on the steps of Evangelistria immediately after the National Day church service on 25 March 1952. To this day, it is the largest gathering of villagers ever taken in one photograph.

Trokles
Picture taken by me two years ago shows the old mule track into the village before the advent of the new road for motor transport. It was popularly known as "Trokles". My cousin Christos is shown admiring the vista.
Another view of the church from an elevated vantage point
 The cemetery is behind us
SA500034
Behind the Sanctuary of Agios Konstantinos
This is a small church next to the cemetery out of the picture on the right
SA500037

For the purposes of the Karitsa Family Trees, we would be appreciative if you could forward additional family details including your date of birth and the names of your children.

I'm also looking forward to reading your account of Arizona in 1941.
Sincerely,
John
12 February 2007
Letter from Jo
 (06-2)
Hello John,
Last night I called Bess. She asked me to send her your e-mail address, as well as that of George Proferes who lives in Virginia Beach. She said she did not know George, or you. I told her who George was, but I still do not quite understand which branch of the family tree you are on.

While Bess is well educated, she does not do much with computers, and told me she has no virus protection or firewalls. I think she is afraid of getting messages from overseas. She said she will talk to her husband about all this. I asked her for information about Tommy Proferes, her brother, and she wanted to tell me over the phone instead of sending it to me by e-mail. I feel there is less likely to be mistakes if a message is written down, so it can be re -read before sending. She will probably write and send it through the Post Office. When I get that information I will send it to you. She is not interested in genealogy. Odd. I have always wanted to know who I am.

I have never met Bess, just talked by phone and communicated by letter. John ran away from home when he was 14 or 15, and never went back, he did not want anything to do with his father, Peter Proferes. His brother, Gus, looked for him, and finally found him about 1980. Gus and his wife came out a couple of times, and our son David went back to Florida where Gus lived and worked there for awhile. My husband, John Proferes, flew (he was afraid of flying and this was his first and only trip by plane) back to Florida in 2001, and met all of Gus Proferes' children. Their sister, Grace, had died sometime before this, and Gus's wife, Mary was also gone. She died in 1998. Bess came from New Jersey to meet John. She was younger, and had not seen John since she was a little girl.

I stayed here, I was trying to finish up some educational coloring books that I was writing and illustrating, and our son, David, was on his way up from Arizona with my brother. David stopped in southern Idaho to pick up his three young sons, who lived with their mother, and bring them, too. I was going to help my son with some legal papers, so I could not go with John to Florida. But I wanted him to be with his family again before he died.

Both of our Sons, Joseph and David Proferes, are dead. I will write you about that in another letter. I feel that it is important to record family history. There will be Proferes' in the future who will want to know.

Now, it is time for me to wake up my great grandson and get his breakfast, and then drive him to school
Sincerely,
Jo Proferes
13 February 2007
Letter from John
(07-1)
Hello Jo,
To find me on the Karitsa Family Tree you select first the letter G and then my surname Gavriil. After this you select my name sequence number 25. Gavriil Ioannis (Giannis) Vasileiou Ioanni (b. 1945). (Gavriil is my surname, Ioannis is my first name, Vasileiou is my father, Ioanni is my grandfather)

If you click on my father’s name, on the top left, Gavriil, Vasileios Ioanni Achillea you come to another page. On the top right you'll find my grandmother’s name, Tsempelis, Maria. If you keep clicking you'll be travelling back in time tracing ancestors, one generation at a time.

My paternal grandmother, Maria Tsempelis, was a sister of Olga Tsempelis, the mother of George Proferes VA (On the Family Trees he is denoted as Georgios Profyris and his father as Thomas Profyris. This is in line with the current National Hellenic Passport Centre mandated way of transliterating Greek names. Whilst this sometimes may vary from the longstanding and preferred spelling of some names, this is preferred for the sake of consistency and to avoid past practices of having the same name represented in multiple ways).

A very useful tool is the Relationships Tool. When clicking the RELATIONSHIPS button in the PEOPLE menu you are transferred to a window where you can select two names, e.g.:

· First Last Name, select: Gavriil - First Name, select: Ioannis V.I.

· Second Last Name, select: Profyris - Second Name, select: Georgios T.D.

Then click the Go button and you'll see the results: George is my father’s first cousin, he is my uncle. This is a very useful tool, I like it!

If you would like to be included in the Karitsa Family Trees, please forward the details and it would be pleasure to create branches for both sides, maternal and paternal.

I see you had some difficulty communicating with Bess. Thank you very much for calling her. Tommy is now entered. His name may have been Athanasios (or Thanasis) in Greek.

I agree with you on the importance of documenting our family histories, and also to assist others in the future who would be interested in knowing.

Today everything is possible, the internet is here.
Sincerely,
John Gavriil
14 February 2007
Letter from Jo
 (07-02)
Hello John,
Thank you for all the pictures of Karitsa, and for your interest in recording for posterity the genealogy of the Proferes family.

Bess sent the information on Tommy, I have copied and pasted her letter at the bottom of this message.

John and I had three children, John is also dead. Information about them is:

Joseph Lee Proferes, born November 14, 1957, Lewiston, Idaho. Died (last seen alive) morning of June 2, 2004.

David John Proferes, born April 4, 1959, Lewiston, Idaho. Found dead October 14, 2003.

Diane Rae Proferes
, born March 28, 1960, Lewiston, Idaho.

John Proferes (no middle name), born August 3, 1920, (information on birth certificate which was obtained at time he retired, in old age. John always believed, and celebrated his birthday December 7th???? His saint's day???? John died August 8, 2004. After our sons died he did not want to live.

David had a daughter and three sons. His daughter was born October 4, 1980, at Lewiston, Idaho. Her mother is a Nez Perce Indian. I have been trying to reach her to ask her if she would like to be listed in the Proferes genealogy. She has 5 children and lives in another village. By his second wife David had three sons, but I do not dare give you their names to post on the internet because they are all under 18 years old. Their mother would have me arrested. There are too many pedophiles who find children on the internet. I will have my granddaughter in Reno write down the names and information and ask her to give it to you. That way if I die before the boys are 18, she can see it gets done. Of course I will ask them if they want this done. I am sure the two oldest ones will. The next to the oldest has "White Greek Power as part of his e-mail address. He is proud of his heritage.
Sincerely,
Jo Proferes

Letter from Bess
Hi Josephine,
I have the information for brother Tom: Name-Thomas, Date of birth-May 24, 1930, and Date of death- August 24, 1965. Thank you for emailing this to relative, John Gabriel.

Hope all is well with you, Diane and the grandchildren. Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine's Day. 
Love from Athan.
Love,
Bess

15 February 2007
Letter from John
(08-1)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for all the information you sent for the Karitsa Family Trees.

At this point, I would like your permission to forward all the data to Stelios Chagias, my friend in Australia who is the webmaster and responsible for updating the family tree. I would also like to be able to provide him with your email address in case he wants to ask you directly for any elaboration.

Thank you Jo.

Sincerely,
John
15 February 2007
Letter from Jo
(08-2)
Hello John,
I still have not been able to contact our son, David's, daughter, Angela Marie Proferes. (She married a boy named Luke Knox.) I think she might like to be listed, but she might surprise me and say "No!" We'll see!

But please feel free to use what I have already sent you on the family tree, and send it to any of the other members of the Proferes family.

Legeri, Gus Proferes' daughter, called me this afternoon to say that her dad had passed away this morning, February 14, 2007. Gus's wife, Mary, died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1998, December, I think.

Gus has been in some sort of retirement facility for a few years, now. Legeri said his special friend there, a lady, had a stroke a few weeks ago. Gus was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. He decided not to get any treatment. I am sure he just wanted to go on when his friend was taken away to a nursing home. I sent George Proferes a letter this afternoon telling him that Gus had passed on.

As an old friend of mine recently said, "Jo, as much as our kids and grand kids want us to hang around, others, who went before us, are just as anxious for us to pass over and be with them." I believe this is true. I may not get it done, but there are some things I need to do before I go, God willing.

I have this great grandson who is dependent on me, he is 7 years old. I would also like to finish that project I started in 2000, write a couple of novels, paint a half dozen pictures, and find a permanent home for the 20 Nez Perce Bicentennial Exhibit paintings, which I still own. I don’t think my heirs will have the faintest idea how to market my work, and have anything left after it is sold. The Nez Perce Tribe leased them from me in 1976 for their Bicentennial Project. The paintings tell the story of the Nez Perce War of 1877, in chronological sequence, from the Indian point of view. Indians have a different history than other Americans. So do black people.

Bess called me late this evening to let me know Gus was gone, and we talked quite awhile. She visited him not that long ago, and wondered then if that would be the last time she would see him.

Take care,
Jo
15 February 2007
Letter from John
(09-1)
Hello Jo,


You sent me sad news at this time. I’m saddened over Gus, another fellow countryman, born in Karitsa, passes away.

 I don’t know about your age, but I’m getting the idea that you are very strong. I hope that you stay as you are now for many years to come. We are looking forward to a great deal of collaboration in the future.
 I will now forward all your information to Stelios for the Karitsa Family Trees.

Sincerely,
John
17 February 2007
Letter from John
(09-2)
Hello Jo,
Hope everything is well with you.

I have sent some of our correspondence to my friends Stelios Chagias and Dimitris Katsampis in Australia for the sites they manage, "Family Trees of Karitsa" and "Karitsa of Laconia" respectively. All three of us, Stelios, Dimitris and I, are really excited as we gradually find out more about you by the day. We have also discovered your biography and a great deal more on the web.

Dimitris speaks for all of us in the following letter.
Sincerely,
John


Letter from Dimitris
John,
Thank you very much for the privilege and pleasure of reading through your correspondence with Jo.

There is absolutely no doubt that in Jo we have a famous, if not the most famous, bride of Karitsa. She is a warm, caring lady who has experienced a great deal in life.

I believe she possesses the insight, world outlook, intelligence and skill to tell us so much about the evolution of a Karitsa family in the United States. I would be particularly keen for the website to include a biography of Jo and John, more as a couple but of course inevitably touching on the individual pursuits of each one; his fleeing from home at a relatively young age, involvement in the trade union movement of the United States, meeting a much younger bohemian writer-artist who in many ways personifies the ideal of the multicultural melting pot of the new world. Her Indian American roots and participation in the affairs of the indigenous communities of North America of course excite. Moreover, her interest in our Karitsa that her husband left when he was just six years of age is most touching.

When you receive the photos from Jo I would dearly like to see them.

Regards
Dimitris

21February 2007
Letter from Jo
(09-3)
Hello John,
I thought I would also send photos to you of my husband's family.  I sent two sets already to Stelios.  I had to get them off a computer not connected to Internet, they were in my Family cookbook files, in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Pagemaker.  I put the cookbook project aside to do coloring books a few years ago.  Basically the cookbook is finished, but needs to be edited, and changed to a different font.

I edited the photos and formatted them for internet after I got them in this computer.

The photos included with this letter are:
   1.   Constantinos  (my husband, John Proferes' grandfather), wearing fustenella (skirt).  I know I didn't spell that word right.
    2.  The 4 sons of Constantinos, Standing, from left, Nick and John, sitting, George and Peter (my John's father).
    3.  Peter Proferes and family.  Grace standing, Bess in mother's (Legeri Mastorakis) arms, Gus on left, John on right.  Legeri is pregnant with Thomas.
    4.  John Proferes in his 40s, when he was P.F.I. Research foreman at the sawmill in Lewiston, Idaho.

I do not have cable or satellite, only a telephone connection for my internet service, so it takes a while to send and receive 150 DPI photos.  So I only send about 4 at a time.  After I send these, I will send some of me and the kids, and last of all, a photo of me as an old woman in my 60s.  I am now 75.

I will also send these to George Proferes in Virginia Beach, I am sure he does not know what these Proferes' look like.

Sincerely,
Jo Proferes

Constantine Proferes, 1925
Proferes Nick , John, George and Peter
The family of Peter and Lygeri Proferes
John Proferes in his early 40s
21 February 2007
Letter from Jo
(09-4)
Hello again John,
Here is another batch of photos from my cookbook file.
Sincerely,
Jo Proferes

Jo Proferes, Diane-Rae, David-John, Joseph-Lee

David John Proferes
21 February 2007
Letter from John
(10-1)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for all the pictures you sent me of your husband’s family.
Constantinos is wearing a foustanella, this is the Greek spelling in Latin script. So you were much closer to the Greek spelling.
I liked John’s photo at a very young age.
I’m sure Stelios is going to do a very good job in recording John’s family in the Karitsa Family Trees.

Can you give me an idea about your cookbook and how it’s been organized?

Is it the family’s photo album with some comments, made in Adobe Photoshop and Pagemaker?

I plan to leave Athens for the next three to four days, so I will write to you when I come back.
Sincerely,
John
24 February 2007
Letter from Jo
(10-2)
Hello John,
My cookbook is not exactly a family photo album, though I did put some photos of my family, John's family, and our kids' photos in it, as well as a photo of Karitsa, and another one of that area, in it.
I started with recipes my mother had taught me, then added recipes I had created, recipes I got from neighbors, but modified, recipes John's brother Gus had sent (which I also modified), and recipes we liked at restaurants, which I went home and duplicated (a special knack I had with my very sensitive taste buds when I was younger).

There is only one problem with being a good cook, you don't get to go out to eat unless you are traveling. John loved good food. I have come to see his point. About half the time you go out to eat, the food is nowhere near as good as what you can fix at home. I hate to pay a fancy price and get food that isn't cooked right, or meat that has been reheated, and they still charge a good price for the meal. You are so disappointed that you don't go out to eat for awhile. I still bake bread, but not as much as I did before John died.

My daughter loves homemade bread, as did her father, and her brothers. The grandkids all like it, too. But you can't bake and work in a back room on a computer at the same time.



This is what I told George Proferes of Virginia Beach:

I am, or used to be, one of those people who could eat a special dish in a restaurant then duplicate it at home. I think the hardest thing I ever duplicated was a match for Morton's sausage seasoning.

My mother used to make her own, then Morton's made something very similar, so she started using that. I did, too. John and I used to raise all our own meat. Chickens, pigs, beef. We had chickens for eggs, too, and kept milk cows, and had a few horses.

The first 9 years of my life I lived on a ranch.

 Anyway, Morton's quit making their sausage seasoning. I started buying Jimmy Dean sausage. It tasted just like the sausage we used to make! I then learned that Morton's had sold the rights to their sausage seasoning! I ground up some pork and began to experiment. Trying to remember what had been in Morton's.

My grandson was about 9 years old then, he helped by comparing the taste of the experiment to the Jimmy Dean sausage. He is a kid that loves food, and now he is 21, and he likes to cook. His father is a wonderful cook, too.

Anyway, I finally got it just right, and the right amounts of each ingredient and herb. That's in my cookbook, too, and it is really great for seasoning chicken.


Many of the recipes I have created are pastas, I made one my daughter says is "... to die for." It is a shrimp in cream sauce, and I generally serve it over buttered egg noodles. (There is also a recipe for homemade egg noodles, like my mother made, in the cookbook.)



The cookbook is dedicated to my mother, who was an orphan at 11 years old. I had planned to publish it (I, myself, am a small publisher, listed with R.R. Bowker as Birch Hill Books), and see if I could get chain restaurants to sell it, and donate all my profits to a special organization: Orphan Foundation of America. This organization helps young people who have “Aged Out” of the foster care system without finishing school. It helps these young people get an education and become productive members of society instead of joining the homeless and the derelicts.

When a child is 18, in the U.S., he is no longer eligible for foster care, and must go to work, most of the time at minimum wage, and his education is over.



The cook book is organized with the dedication to my mother in the front, family photos, cooking hints, and family photographs, and a short bio of me with almost four pages of cooking hints. Then, sections:
1. Bread and yeast goodies (this includes specialty and ethnic breads)
2. Pasta and rice
3. Meats and main dishes
4. Casseroles and meat pies
5. Gravies and homemade stuffings
6. Soups and stews and chowders as main dishes
7. Salads and vegetables
8. Miscellaneous odds and ends (fried green tomatoes, fried zucchini, fried squash blossoms, Mexican foods, other ethnic foods)
9. Genuine odd stuff (oven jerky, smoked fish, pate, scrapple, pickles and preserves -spiced sweet pickle beets, my mother's recipe- apple butter, green tomato preserves, watermelon rind preserves)
10. Sweet stuff goodies and deserts (including my mother's recipe for homemade mincemeat, and the recipe for mincemeat pie, candies, and puddings, including bread pudding)
11. Substitutions, good ideas and helpful information (clean up ideas)
12. Health (aids, alcoholism, cancer, diabetes, diets, heart disease, lice, mice and fleas, and home remedies).



The index is in the back of the book. The book is richly illustrated with pen and ink drawings of old kitchen tools and cookware from the late 19th century and early 1900s. Wherever there is space for a sketch at the bottom of a page, but not enough space for a recipe, I put an ink sketch. I sketched my mother's old Husqvarna hand operated meat grinder, it is in this book, and a hand operated grater and salad shooter.

In the front, in the dedication, I have placed a pen and ink sketch of an old wood range. Under Beef, I have a sketch of a chuck wagon, with the cook fixing dinner for cowboys over a fire, behind the tailgate.



On the back cover is a kitchen tool that looks sort of like a curry comb for horses (without the teeth), that was used for beating egg whites on a platter for meringue or angel food cake, before hand turned mixers were invented.

Beneath this I scanned in what was left of an old recipe for angel food cake that was in the 1920s Swans Down Cake recipe book. The directions for beating the egg whites "... in peaks, but not dry..." are intact! That was all that was left of that cake recipe book (pamphlet), which, I think, came in a sack of flour.



The front cover will be a woman and young boy firing up a fourno early in the morning, while it is still somewhat dark, but the mountain behind is still visible. This will be a firelight scene. It is one of the four little 16X20 sketches I made after I got out of the hospital in 2005. Doing that made me feel that I was accomplishing something besides just sitting around, because I was too weak to walk. This will be an oil painting. David was going to do the photography of the food for the 12 different sections, but now I will have to make other plans. Maybe I will use colored pencils and create the graphics myself, though I would prefer good photographs. If I find a publisher to publish the book, instead of publishing it myself, they would take care of that part. Colored pencil art is beautiful, but time consuming to do.

And, yes, I used Adobe Photoshop to scan in, and format the sketches, as line art. And, the book is in Pagemaker. I love those two programs. I first typed the book up in Perfect Write (an old word processor program), in a 1993 Packard Bell computer that had a hard drive with just a few kilobytes of space. Our son David was a computer whiz, self taught (he just opened and looked into literally everything), he talked me into getting a custom built computer, and had me save the cookbook off the Packard Bell as ASCII files, on 5 or 6 floppy disks and we opened them in Pagemaker 6.5 in the new computer, I still have the handwritten notes I took down when he told me how to do it.. I love Pagemaker, even though all the commercial printers use Quark. I still save the document for service provider, and when it gets to the printer they change it to Quark. I wish Adobe made puzzle software. I have Pagemaker 7.0, but never use it, I am so familiar with 6.5 (with update) that I just do not feel like taking the time to learn another program.

 Now they have In Design, so you do not have to install PPD files, which is a real pain when you have to get a different printer.

I am going to finish up my American History series of coloring books with what I have. I just hope my work computer doesn't go tits up. I have had two big Tektronix laser printers, now I have a Xerox replacement, and I hate the thing. Can't adjust the color, sometimes it tells me I have to put paper in the multipurpose tray and use that tray, shit like that.

 I put the graphics in the book after I had it in Pagemaker, but I still have not edited the text, nor changed the font. I set this project aside to work on the Nimiipu (Nez Perce Indian) coloring books, a series of three, for which my daughter and a granddaughter did the puzzle and game books that go with them. The coloring books were published in the summer of 2003, and the Puzzle and game books in the late spring of 2004, the year my John died.


I probably already said that most of the first edition of the coloring books were purchased by the U.S. Forest Service for educational material in their interpretive centers along the Lewis and Clark Trail (originally the Nez Perce Trail). Had it not been for the Nez Perce the Lewis and Clark Expedition would never have made it to the Pacific, nor back over the mountains of Idaho to go back to St. Louis, MO.


Sincerely,

Jo




P.S. I am sending a snapshot of me and my recipe tester, and one of me when I was about 63.


Me and my recipe tester
He is about 62, I am 51

Me about 63
27 February 2007
Letter from John
(11-1)
Hello Jo,
I’m back again in Athens.

Thank you for all the photos you sent me.

Sorry, I mixed up your cookbook with the photo album. My confusion was due to the photos you were selecting from this to send us. I thought this was your photo album.

Due to my confusion I learned much about it, how your cookbook is been organized, and all this with the help of your very detail description. I think you have done a lot of nice work with it. It would be nice to look at it but we are very far away.


In your last email you are referring: “My daughter loves homemade bread, as did her father, and her brothers.” I have tree pictures to send you where you can see how the Karitsa people made home bread the old days. In these pictures you can see my aunt Diamanto and her husband Nikos, who helped her, how they bake bread in their old oven. The oven was wood burned, I hope is clear what I want to say. My aunt Diamanto was my mother’s sister. My mother Maria, maiden name Tounta, was also from Karitsa. She was born in Karitsa and her brother and her sisters too. The photos were taken in an area where they had a small farm, patches of ground, goats etc. These people they spend all their live at this place. The picture was taken 25 years ago by me, and you can see also my wife Katerina and my two sons Nikos from left and Vassilis at a yang age.

Another thing you mentioned was: “Many of the recipes I have created are pastas, I made one my daughter says is "... to die for.” I liked what your daughter says, but I would prefer myself to test it. As I said before, I’m too far away.

Jo, don’t forget to describe this you have mentioned in one of your first emails: “I will tell you another time how it was that we had moved to Arizona in 1941.” I like to read stories from the old days.
Sincerely,
John

Traditional bread making - 1
Three photographs at the fournos (baking kiln) at Kakavouri showing traditional bread baking in our part of the world

Traditional bread making - 2
One by one loaves are carefully placed in the kiln
Traditional bread making
Loaves are evenly spread for the baking process
27 February 2007
Letter from Jo 
(11-2)
Hello John,
Thank you for the photos of the oven and bread baking. The one that will be on the cover of the cook book will be an outdoor oven. I got my information for the fourno from John's brother, Gus.

No, you are not too far away to see if the recipe is as great as my daughter, Diane thinks it is. I am e-mailing the recipe, and you can try it for yourself. I believe good food should be shared. I am willing to share my recipes, except with someone who wants to publish them in a recipe book, however, but with anyone else.

The recipe for the pasta sauce is below this letter. If you like shrimp, you will probably like this. My John refused to even taste this, he insisted the only way to eat shrimp was fried! As he got older he got sort of peculiar in some ways. He did not want to eat clam chowder at that restaurant, either, but when he tried it, he loved it, so we had to go out and eat clam chowder about once a week, until we got the watered down stuff and he wanted to know if I could make chowder at home. I have pasted my version of clam chowder below the shrimp pasta sauce. If you like clam chowder, you will probably like this.

And, I will get around to writing a short autobiography about our move from Colorado to Arizona. I was born in Oregon, delivered by my father during a blizzard, in a log cabin, which he built. He even made the shakes on the roof. I have a picture of that, too. My older brother went to Oregon a little over 50 years ago, found the cabin, and had pictures taken of it, and I also put this in the front part of the cook book.
Jo
27 February 2007
Letter from John
(12-1)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for the recipes you sent me. I have a lot of work to do now. I have to translate them into Greek and give them to my wife for cook. I must be very careful to avoid any mistake if I like to feel like Diane.
Sincerely,
John
1 March 2007
Letter from John
 (12-2)
Hello Jo,
I have sent your message to Stelios for Shelly's name to be added to the Proferes family. Thank you.

I'm facing a few small problems with the units of measure when translating the recipes. As you probably know there is a different system in Greece than the one you have in the US.

I have 2 queries:
…into 5 qt. (what does qt. stands for?)
…into 8 T. (what does T. stands for?)

I’m sure I'll sort it out in time I will test your recipes.
John
2 March 2007
Letter from Jo
 (12-3)
Hello John,
I do not know if I sent you my granddaughter, Shelly's, address before, if I did, I do not see it in the sent file, but I apologize for sending it twice if I did send it before.

Shelly wants to be included in the Proferes family, and she asks me to send you her address. She was my husband's favorite grandchild. She still hasn't recovered from his death, and it has been almost 3 years.

Hope you did a good job translating the recipe my daughter, Diane says is, "...to die for!" Wouldn't want you to feel it wasn't worth dying for!

Below is Shelly's e-mail address.

Jo
3 March 2007
Letter from Jo
(12-4)
Hello John,
Qt. stands for quart, there are 4 quarts to a gallon, and I know you use metric measurements, our dictionaries have conversion charts, under "measures". Perhaps the Greek dictionaries have the same thing??? If it were Spanish I could translate it for you, but Greek is as we Americans say, "All Greek to me." Which of course means that, "I don't understand a word of it!"

T. stands for tablespoon. 8 T. is actually 1/2 cup (one half cup) liquid, like milk or oil. Or solid, like flour, or shortening (butter margarine or lard). Hope this helps. All this translating is complicated, you could be a very old man before you get to see if the shrimp in cream pasta is worth dying for!

Thank you for sending Shelly's message to Stelios. I also sent him her e-mail address, and, sent her his e-mail address, with his permission, of course.

Jo
5 March 2007
Letter from John
 (13-1)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for your help with the units of measure. I wanted to be sure that I understood it correctly.

I have sent a message to Shelly, to say hello from Athens.

I would like to ask you if it is possible to send me the photo you mentioned in a previous email of the log cabin you were born in Oregon.

I think I have few photos of goats in Karitsa. If you are interested I'll have to find, scan and send them over to you.
Sincerely,
John
4 March 2007
Letter from Jo
(13-2)
John,
I hope the recipe turns out O.K.

I would love to have a good graphic of the kind of goats around Karitsa, I will use these in a painting of the house where my John was born, if the place can be found so that I have background material. My daughter is hoping something can be found. She is counting on getting the painting. I have also promised to do another one of an Arizona bald eagle over the Salt River canyon, for her. Of course I would furnish a good graphic of the painting for the Karitsa site.

I realize what a luxury it would have been to own even a simple camera in the 1920s. We are not talking about wealthy people, and in the 1920s hardly anybody in the U.S. owned a camera, either.

Family photos were taken by traveling photographers, who used a camera with a special flash, sort of like the one used by William Henry Jackson when he traveled the old west in the 1800s, and was the first to photograph Yellowstone Park. They did not use film, they used some kind of plates.

I do not know that much about cameras. I have an old 4X5 inch Graflex camera, that we used to make 4X5 color transparencies of the Nez Perce, and the Arizona series of historical paintings I did 1973- 1986. I also still have my Zeis Icon, 35 MM camera, with a flash. It is a German camera. Then the Japanese came out with a 35MM camera that was a lot easier to adjust for distance, and quicker. I did not use it for photographing paintings, but to take pictures of grand children.

Even if the house is gone, and only rubble left, I could possibly reconstruct the house using houses that were similar on a Karitsa hillside. I would still need the actual background where the house was built. I do not want to use my imagination for the background. I thought that I would put Legeri Mastorakis Proferes in the painting, possibly milking a goat, and Gus, and John, as children, in the painting. John did not see his father until he was 6 years old. His mother stayed behind, and grew grain on the little patches of land they owned on the hillside outside of Karitsa.

The house was built like what we would call a "walk out basement". It was 2 storeys, the goats and the mule, or burro, lived in the bottom storey, which had a door that opened on the downhill side. It was made of native stone.

I am sending the graphic of the cabin where I was born. I am not sure if the roof had been rebuilt, but the logs were the same. My brother, Bill, is in the photograph with his children. The photo was taken in about 1954, and the cabin was built in 1927 or 1928. I was born in 1932, January 1st.

I am also sending you a photo of me and a goat, taken in 1939 on the ranch in Colorado before we moved to Arizona in 1941. The goat is a Saanen. We took the goats to Arizona with us. My mother insisted children needed milk, and there would be plenty of government land for them to graze on. Which there was. It was after I left there in 1954 that Arizona was settled up. We sold the cattle, my dad traded the horse herd for a long bed 1 1/2 ton, 1936 Ford Truck, and we went to Arizona in the summer of 1941.
Sincerely,
Jo

The Log cabin where I was born in Oregon
Me with goat at 7
6 March 2007
Letter from John
 (14-1)
Hello Jo,
The recipes not ready yet. I'll let you know when my wife is ready to cook the pasta shrimp in cream sauce.

I'm really supportive of your wish to produce the graphic of the house where John was born. I will support you in any way I can to collect the images necessary.

I plan to write a letter to my friend in Karitsa to start asking around and locating, if possible, the house. I know of a Panagiotis (Peter) Profyris. He is John’s first cousin. His father, George, was a brother of John’s father, Peter. I know that he lives in Athens but he visits Karitsa quite often. He has a house in Karitsa. He probably is the best person to ask.

The next time I plan to visit Karitsa will be end of May. In a few days I should know if somebody knows the house. I don’t think that the house is gone though it may be owned by somebody else. The difficulty, as I see it now, is the time period that the family lived in Karitsa. Did you ever hear from John or from his father if their family stayed at their own house or at Peter’s father's house until they left for the US. In any case if they show me two or three houses I will take pictures of all of them.

I've found only three pictures of goats taken in the Kakavouri area which I'm forwarding to you. I'm not really happy with them. I took them almost 28 years ago at my aunt Diamanto's place, a small farm. Next time, in May, I will try to take better pictures of goats!.
Sincerely,
John

Young boy looking after a small goat
Young boys enjoying the idea of goat herding
Inside the goat pen
A bird's-eye view of the Kakavouri area
Notice the shepherd's hut and the enclosed goat pens
5 March 2007
Letter from Jo
(14-2)
Hello John,
Thank you very much for the photos of the goats, I am sure that I can make these do for the painting. I am going to call John's sister, Bess, again, and ask her if she knows who owned the house. I already asked about pictures of the house, and she has none. I do not want to bother Gus's daughter, Legeri, I know she is grieving, and will be for a long time, even though her father was old. Grief does not go away, you just have to learn to live with it.

I noticed these goats are a Saanen cross, and there is at least one in the herd that is a Toggenberg, it has stripes on its face. And it, too, is a mix, I would guess, with Angora, which has twisty horns and long, white, silky hair that is sheared like sheep, for the hair. Mohair, they used to use it for the stuffing in couches, chairs, and padding in automobile seats. I have a pair of those twisty horns. My older brother got the first job after we got to Arizona, herding Angora goats. He was about 14 years old. My mother made a wig for my doll with that long, silky hair. She had an old treadle (food operated) Singer sewing machine. That sewing machine went everywhere with us. I learned to sew on it. We never had store bought clothes. My mother made shirts and underwear from flour sacks.

I appreciate you interest and help in trying to locate the old house. It will be an interesting project. I will soon be done with these American history series coloring books, and I have paintings planned.
Sincerely,
Jo
6 March 2007
Letter from John
(15-1)
Hello Jo,
There won't be a problem taking some more pictures of goats in Karitsa next time. I’m very surprised with your knowledge on the subject of goats. I think you are really very good at everything.

I will let you know if I have any news on the house. First I'll go through all your emails to find the sections describing the house, translate them into Greek and write a letter to my friend in Karitsa. I also have to find Panagiotis Profyri's phone number here in Athens to call and ask him if he knows anything. It is a very interesting project. I’m sure that you already have the house in your mind's eye. Let's see how we go with this!

I received a reply back from Shelly. She must be a wonderful person. She speaks with enthusiasm and great love for you and her lost Papa, John.
Sincerely,
John
22 March 2007
Letter from John
(15-2)
Hello Jo,
Firstly, I would like to tell you that my wife cooked the pasta recipe. We reduced the quantities in half, for five people. I can say that I loved the shrimp-in-cream sauce test. I imagine that this recipe would be much better if you personally prepared it, as the expert cook that you are. You never know, maybe I'll be lucky one day to test your own cooking. We are not that very far away…

I'm still looking for information about the house where Gus and John were born in Karitsa. It is proving very difficult to find information going back to the 1920s.

I called Panagiotis Profyris, John’s cousin who lives in Athens. Panagiotis also can be found in Karitsa or in another village called Agios Andreas. He has houses in both villages.

Panagiotis told me that in Karitsa there is his family’s home (his father George's house), which is mainly used by him and his brothers when visiting Karitsa.

There is another house, the old Profyris family home, where John’s grandfather Konstantinos lived. It is a small house and was sold to somebody else after Konstantinos died. Konstantinos lived there until his death. I asked him if the old Profyris home had a bottom storey and he said, no. He told me that he doesn’t know if Peter had rented another house in Karitsa for his family.

There is another village of interest. The Profyris family owned plots of land and small hovels (kalyvia) in Agios Andreas on the plains. Peter also had plots of land and as well as a kalyvi there. I don’t know if this is correct, but Panagiotis told me that when Peter immigrated to the US, he moved his family, wife and the children, from Karitsa to a small kalyvi in Agios Andreas. I don’t know if John had mentioned anything like this to you, or if he mentioned anything about Agios Andreas. If not, you can possibly ask Bess and see if she knows something.

At the end of May when I plan to visit Karitsa, I'll photograph both Profyris houses in Karitsa and send them to you. If you think of anything you would like, please ask me.

I would also like to ask you if you have any photos of Gus and John at a very young age that I could have? I know that in Agios Andreas there is a very old man called Panagiotis Chagias. He is 95 years old and in a very good health. I would like to show him the photo and ask if he knows anything Peter’s family?

A few days ago I requested a certificate for Peter’s family from the local registry office at Geraki, about 10 kilometres from Karitsa. When I receive it I'll scan it and send it to you, to keep it. The certificate will be in the Greek and it will be accompanied by my English translation.
Sincerely,
John

Birth Certificate for John Proferes
 Issued by local registry office at Geraki


Family Certificate for Peter and Lygeri Proferes
 Issued by local registry office at Geraki 
24 March 2007
Letter from Jo
(15-3)
Hello John,
I will appreciate anything you can send me on the house where John was born. And I thank you for the time you have already spent trying to help me in this matter. Glad you liked the shrimp-in-cream pasta sauce. Usually some things are lost in translation, especially Greek or American Indian dialect, because there is no literal translation, word for word, from either, to English, or from English to Greek or American Indian dialect.

I thought I sent you the Peter Proferes family portrait, after they were living in America. Rather than go back and try to find it in the "sent" file, I will just send it again. You may have received it already. This is the only photo I have of John when he was a boy. He is standing in front of his mother, Gus is standing in front of his father, Peter Proferes. Grace is being supported by her father, on the stool, and Bess is in her mother's arms.
Sincerely,
Jo
25 March 2007
Letter from Jo
(15-4)
Hello John,
I tried to call Bess last week, and left a message, on her mobile phone, which she never received. She just called me with information about the house where my husband, John, and his brother had lived when their father was in America.

According to a cousin in Athens with whom she keeps in contact, the house belonged to Peter Proferes' brother, Nicholas Proferes, and now belongs to Evangelos Proferes. He spells it "Porfyris". He has remodeled the house, and it has been modernized. It is built into a hillside at Karitsa, and it does have two floors. She said she will send me two pictures of it, one from the side, one from the downhill side. I wish she had a scanner and knew how to use one. It would be better for me if she e-mailed them to me rather than using a copy machine, which makes them look more like bitmap graphics. I will have to "de-modernize" it and make the bottom story a goat barn in the painting. But I am very happy that she has found something to make a painting possible.

She said she may also have a picture of her mother at a younger age, and I asked her if the museum where she works has a color copier. She said they do. Even a black/white photo looks better when copied on a color copier, rather than a Xerox copier, which she suggested. I am not sure how many shades of gray there really are, but a lot, and a black/white copy machine does not copy the gray part. Which I need, to do a portrait.

John, just how difficult is it to translate a recipe and make it usable? My son David loved to cook, and had a recipe for waffles that I modified, and experimented with to make oat waffles, which are healthier than waffles made with just all white flour. I never buy bleached flour. They cannot remove the bleach, you eat that, too. Bleached flour is not good for our bodies.

If you want a copy of the oat waffle recipe I will paste it into a letter and send it to you. I copied that off the other computer along with other recipes and put it in this machine. I also make a spaghetti sauce with chicken and vegetables, that my John really liked. John LOVED food. He was really fussy about his food. I think he really married me because my mother was such a wonderful cook, and he thought that, surely, I had to be, too!
Sincerely,
Jo
29 March 2007
Letter from John
(15-5)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for the recipe and the information for diabetes you sent me.

I have few photos to send of the Nikolas Proferes house in order to have a better understanding. Two of the pictures I took last year. The others are older pictures. In any case, at the end of May I’m going to take more pictures with my digital camera and send them over to you.

Karitsa School Children 1958
The house of Nikolas Profyris can be seen in the background.
On the left of the house the main water spring of the village can also be seen.
Main water spring of the village 
Gardens of Karitsa
This is an old picture, where the vegetable gardens can be seen in front of the Profyris house.
The picture depicts a funeral procession in the village.
The Karitsa cemetery is not shown but is next to the church of Agios Konstantinos, up the hill on the right behind house
Profyris House on the left
Another, closer, view of the house behind the gardens
This is an old picture too.
On the right, out of the picture, there was a pool for collecting water for the gardens.
The blankets shown  on the rocks are for washing.
Today the pool has been upgraded and sealed to store water suitable for households.
Gourna
The old pool (gourna) outside the Profyris house
Profyris House with the pool as it is today
This picture was taken by me with a digital camera last in 2006.
Outside the house you can see the new pool.
Profyris House Entrance 2006
This is also one of my pictures
From my observations the house doesn’t look to have been modernized or reconstructed as Bess says. It also doesn’t look to be as John described it to you. I discussed this with my friends in Australia, Stelios and Dimitris. I asked Dimitris to summarise our thoughts. 

Your comments on this would be greatly appreciated.
Sincerely,
John

Dimitri's summary
So far we have not been able to pinpoint with certainty the house that John Proferes was born and lived in during the first six years of his life before immigrating to the United States with his mother Lygeri and his older brother Konstantinos.

More than three-quarters of the 150 or so houses that constitute the village fit the architecture described by John. All houses are of stone. Most are of two storeys in the sense that they are built on a slope in such a way that the door of the top storey, where families live, opens up onto firm ground above, as does the door of the stables on the bottom storey below.

The two possible places mentioned so far, his grandfather’s and his uncle Nikolas’, however, do not match these characteristics. His grandfather’s house was a low single storey hovel while that of his uncle is an imposing structure, at least in village terms. It consists of two storeys, the second of which is accessed via an outside staircase. This house, unlike most houses in the village also features a courtyard that is enclosed by high strong stone-built walls.

It is of course quite possible, even probable, that Lygeri and her two boys lived in the house belonging to her brother in law Nikolas and that John’s recollections from his infant days are a mixture of experiences in all the homes of the extended Profyris family, including that of his other uncle, George, that he no doubt often visited. Notably George's house matches the description!

29 March 2007
Letter from John
(15-6)
Hello Jo,
Sorry I’m so late, I was out of Athens for the last four days.

Last time you had good news about the house in Karitsa where Gus and John had lived.

Before I form an opinion about the Nikolas Profyris house, I would like to do some more research. I also have few photos of the house to send you. In my next e-mail I’m going to send you the pictures accompanied with comments, which will take me some time. If you could possibly send me also the pictures from Bess, I could do some crosschecking.

I also received the two certificates, the one for John and the other for Peter’s family. If you like to have the original papers I can send them by post. The problem is that they are written in Greek and I have to translate them, which also takes more time.

Some comments are necessary about the Greek spelling of Proferes name. The original name was spelled as “Profyris” but later on some of the Profyris changed it to “Porfyris”. I don’t know the reason, but today you can find both spellings for the Proferes name.
Sincerely,
John
29 March 2007
Letter from Jo
(16-1)
Hello John,
I understand that the name, "Proferes" is spelled several ways. John told me how the name is pronounced in Greek. And Gus said that there is no literal, word for word translation of Greek into English. Sort of like Native American languages, where a phrase is worded in English to convey the meaning of the original, but is not a word for word translation.

I have John's birth certificate, in Greek, and an English translation. This birth certificate states that he was born in August, not December. I would like to receive any certificates you have on John and his father, Peter, whenever you get around to translating them.

When Bess sends me the photos I will send copies on to you. If she e-mails them, I will also send them on to you.

Now I am really confused! Bess said her cousin had remodeled and modernized the house. I hope she can get someone to scan the photos she has and send them to me. She is even less computer literate than I am.

I will copy that article from the Weimar Institute, and post it to you as soon as I can. I do know one thing, exercise reduces the blood glucose level. And when I got out of the hospital in May, 2005, I was taking insulin shots, and asked my doctor if I could try to wean myself off insulin. He gave me the Okay, and I spent several weeks reducing the amount of the insulin, going down 2 cc at a time. My body had become dependent on it when I was in the hospital.
Jo

30 March 2007
Letter from Jo
(19-1)
John,
Thank you again for the photos of Karitsa and the Proferes house. I thought you might enjoy the graphic I have attached. It is appropriate for Palm Sunday and the Holy Week.
Jo

Maranatha
P.S. I will get that article from the Weimar Institute copied and send it to you by post.
31 March 2007
Letter from Jo
(20-1)
Hello John,

George sent me virtually the same message. And I thought he was in Las Vegas with friends, having fun. I encouraged him to go someplace warm for the winter when he first mentioned he was considering doing so. He has never said, but I think he lives alone. So there is no one to look out for him if he becomes ill, unless his son lives near him. I hope that his son checks on him regularly.
Take care,
Jo


1 April 2007
Letter from John
(20-2)
Hello Jo,
I don't really know many things about Uncle George. I thought that he lived with his wife, and that she looked after him.

Thanks for the printout of the Weimar article on diabetes you sent me.

As for Gerson’s book, I’m thinking of placing an order, I have to contact them to find out how I can order it and pay for it from Greece.


Thank you for all your help.

I discussed again the Karitsa house issue with Dimitris and outlined my opinion. Dimitris is a very remarkable person; he is a school teacher in Australia and a very good friend and fellow countryman. He is the third man in the two projects we are running on the Web. In the following note he once again summarises our rent discussions. At this point I would like to have your permission, if Dimitris wishes, to contact you directly using your email.
Sincerely,
John

Dimitri's summary
John
I can understand how Jo would be confused. To an extent, I share her frustration. I guess that to a non-Greek the notion of an extended family and children feeling quite at home in more than one abode may be difficult to fully follow. Yet, in this case, the more and more I think about it, the more I am inclined to believe that her John over time may have composed a composite picture of all familiar dwellings in the village.


So I agree with you that perhaps the best course for Jo is to base her depiction on the description John provided her numerous times. From memory, one of the numerous houses in Karitsa that fits that description is that of his uncle George.

2 April 2007
Letter from Jo
(21-1)
John,
You have my permission to forward my e-mail address to Dimitris.

I have been very busy editing the coloring book graphics on the American Civil War. The corkscrew legs on the table where Eli Parker wrote up the conditions of surrender for General Robert E. Lee are a bitch to clean, even with a white pencil (which I always use instead of the eraser) in Adobe Photoshop, and blown up to 200%.

This is book 7 of 8, and I have all the rest done. Number 8 was the first book I did. I began with Book 1 when I did my research, and finished with Book 8, and went ahead and did the graphics for it, since I had just finished the research and had been visualizing the graphics as I wrote out the narratives.

I have finished and printed out the graphics that I will use for the front, and some of the back, covers. I am on the last lap of this race! It is a race against old age.

John, I can paste in the Cancer therapy that I used on John, (as I did for Stelios), in an e-mail letter, from my cookbook, if you would like. I modified it because I had to practice medicine without a license, and I could not do everything Gerson did in his clinics. Such as give John liver injections. I substituted dried/desiccated, liver tablets. This, and pancreatin tablets, were the only animal products John had for many months. I also used frozen grape juice instead of fresh, and I could not afford the expensive machine he recommended for making green juice. I picked and washed wild lettuce and other edible weeds, chopped them in a blender, poured hot, not quite boiling, water over them, let them set until almost cool, and poured them through a section of worn out, clean, panty hose, squeezing to get every drop of juice. I used herbs and even mum leaves. Whatever I could find, because weeds do not grow year around where we live.
Take care,
Jo
3 April 2007
Letter from Jo
(22-1)
Hello John,
Well, I finally got to a regular Post Office and mailed you the article.
That was at about 10:00 AM today. I hope it gets to you. I sent it the way the Postmaster advised. I think you will have to sign for it. I wanted some kind of confirmation of delivery.
I hope it is of some help.
Jo

3 April 2007
Letter from John
(22-2)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for mailing me the article today. I will confirm the delivery.
You are very kind.

I have to do the translation and send the certificates to you by post.

In one of the first photos I have sent, you can see one side of George Profyris house. I am resending this photo with the sign "George" on it. The entry of the house is on the other side not shown. The house has been repaired by George's children. At the end of May I will take more pictures of all Proferes houses. Do you have any news from Bess?
Take care
John
10 April 2007
Letter from John
(22-3)
Hello Jo,
I received today the Weimar Institute article you sent me by post.

I see it was quite expensive to send the pages by registered post. Thank you.

Thank you also for your handwritten note which I shall keep as a souvenir.

I red and I understood how the diabetes cycle is working, beta cells, sugar doors in the cells wall, pancreas etc.
I have ready the certificates and I’m going to send them by post tomorrow.

Thank you again.
Sincerely,
John
5 April 2007
Letter from Jo
(23-1)
Hello John,
Interesting, the letter you copied and sent from Dimitri:

"... I guess that to a non-Greek the notion of an extended family and children feeling quite at home in more than one abode may be difficult to fully follow…."

As a matter of fact that is exactly how American Indians regard family! And, up through World War II, most poor people also would move in with each other when they had no other place to go, or had no money, or for some other reason. I know that black people also live this way. As a matter of fact, wasn't this custom practiced by the Hebrews before Christ?
Jo
20 April 2007
Letter from Jo
(24-1)
Hello John,
Yesterday, April 19, I picked up the mail, and the your letter with the documents was there.

Thank you for taking the trouble to do this for me. I appreciate the translations. These documents that John's actual birth date was August 3, 1920, as is on the birth certificate that his brother Gus helped him get when he was ready to retire. He needed the proof of birth date to retire.

I will give these documents to my daughter, Diane, along with her father's birth certificate.

Again, thank you. Diane treasures anything relating to her father. She says she had the greatest, most loving father in the world. John did adore his own children, and loved children in general, and they loved him. His grandchildren's friends also called him “Papa" or "Grandpa”.
Sincerely,
Jo
30 April 2007
Letter from John
 (25-1)
Hello Jo,
I attach a few more documents for Diane, if she doesn't have them already, I thought they might be of interest.

These documents contain the ship manifest for Ligeri, Gus and John, sailing from port PIRAEUS (Greece) on Feb 12 1927, arriving at port of New York on Mar 3 1927, aboard the S.S. “EDISON”.

On lines 25-27 you can find the following details:

Ligeri Porfiris 31yo married 5ft4in tall, brown complexion with brown hair and eyes, last residence Karitsa, born in Kounoupia of Kynouria

(Son) Costas Porfiris 9yo, 4ft5in tall, dark complexion with brown hair and eyes, last residence Karitsa, born in Karitsa of Laconia.

(Son) John Porfiris 6yo, 3ft6in tall, dark complexion with brown hair and eyes, last residence Karitsa, born in Karitsa of Laconia.

Ligeri’s closest relative in Greece was Ekaterini Mastorakis of Kounoupia, Kynouria

Ligeri and her sons were going to join their father Peter Proferes at 542 Main St, Edwardsville, Pennsylvania.

First attachment is the left hand page of ship manifest, second the right hand side and third the S.S. “Edison” picture.
Sincerely,
John




30 April 2007
Letter from Jo
(25-2)
Hello John, 
Thank you for the information on the house, and the last letter with the attachments. I also received a letter from Stelios about the house. I printed both out and will call Bess and read this information to her.

See what she says. She should have access to the same people you know, she says she kept in touch with a cousin, who is a Proferes, and lives in Athens. She and her husband used to visit Greece every year at least once. They wanted to make sure their daughter stayed Greek. Didn't work. The girl married an Irishman, a plastic surgeon.

This graphic of the ship you sent me, the Edison, is the ship Legeri and the boys came to America on? I am going to save that and see if I can't make it a printable graphic. I could read nothing on the graphics of the ship's manifest, but will print out the information you enclosed in the letter.

Thank you
Sincerely,
Jo Proferes
30 April 2007
Letter from John
(25-3)
Hello Jo,
Yes, this is the ship Legeri and the boys came to America on.

You can use the Photoshop zoom tool to read the information written on the graphics of the ship's manifest, lines 25 to 27.

I expect to hear Bess's comments about the house before my next visit to Karitsa. This will be around May 20th.

From Saturday May 5th, I will be out of Athens for one week going to Evia Island. The weather is very good this time and hot.
Sincerely,
John
06 May 2007
Letter from Jo
(26-1)
Dear John,
I am looking for the house where my John was living while his father was in America, and from which he, his mother, and his brother Gus loaded their stuff on a mule and went down to the sea to get on a small boat that took them to Athens, where they then boarded the large ship which took them to America.

I am sorry I did not get back to you with a reply. I caught my great grandson's cold, or flu, or whatever it was he brought back from school, and have been sick, with a fever, blurry eyesight, ringing in ears, dizzy spells, weak legs, and sore throat. I have not called Bess because I have been too hoarse to talk to her.

My daughter Diane spent the last two nights up here with me, and I just heard her come in the door. I wish she would not worry so much.
Jo
13 May 2007
Letter from Jo
(27-1)
Hello John,
I am still suffering from the bug, and as a result of this infection my blood sugar is a lot higher than it usually is.

Yesterday my daughter went after the mail, and there were two photos of a house that you had already sent to me, Nicholas's house. This is not the house that Legeri lived in before coming to America, is it? The house from which the sea is visible. I wish we had made contact with each other before Gus passed away, before he got so sick. He might remember.
Sincerely,
Jo
14 May 2007
Letter from John
(27-2)
Hello Jo,
I think there is a lot of confusion about the house. You are right, Gus might have remembered, it's too late now!

I will see what I can find at the end of May on my visit to Karitsa.

Take care of yourself.
Sincerely,
John

22 May 2007
Letter from Jo
 (27-3)
John,
Thank you. I did receive this letter. I wondered if I had deleted one from you.

There is another "Gabriel" that has just begun sending me stuff, but no Greek letters (characters) in the subject, and since I have been a targeted victim by someone trying to deliberately send me a virus, I always right-click on anything that looks suspect, and go to the drop down menu and right-click again, to delete. Then, I right-click on everything in "Trash", and go through the same process again. Of course I have Dr. Norton's Symantic antivirus protection and firewall, but I still take no chances.

I have had a special computer just for e-mail since the "Love Bug" virus came out in the late 1990s. I missed getting that by 4 hours. My website designer received four copies of it, from four friends, who had no idea they were passing it on. She got the first one 4 hours after she sent me e-mail. I decided right then that two computers were extremely necessary. One for the internet, one for valuable data. A CD copy could be made of anything in the one not connected to the internet, and transferred to the internet machine.

I hope that you find the "house", and I really appreciate the effort that you are putting into it. I need to write to your Uncle George again, haven't heard from him for a while. Hope he has regained his health. I contacted him after he was in the hospital, and he replied, said he was doing okay.
Sincerely,
Jo Proferes
31 May 2007
Letter from Jo
(28-1)
Hello John,
I have copied and pasted a letter from your Uncle George. Did you know that he is that ill?
Jo
Letter from George Proferes

Hi Jo.
Sorry I did not get back to you sooner, I think they just about got me but not just yet.

I left the hospital feeling half way decent, I thought. Then Dr. Cooper called me in. He said the lungs do not look so good, placed me on oxygen at bed time starting now.

Dr, Talraga then calls me in, have to get a cauterization, check the pressure in the lung on May 30th. If over a certain amount of pressure in the lungs maybe medication will help, if not he gives me 2 or 3 years. Which is fine with me. Gives me plenty of time to do what I have to. I feel excellent, a little short of breath now and then, that’s about it. Only thing now my dog walks faster than I do. I should expect that after all the years of smoking.

Two days ago went to see Dr. Garret. Have cataracts taken care of, lots of clusters in the left eye. I will now just have to be contented with Atlantic City. Those flights to Vegas are a little too long and the odds at the tables are no different then A.C.

My door bell just rang and I received my case of wine. In the early 70s I made about 4 flights to Monte Carlo. During one of them I ran across a wine I fell in love with and have been drinking it ever since. The wine, in case you like red wine, is a Red Rhone Wine named Chateauneuf-de-Pape. It was made for the Popes many years ago and is still made the same way today. This case is of the 2004 vintage. It’s excellent. I have been drinking and enjoying one brandy snifter glass a night for many years, when I’m home.

Well Jo I think I talked myself through the glass. I think I've said enough.
You take care of yourself.
George

6 June 2007
Letter from John

(29-1)

Hello Jo,
I’m back in Athens again!

My trip to the villages of Karitsa, Geraki, Agios Andreas and Kounoupia was very fruitful with great results.

Your letter for my uncle George Proferes was not so happy for me. I feel very sad for him. I have never seeing him. Our communication began 2-3 years ago, when I started researching the family tree. I think he is very courageous.

Before I send you all the information about the houses where John lived in the area of Lakonia before he immigrated to the US, I would like to complete some work with Dimitri who is assisting in documenting my research in English so that a more accurate account is possible.

In the mean time, I’m thinking of burning a CD with all the pictures I took from the area, and sending it to you by post.

In a few days I will be able to tell you when I will be sending over this CD.

I would like to clear a query I have in mind. You have mentioned in the past about Lewiston ID and Clarkston WA. My query is: Do you have different houses in these two areas? Did you live with John a couple of years ago in Clarkston and you now live in Lewiston?

Thanks Jo. I'll get back to you in a few days.
Sincerely,
John
6 June 2007
Letter from Jo

(29-2)

Hello John,
I did not know if you knew about your uncle George, so that is why I sent it. He seems adjusted to fate, but he is in his 80s. I know that I do not have that long, either, and so I work hard trying to finish what I started with the last series of historical coloring books. Death is a part of life. We are born, we die. Everything born here dies here. Plants, animals, and people. It is life.

Glad you are back and that you had a good journey. A CD would be good, thank you.

No, I live in the same house John and I built in the 1960s in Clarkston, Washington. The Snake River divides Clarkston from Lewiston, which is in Idaho, a different state. It is one valley, one city, with the Snake River running north through it. The Clearwater River runs east and west, and it joins the Snake River where the Snake turns west and goes toward the pacific Ocean, where it Joins the Columbia River, which divides Oregon and Washington states.

This is the valley where Meriwether Lewis and William Clark camped before going down the Snake River to the Columbia River, then on to the Ocean when they went over land to the Pacific Ocean in 1805 on the Corps of Discovery, which was President Thomas Jefferson's plan after the Purchase of Louisiana from Napoleon. The Corps of Discovery was the beginning of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which was in charge of the Manhattan Project, when they developed the atomic bomb just before the end of World War II. The Army Corps of Engineers has been in charge of stuff like that for a long, long time.

The reason that I have two addresses is that I live in the house at Clarkston but get my mail in a big box at the U.S. Post Office across the river in Lewiston, Idaho, about 10 miles away.

I hope this clarifies things a bit. Language is a problem for most Americans. In the U.S. we have an old joke, "It' is all Greek to me." This means, "I do not understand a word of it!" Greek and Russian are the two hardest languages, besides Japanese and Chinese, for Americans to understand. In American schools they used to teach Spanish, and French, then they added German. Then, in some places, Italian. Of course during the "Cold War" Russian was a language that became necessary for Intelligence people, then Chinese, and before that, Japanese, and the Korean dialects, but the average American speaks only English. My mother spoke German when she was little, her father was German, and a lot of cousins.
Sincerely,
Jo 
6 June 2007
Letter from John

(30-1)

Hello Jo,
I have just received the document Dimitri prepared for me and I'm sending it to you as an attachment. I’m very pleased with the effort Dimitri put in and I would like to thank him.

Tomorrow or the next day I plan to send you the CD by post with more photos of the houses. I will add also few pictures of my family on this CD.

Thank you for the information on Lewiston ID and Clarkston WA. It seems to be a very nice place to live.

Thank you also for the letter from uncle George. I wouldn't have thought of writing to him without something from him.

I like the way you put this belief:

“Death is a part of life. We are born, we die. Everything born here dies here. Plants, animals, and people. It is life”.

I hope you enjoy Dimitri's document.
Sincerely,
John 
9 June 2007
Letter from Jo

(30-2)

Hello John,
Yes, I did receive this attachment. I apologize for not replying to let you know that I had received it. I had a little problem opening it, but was finally able to get it to open, and when it did I copied it and pasted it into Corel Word Perfect, and saved it there.

This was the last week of school, a busy time for me, I did not get around to opening my e-mal for a couple of days, then there were around 200 messages, only one of which I opened, the rest were mostly trash and porn. I would like to change my e-mail address, too many spam people know me. The reason I do not change it is because I still have a .com site, though I had to close down the e-commerce for selling art prints. The ISP told me that the data base was outdated and could now be hacked into, and the encoded credit cards could be retrieved by hackers.

I will let you know the day I pick up the CD. Thank you for sending it.
Sincerely,
Jo
15 June 2007
Letter from Jo

(31-1)

Hello John,
I just got back from the Post Office in Lewiston, ID, where I get my mail.

The CD you sent was there. I still have not gotten it opened, I will wait until my great grandson is in bed asleep to do that. I am assuming that it is in good shape, the heavy wrapper is not damaged. I do not know if they x-ray CDs, or what it does to a CD to be x-rayed.

I just wanted you to know it had arrived, and after I open it and get it into Adobe Photoshop to see what is on it, I will write to you again. Thank you for sending this.

I just finished the 7th coloring book cover this afternoon. I have one left to do, then scan them in and format them in Adobe Photoshop, place them in Adobe Pagemaker, and put titles and author credits over the top of them. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I started this project in the spring of 2000. I am one of those people that just keep on keeping on, until I finish what I start. I am not sure anymore that it is a good character trait. A person ought to have sense enough to quit, too. Especially when they are as old as I am.
Sincerely,
Jo 
15 June 2007
Letter from Jo
(31-2)

Hello John,
My great grandson just went outside to play, so I thought I had time to write to you, then in he came, I gave him the phone so he could talk to my daughter, Diane, his grandmother, so while he's talking to her, I will finish this letter.

I installed the graphics you sent on the CD into a folder, "GREECE" in C drive, and opened a few of them on my Windows Photo/Fax viewer before he came in here to hang over my shoulder. They are great!

Will open all of them when the kid is at the Boys and Girls Club.

Thank you, John, I appreciate getting these graphics.
Sincerely,
Jo

Letter from John 
(31-3)
Hello Jo,
I’m glad you received the CD, not damaged.

I hope you enjoyed it.

If you have the time to check all graphics I'm keen for your comments. What is your opinion about John’s house in Greece? Instead of one we found five houses. Is this confusing?

I was ten days out of Athens, in Evia Island. The weather during the last days has been hot here in Greece, almost 42 degrees Celsius (107 Fahrenheit).
Sincerely,
John
23 June 2007
Letter from Jo
(32-1) 
Hello John,
I did take time to look at the graphics on the CD you sent to me. I cannot begin to describe the kaleidoscope of emotions that washed over me while I clicked through those graphics! I could not but help thinking of John. How beautiful is the inside of the church! The candle is for John? Is this for my John? I just have to get my daughter to sit down and go through these graphics the next time she visits me. I know she will feel the same way I did, this is where her father was born! They were always so close. She adored him, and he adored her. He loved all his children, and was a wonderful father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He just liked children, even our kids' friends loved him, and our grandkids' friends, too. In some ways he was childlike, himself. He was a very complex man.

Thank you so much for sending the CD. May I have your permission to copy it onto another CD for my daughter?

I did not see, on the CD, any house that John described. From what he said, or remembered, that house was a simple rectangle, two stories tall, built into the mountain so that the window upstairs was just barely off the ground, that when you opened the window you could reach outside and touch the ground. I do not know if there was a door that opened out on the top level, or not. It was a simple stone house, no arches, or wings, just a rectangle. But he was only 6, and his memory was not that great when he was 30, or any time that I knew him, so it could have possibly been one of those houses that you recently photographed!

Well, I finally finished the color book covers, both front and back, for the historical coloring books. For the front covers I printed out a graphic from inside each of the books, and colored it with colored pencils.

For the backs I did a colored (Adobe paintbucket and my ink drawing) map of the 13 Colonies for book one, and designed a back cover in ink for books two, three, four, and five, which I colored with colored pencils, just like the front covers.

For books six and seven I used paintings I had done years ago, and for book eight I did a black and white sketch of the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings with a pen and ink. I reconstructed the buildings as they must have looked when people lived there, and sketched children and their dogs playing in the snow in the foreground, with the cliff dwellings above.

I sent this Mesa Verde pen and ink drawing to your Uncle George last winter. I recently wrote to him, I need to take the time to do that again. Maybe send him some of the graphics I did for the covers, give him something to look at. He, too, is an artist, only smarter than me. He quit painting when he was young and did something to pay the bills.

My work will appreciate in value, once I die, it already has, in the last ten years. Some of it has already been appraised at $50,000 per painting, but most around $20,000 to $25,000 per painting. This is what my daughter and grand children get, instead of money, when I die, oil paintings.

Thank God, I now have the coloring books ready to save for service provider! I already have found a big publisher who is interested in the coloring books. I too, am a publisher, a small one, but I have neither the time, health, nor money to publish and promote these books.

I am answering your letter (which just came in) while I have some peace and quiet. My great grandson's father picked him up an hour or so ago, and said he would keep him for the night and bring him back tomorrow afternoon. He only sees his father every two or three months.

This is another of those American "Relationships", where the boy and girl never marry, just have babies for someone else to take care of, then find a new girlfriend or boyfriend, and have more babies. America is a decadent country. Too many of us have no morals, or values. It cannot be too long now, the 7 years of Tribulation spoken of in the Holy Bible cannot be too far away.
Sincerely,
Jo

24 June 2007
Letter from John
(32-2) 

Hello Jo,
I liked all that you wrote about John and his relationship with children, grand children…

He was a very nice man and very complex as you say.

Yes, the candle is for him, I lit it in his memory.

Off course you can copy the CD for Diane. You can make as many copies you like. Before you make copies please rename the file of a graphic I have mistyped. Graphic SA500057. Should be cemetery not semetery.

I don’t have any other information about the house where John was born in Karitsa. I have already forwarded to you Dimitri's summary. If you want more photos, please let me know. I'll be able take them on my next trip to Karitsa. I am keen to see your graphics of the house when completed. 

I'm sending you two more photos I took from an uphill vantage point in Karitsa.

On the right hand side, the western part of the village is featured while in the background on the far horizon, some 15 miles away, we gaze into the Gulf of Lakonia.

It's great that you finally finished the covers for the historical coloring books, and it is now the time to get rewarded for your work, very richly I would think.

I would like to ask if you could also please send me the graphics you have sent to my Uncle George or any others. I like to save and have your work on my computer under the “Jo Proferes Art Work” folder. I really like your graphics and show them to my friends. I also have them with me when I visit Karitsa.

Your father in law is very well known among the locals in Karitsa. He is mostly remembered by the nickname “Panagiotaras”. He stayed many years after he returned from the US. He liked to play cards and locals recount many anecdotes about him.

Up to now I have the following graphics by you:
Another spring
Route66
End of apache warfare
Howard Shows Rifle
Joseph
Maranatha
Massacrebighole
Poetess
Central and Washington
Sarah
Surrender

I didn’t know that my Uncle George was also an artist. Have you seen any of his graphics?
Sincerely,
John 
Candle for John  at Agios Konstantinos
24 June 2007
Letter from Jo
(33-1)
Hello John,
The graphics you just sent are breathtaking. I look at the photos you have sent of Greece, and I think, "Why would anyone ever want to leave such a beautiful place?" I know, because a poor man cannot get rich there.

Thank you for lighting the candle for John. It is a beautiful thing to do, and it is a beautiful church. I have never been inside a church that looks like that one. I have been to Catholic churches, but not Greek Orthodox.

I am sending you the pen and ink graphic of Mesa Verde, and will make a list of what you have, and what I have on this machine, and send you some of my artwork.
Sincerely,
Jo

Mesa Verde drawing
24 June 2007
Letter from Jo
(33-2)
Hello John,
I do not believe that I sent you the two paintings attached here. I stopped to do these while I was doing the 20 Arizona paintings the Arizona Historical Society used in 1987 for the Arizona Diamond Birthday Celebration.

There were to be 12 of these historical paintings on early logging methods and equipment. This was just before John got sick with cancer. I never did but the two, and never got back to that project. Just as well, logging and mining are not popular with the American public.

I found the Big Wheels in Missoula, Montana and we went over to see it, and I photographed it from all angles. Then I found a very old retired logger in northern Idaho who told me how it worked. Later, I found another old logger, about 50 miles from the first one, he also told me how it worked. They agreed, and I wrote the narrative below.

These paintings never received the publicity of the Arizona and the Nez Perce paintings. They have, however been in a well known magazine that is subscribed to by museums, the Holiday, 2005 issue of Rural Heritage Magazine. This is about early logging methods and equipment.

I have a telephone line internet connection, so it takes awhile to send graphics. I will send you these two, for now.
Sincerely,
Jo


Big Wheels

Big Wheels
(oil 30X40)
“Big Wheels” was a type of early logging equipment that enabled teams (at least six animals) of horses, or mules to move big logs out of thick forests before dozers, skidders and helicopters were invented. They worked like a travois once the log was secured and lifted at the butt end. Oxen may also have been used, but they are more difficult to manoeuvre than horses or mules.

When a big tree was felled a shallow ditch was dug under it a few feet from the butt. A long, heavy, logging chain was then thrown over the trunk and both ends passed under the trunk by way of the ditch, pulled up to encircle the log, and left hanging. Once the chain was in this position, horses, or mules backed the ”Big Wheels” over the log until the axle was over the chain. The tongue (with single and double trees), was then unfastened and a long chained fastened to the end of it..

A boom was part of the mechanism at the base of the tongue. It had a cable attached to the top end. About 5 feet up the log from the axle a heavy spike was hammered into the log at an angle, the boom was pulled down and fastened to this spike. This pulled the tongue up.

The mechanism at the base of the tongue in this painting (there were several designs, this is one of the more complex) also consisted of a shaft (with a half wheel on each end, which resembled a thick, narrow auto wheel cut in half which had a long slot on the ends that caught a link of the chain) which was above, and parallel to the axle. This was part of a ratchet system, that, once the ends of the logging chains were laid around these half wheels and secured, would pull the log up tight and secure it to the axle when the tongue was pulled back down. This was accomplished by fastening the bottom end of the chain attached to the end of the tongue to the end of the tongue extension (on the ground), and driving the two front teams forward. When the log was secured to the axle the cable went slack and it was removed. The center team was backed into place again and their harnesses re-fastened to the double trees. Then all three teams were used to drag the log”.


Skidroad
Skidroad
(oil 30X45)
The term “skidroad”originally meant a “skidway” (developed about 1850, close to Seattle WA), used to move logs down a mountain to a mill, or a landing where they could be dumped into a river and floated to a mill. Eventually it came to mean the area of city where drunks and vagrants hang out and was called “skidrow”. A street of saloons patronized by northwest loggers out on the town.

Materials for skidroads and their trestles were abundant at the site, trees free for the cutting and peeling. Skidroads were constructed of about a foot thick, peeled trees which are cut in twelve to fourteen foot lengths and laid crossways every seven and a half feet, like railroad ties, so that logs being dragged over them always rested on at least two of them. These “skids” were embedded in about six inches of packed dirt in a prepared roadbed. Sometimes they were notched like the logs in a log cabin and laid across parallel rails which were also notched, and the whole thing spiked together and embedded. Extra dirt sometimes had to be moved in. Heavy planks covered the tops of trestles, and parallel rails stabilized this part of the road. The top of each “skid” was notched in a wide scallop to cradle the logs and keep them from rolling. Each log was rounded with an ax at the front to keep it from hanging up on the “skid” and damaging the skidway. The logs were fastened, end to end with chains attached to heavy spikes called “dogs”. A short log, hollowed out like a dugout canoe and called a boat was the caboose of this “train” of logs. It held supplies.

Yoked oxen were used to pull the “train” of logs down the skidroad. A teenage boy (working his way up to logger or bullwhacker) walked ahead of the first log with a bucket of grease and a swab to grease the “skids” and reduce friction. If the grade was too steep going down he threw dirt on the “skids” and the bullwhacker looped chains around the logs to act as brakes. Going empty, the boy got to ride in the boat with the chains and “dogs” when he wasn’t sweeping bark and litter off the skidroad.

Ox teams wore no harnesses; they were yoked together in teams of two, with a wooden yoke. Chains connected the yokes all the way back to the team that was hooked up to the first log. The oxen were guided by walking “bullwhackers” instead of having bits in their mouths hooked to reins by a driver.

Another method of moving timber down a mountain those days was the “flume” built of heavy planks in a V like an aqueduct, on trestle supports, which was filled with water diverted from a high stream.

Another type flume was made of peeled logs, stacked and spiked into a V and sometimes greased, or wet with water, like the “skidroad”. These were good only for short distances, and could, of course, never go up a hill. They were powered strictly by gravity”.


24 June 2007 
Letter from Jo 
(33-3)
Hello John,
Here are a couple more paintings. The church I painted in 1962, I think. But I sketched it when Diane was still in diapers, about 8 months old, in about October, 1960. The whole family went, of course, and we did not have a car, only a pick-up truck, 3/4 ton. There was snow on the ground. The road was not paved, I took artist's license and made a paved road to show that time had passed, and nobody cared about the church, or the graveyard behind it. This was the first building I ever painted. The rancher who had bought the land where the church was moved it away to use for hay storage not long after I finished the painting. I think it later caught fire and burned. At least it does not exist today.

The other painting, "Lure of the Dutchman's Gold", was part of the Arizona series. The narrative is below.
Sincerely,
Jo

Holy Ground
Lure of the Dutchman’s Gold
Lure of the Dutchman’s Gold
What artist could pass up the romance and mystery of the Superstition Mountains and Jacob Waltz’s lost gold mine? What did happen to all of those prospectors who went in search of the Dutchman’s gold? Apaches? Outlaws? The curse of vengeful ghosts?

When the artist was a child living in Arizona an Indian lady said that she was Geronimo’s granddaughter, and that the Apache had picked up all the gold (which was plentiful, and the size of corn kernels, up) and had hidden it deep within the Superstition Mountains to discourage the whites from invading their lands. This was the gold Waltz was reputed to have discovered. However, Waltz worked at the Vulture Mine, close to Wickenburg and about 60 miles the way the crow flies from the Superstition area. There is a theory, probably correct, that his gold mine was high graded ore from the Vulture, one of the richest strikes in the territory. At any rate numerous prospectors were reported to have disappeared and it was assumed they were murdered for their knowledge of the legendary fortune.

25 June 2007
Letter from John
(33-4)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for the beautiful paintings you sent me, part of your artwork.

I like the historical paintings on early logging methods and equipment, the church and the others, you are great. Thank you for the narratives as well.

Can you please write a small narrative for Mesa Verde drawing?

I'm sending another four pictures from Karitsa (ignore the people shown).


In the village
Top right church of Agios Konstantinos
SA500029
Church of Agios Ioannis on the mountain
It was recently renovated which is something that troubles me because
they erase much of its original character, charm and old beauty
SA500032

Inside the church of Agios Ioannis
SA500035
 A very old house
SA500085

Sincerely,
John
25 June 2007
Letter from Jo
(34-1)
Hello John,
You said you would like to have graphics of the same paintings I sent your uncle George. I do not know if you like to gamble or are interested in a painting about gambling, but your uncle is, and when he said he was going to Las Vegas last winter, I sent him this graphic. It is one of the 20 paintings of the Arizona series. You will have to get someone to translate the rules of the game, unless you already know about this ancient game.

Peter Proferes, my father-in-law, had a casino upstairs above his sweetshop, in Wilks Barre, Pennsylvania. There was a dance hall on the floor above that. My John also loved to gamble, but quit when we married, except for poker and other card games the men played in the cafeteria, where the top bid allowed was a nickel ( 5 cents). He did not even want to do that, because of his vow to himself that he would not gamble after he married, but I knew how much he loved to play, and urged him to go for it, with bets limited to 5 cents. He assured that he would use money only from the small allowance he kept for himself from his paycheck. The rest went into a checking account in the bank to pay our bills. He was a happy man. He was a happy man by nature.

Are there casinos in Greece? I do not think faro played anymore, anywhere. When I wanted to do this painting for the Arizona history series I had a real job just finding how the game was played. I finally contacted someone who "might" know, and he gave me his brother's name and phone number in Las Vegas. His brother owned one of the biggest casinos in Vegas at the time. This was in the 1980s. I still have the original letter explaining Faro, and saw it in a file when I was looking for something else. Now I do not remember which file drawer!

Your letter with 4 more Karitsa pictures just came in. The back side of the last picture, the old house, is more like what John described as the top floor of the place they lived before going down the hill on a mule to catch a boat to go to Athens, where they boarded the ship.

There is a narrative that went under the back cover sketch for book 8, Mesa Verde, and here it is:

SPECIAL PLACES

Where people have lived, loved, fought or died there is something left behind besides the shelters they built. In addition to history, they have left behind emanations of the soul.

We, as Americans, are unique. In our gene pool are remnants of every early human, reaching back to the creation of man. There will never be another nation like us. In fact, since there are no more frontiers on this planet, we are the last nation. We have a unique form of government, developed by us, and though it is not perfect, it is better than any other on earth. Even those who hate us still want to come here to enjoy the freedoms we still have, bought with blood, sweat, and tears.

Let us not forget, nor become divided. United we stand. Divided, we fall. Let us not become corrupted. When we become corrupt, we will elect and support the totally corrupt. Civilization is built on definite principles and cosmic, universal laws, or truths. These truths never change." This is the narrative beneath the sketch.

Mesa Verde means green table, literally, in Spanish. Mesa Verde is in the corner where four of the states of the United States, meet: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. All of this area was once part of Mexico. In the U.S. we call any flat topped mountain a "mesa". Our language incorporates many Spanish words, and many local Indian words, from all the tribes, that is why some of our states, cities and rivers have such odd names. For example, the state of Connecticut. The word means "long river", and it is a Pequot Indian word, "quonektacut". Add to this all the words from all the people who came from all over the world to become Americans, and you can see why we have so many strange place names”.

My best friend, Jack R. Williams (still living, in Colorado with his beautiful childhood sweetheart/ wife) was once stationed at Mesa Verde National Park. Jack is a retired National Park superintendent. He sent me a book that a friend of his had written. The book was published by the National Park Service, and is titled: "THE STORY OF MESA VERDE", it was written by Gilbert R. Wenger, an old friend and co-worker of Jack's. He died a few years ago. Jack, also, wrote many books that were published by the U.S. Park Service.

The Indians who lived at Mesa Verde were quite civilized, they kept turkeys in cages, and fed them corn, so they would have meat in the winter without hunting. They had underground storage for their corn, which was raised by the creek, or river, down the hill from their apartments, at the bottom of the cliffs. In the summer they wore sandals that were thongs woven of strips from the yucca. They also made baskets from these fibres. And used the roots from one variety for soap and shampoo. They made beautiful clay pottery, and painted intricate designs on it before firing. The Hopi and Pueblo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico are probably descended from the cliff dwellers of Mesa Verde.

I am going to save this and go look for a website that will help show you Mesa Verde. I have never looked, but there must be one. Found one, I pasted it below. I will see if I can find something from the angle I drew my sketch, and a little bigger, better graphic, and send you that, later today.

I am putting this letter together at the same time I am making taco filler in the kitchen, which is about 40 feet from this office. I make the taco filler in a big electric with 3 pounds of ground beef, herbs, peppers, garlic, onions, spices and etc, let it cool, then freeze it in pint plastic containers. That way, there are several quick meals for when you are in a hurry and can't spend a couple of hours cooking. Just thaw the taco filler, chop fresh lettuce, olives, green onions, grate cheese, chop fresh tomatoes, open the sour cream, fry the taco shells while the taco filler heats in the microwave oven, and you have a meal. Everybody can pick what they want on their tacos.
Jo


Buckey Bucks the Tiger
Buckey bucks the Tiger
(oil 30X480)
William Owen O’Neill rode into Arizona on a burro and died in the charge up San Juan Hill as a captain in Teddy Roosevelt’s famous Rough Riders. He was Arizona’s beloved and famous hero. There is a giant bronze of him on a horse, mounted on a huge granite boulder, in front of the courthouse in Prescott, Arizona - the artist ate lunch beside that statue in the early 1940's, and it is visible in one scene in the movie The Trial of Billy Jack. O’Neill was a newspaperman, miner, sheriff, gunfighter, lawyer, judge, mayor, and gambler.

He loved to gamble, and faro was his game. In whatever town he happened to be in he couldn’t pass by the faro table, and he was a restless soul who traveled a lot. He “bucked the tiger”, dark eyes flashing, cigarette dangling from his lips, and he always played for all he was worth. They called him “Buckey”.

Faro or pharaoh, though no longer played, dates back to the mid 17th century and originally had a picture of a tiger painted on the layout, hence, “buck the tiger”. It is a banking game for any number of players. Fifty two cards are shuffled and placed in a dealing box, face up, from which they are drawn in pairs, one card at a time. The first card in sight on the top of the box is called “soda”, and when it is withdrawn (after all the bets are placed) it is laid on the dealer’s right, leaving room next to the box for the second card, or “loser”, which is laid immediately to the right of the box.

Of the next two cards the top card is the “winner” and the one directly under it is the “loser”, and so on through the deck. Every card is a “winner” or “loser” except the “soda”, or first card, and the last card in the deck, which is called “hockelty”. All “winners” are placed on the “soda” and all “losers” on the first “loser”, immediately to the right of the box.

The “layout” is a complete suite of spades painted on a green cloth, beginning with ace, duce, trey, four, five, six, in a row from left to right, then seven goes in a second row above and on the extreme right, and on the third row above, from right to left, beginning with eight (which is directly above six), then nine, ten, jack, queen, and king (directly above the ace in the first row. There is enough space between these cards to place bets. If a player thinks a card such as an ace will win next, he places his bet flat on the ace in the “layout”. If he thinks the ace will lose he puts a “copper” or “checker” on top of his bet.

Bets can be placed on more than one card, for instance a bet placed on the outside edge covers the card next to it and also the ones next to it on either side - three cards. Between two cards covers both, diagonally, from one corner to another. Across a row also covers two. Complicated placements cover up to four cards. Each bet is made for that “turn” only. A gadget like an abacus keeps track of the cards dealt, so players know what remains. The dealer always has an assistant who sits to the right of him, works for the house, and keeps track of all bets and payments, as well as sells chips.

25 June 2007
Letter from Jo
(35-1)
Hello John,
I am in unfamiliar territory here, I sent this page to myself, and am forwarding it to you. Lots of pictures of Mesa Verde, the site popped up when I put mesa verde in a Google search, and I did not tell it to look for images! Now I will go back to the page I had sent to myself, which I am forwarding, and copy the address and paste it below, in addition to the attachment.

Let me know if you got anything from this. I will send this right now.
Sincerely,
Jo
25 June 2007
Letter from Jo
(35-2)

Hello John,
I opened the website above, and it does not show what I was looking for, Mesa Verde cliff dwellings from the angle I drew it, but it is a very interesting website. On it are probably places you did not go when you worked in the U.S.

By the way, was your wife and family with you all the time you lived and worked in this country?

I am attaching the graphics of two more of the Arizona paintings. We lived across the hill on the right of "Glories Past", on Martinez Creek for about 10 years. The place where we lived is called "Lowman Well" now. That was my maiden name. We also lived in the red house on the left of the road, in the front of the painting of Antelope Station. My younger brother Fred and I learned to drive on the road where the stagecoach is. The Arizona paintings truly were a sentimental journey, for me. On my 14th birthday, my mother my brother, Fred, and I climbed Rich Hill, which is just out of the picture in the painting, "Antelope Station".

Stanton was a ghost town when we lived there, but George Upton owned it (and a gold mine on the side of Rich Hill), and he and his niece, Maureen Sanborne lived in the white house visible on the extreme right, in the background. Miss Sanborn was about 46 years old at the time. She was a member of the famous Sanborn family who made Sanborn coffee (Chase & Sanborn). The family attorneys controlled the money, hers was in some kind of trust. She had to get permission to spend some of it for a new car.

Miss Sanborn had never married, she was a registered nurse, and had contracted TB. She came to Arizona to regain her health. It was she who started me on the road to be an artist. She persuaded my father to buy me a set of oil paints for my 14th birthday, and she went to Phoenix and bought a lot of drawing paper, charcoal and pastels, for me, for my birthday. I will, of course always remember her with fondness. She was a great lady, and I am thankful that she came into my life.

Then she commissioned me to do a painting on the top of a fruit cake box. Fruit cakes used to come in round tin cans with a lid, way back then. I painted the heads of a palomino mare and colt on the lid. It was a lid about 10 inches in diameter. I do not remember what she paid me for the job.
Sincerely,
Jo
Antelope Station
(oil 30X45)

In 1862 the Peeples-Weaver party discovered gold on Rich Hill, and Peeples reportedly picked up $7000 in placer nuggets before breakfast. This gold deposit forms a triangle with the Vulture and the Congress, each somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 miles from the other two, across country. The gold was found in a segment of ancient riverbed on the very top of Rich Hill. The rest of the riverbed vanished, probably in an earthquake.

A community grew beside Rich Hill, one that would come to be known as Stanton. Rich Hill is just out of view, to the right in the painting. You are looking northwest, sort of, the sun is going down. Antelope Creek is to the left, Weaver Creak to the right, at the base of Rich Hill.

A new toll road between Prescott and Wickenburg was completed in 1872. This route was 25 miles shorter than the one that had gone through Datecreek and turned off Martinez Creek (at Martinez, another rich placer site) to go over the hill to the Congress Mine (old Congress). Lowman Well is on Martinez Creek. Lowman Well was named after the artist’s family.

The new road came down the south end of what is now Yarnell Hill and passed through the little community (now Stanton) at the western foot of Rich Hill. Thus Antelope Stage Station was born. The Datecreek road had come down off Yarnell Hill on the north end. Getting off that hill, or up it, had been a real problem.

Charles P. Stanton came to Antelope Station, and by a deliberate use of gossip, was able to provoke a shooting whereby one partner in the general store was killed: the other partner then met an untimely end and Stanton took over the business and changed the name of the town to his own. He literally took over the town. His downfall came when he forced his attentions on a young Mexican girl. The girl’s brother shot him the next day, in the store he’d acquired by murder. Stanton is buried on the bench across Antelope Creek to the west of what is now known as Stanton”.
Glories Past
(oil 30X48)

The Congress Mine, one of Arizona’s famous gold mines has experienced several resurrections, but only of its tailing piles, the white area in the background to the left of the ruin in front. Gold was extracted from these tailings right after World War II, and again in the 1980's. The main underground vein came abruptly to an end, the other half lost eons ago in cataclysmic earth movement. Across the hill to the north is Martinez Creek, from which, at the turn of the century , thousands of dollars in placer gold was panned. Very little remains at Martinez to attest to the community that developed on that side of the hill.
25 June 2007
Letter from Jo
(35-3)
Hello again John,
I went through that Google Images mess and finally picked one that shows the cliff palace, but not what it looks like down the hill. There are a lot more trees there now than there were 40 years ago. This graphic shows the buildings that were built back under the ceiling of the shallow, gigantic cave in which the village of apartments was built.

I thought there would be some of the older photographs on the internet, and at least one, looking up at the cliff dwellings, from the angle I have portrayed the drawing. I can see why there are none looking up at that angle, the trees have grown up so tall, and so thick that you 
probably cannot even see the cliff dwellings! It wasn't always like this, I have old books that show it without the trees, from below.

Well, that does it for Mesa Verde, I give up looking for a photo from that angle, without trees.
Sincerely,
Jo
Mesa Verde
26 June 2007
Letter from JohN
(35-4)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for the Mesa Verde research you forwarded to me. A photo from that angle, without trees. Now I'm getting the idea of what the Mesa Verde is.

Also I received some other beautiful graphics you sent me. I liked all of them.

Buckey Bucks the Tiger, the one you sent to my Uncle, is beautiful. Yes, we have casinos in Greece, but I’m not very familiar with them, as my Uncle George is.

As for Peter, your father in law, you told me the other time that in the US he earned a lot of money. I have been told that when he returned to Greece he stayed in Karitsa and he died there. He did not appear to be well off and resorted to selling off plots of land he owned. What do you think about that? Do you know why he returned to Greece in his twilight years? I’ve also been told that he had a problem, something in front of him was falling down to his knees. I don’t know if it was his stomach or something. Before his death, he gave an order to friends not to be exhumed after three years as is the practice in Greece. That’s all I know about Peter.

I want to clarify the circumstances under which I visited the US. I never stayed there more than 15 days at a time. I visited many times and many different places. I was there mainly for education: seminars, meetings and one or two for pleasure. At that time I was employed by Olympic Airways. Now I am retired.

I'm forwarding a few more pictures from the old house. Notice that the doors aren’t the original old wooden ones; they are now made of steel.

Next time I'll look and photograph more old houses for you.
Sincerely,
John
Side view of  of a very old house
Front view of the previous house
Front view of a newer house
Closer view of previous house
26 June 2007
Letter from John
(35-5)
Hello Jo,
I'm forwarding one more photo to see where exactly this old house is. This picture was taken from the uphill courtyard of Agios Konstantinos. The old house is behind the main church “Evangelistria” near the bell tower.

I’m keen to see the picture Gus took when he visited Karitsa. Maybe this picture is going to give us a clue about the house.

Thank you for giving me more info for Mesa Verde.

Have you any comments to make about what I have written about Peter?

From tomorrow and for one week I will leave Athens, going to Evia Island.
Sincerely,
John
26 June 2007
Letter from Jo
(36-1)
Hello John,
I did get the Karitsa photo from Gus out and scanned it again, only to learn that it was in the stuff from my cookbook graphic files, and was already on this machine.

It is the attached graphic I am sending you now.

Karitsa from Gus
According to Gus and John, when you look at the photo, their house would have been a couple of blocks to the left of the church in the photo, and up the hill, sort of by itself. According to Bess, when we last talked, she said that the house was no longer there. Maybe she is right?

About how much money Peter had when he went to Greece, I do not know. I was told that he made a comeback after the great depression of the 1930s and that he wanted to return to Greece to live, which had been his plan when he first came to America, get rich, and go back to live in Greece, where the money would last longer. Since John left home at so young an age, he felt that he was not entitled to inherit anything, and he told Gus that he did not deserve, and did not want anything their father had. I have no idea, it was my understanding there was quite a fortune, but from what you say, apparently there was nothing.

I am probably grasping at straws, hoping to find the house. I could of course use my imagination and my abilities as an artist to create something similar, but if at all possible, I prefer to use the real thing.

I really appreciate your help in this hunt for that house, but I am beginning to think that it is gone.

The good thing that has come out of it for me is the marvellous pictures you have sent me of the area. I really appreciate those pictures. If I came from Greece to America to make money so that I could go back and live in comfort in my old age, and I made any money, I would certainly return! In fact, if I lived in a country like that, I would try to make money there, so that I would never have to leave. Greece is breathtakingly beautiful, not just Karitsa.

Athens is also beautiful, and the thing I said about Mesa Verde, "Where people have lived, loved, fought or died there is something left behind besides the shelters they built. In addition to history, they have left behind emanations of the soul", more than applies to Athens. So much more happened there that there are many layers of psychic energy that a person would be able to feel, just by sitting and being very, very, still, with the mind blank of any thought. Old places are like that.

That old church I painted, "Holy Ground", it was like that. We went inside, and we could "feel" the past, what happened there. In fact, our son Joseph, who was somewhere around 4 years old at the time always remembered it, and asked that I leave him that painting when I died. He wrote a poem, when he was grown, which I know was related to his experience in that old church. I sent it to your uncle George. You will probably need someone to translate the poem.

I have pasted that poem by our son, Joseph, below. He was very gifted, in many ways, and was tested at school when he was about 12. They discovered that he was a genius. But he had no, what we call, "common sense". I am also sending you another graphic besides the Karitsa one, a pen and ink sketch of old time harvesting, with horses, back in the 1800s.
Sincerely,
Jo
Harvest

29 August 2007
Letter from Jo
(37-1)
Hello John,
My daughter told me about the fires in Greece, so last night I watched the news. According to the news the Greek government cares no more about the regular people than does the U.S. Government. If this is true, I am appalled! I hope this is propaganda by U.S. News people. I do not believe everything that I hear. There used to be a saying among country people, ranchers and farmers, when I was a child: "Do not believe anything you hear, and believe only half of what you see."

I hope that things are not as bad in Southern Greece as they say, and that you and your family are well. In the U.S we have a lot of forest fires, every year, and we expect them, so we are half way prepared. If this kind of fire in Greece is rare, I can see why government would not be prepared. It would be a catastrophe.
Sincerely,
Jo Proferes
29 August 2007
Letter from John
(37-2)
Hello Jo,
Sorry been so late, many reasons for this.

Firstly, my Hard Disk 300 GB, master disk, crashed with a hardware problem. I’m still waiting for a Seagate representative to replace my disk. I lost many no backed up files. The disk was purchased less than one year ago.

Secondly, due to the very hot summer this year most of the time I was out of Athens.

I see you heard about the fires in Greece. It is really a catastrophe. Many areas, mainly in Peloponnesus encompassing the prefectures of Laconia, Arcadia and Ilia as well as other places throughout the country have been ablaze. 64 people perished, houses burned, animals, lands, olives, forests destroyed.

Karitsa is still there, so are Agios Andreas and Kounoupia also. There are no fires there.

America is a powerful country and as you say you were half way prepared every year. In Greece we were not well prepared, although we were expecting the fires. Government fire departments are not as organised or experienced in fighting fires. So a small country suffered big fires it was unprepared for. It's a pity because ours is a beautiful country and we hope it recovers and greenness is restored over the blackness of today.

I visited Karitsa and neighbouring villages for about ten days. I stayed three days and nights in Karitsa, in our old family ancestral home. The weather was great and catching up and reminiscing about the old days with the locals was simply fantastic.

I haven’t any other news about the house where your John spent his childhood except for a chat with a dear old lady. She told me that the children Gus and John were born at their grandfather’s old house, Constantino's small house. Later they lived in other houses with their mother in Karitsa, Agios Andreas and Kounoupia (the Mastorakis house), while their father was in the US. Also I heard that Peter died in Athens and his family buried him in Karitsa where his grave is.

I also noticed that Nikola's house in Karitsa is now undergoing extensive renovations. I'll send you photos when they finish.

In Karitsa I had with me your graphics and I showed it to the locals. They were so excited about you and your work. They are looking forward to your Karitsa piece when completed.

That's all we can come up with for you to arrive at some composite image of the house.

I hope everything is ok with you and your family.
Regards to Dianne

Take care
Sincerely,
John
Peter Proferes cross shaped gravestone in Karitsa
2 September 2007
Letter from Jo
(37-3)
Hello John,
Sorry about your hard drive, I do not know if I sent you the thing about Bill Gates, but have attached it to this letter. As a literate computer person, you will identify with it.

I am sorry that 64 people died in the fires, that is a horrible way to die. The news here indicated that many more than that perished. I hope not. I am happy that you and your family escaped the fire.
Sincerely,
Jo
Letterman.Gates.wmv
30 September 2007
Letter from Jo
(38-1)
Hello John,
I hope that by now the fires are all out. I realize that it will take poor people years to recover from losing their homes. Tragedies like this do not disappear overnight. And grief for loved ones never goes away, you just have to learn to live with it.

This morning I discovered that I had not sent a graphic of my granddaughter, Janessa, to be included on the Proferes family website, so I am attaching one. I think Janessa looks a lot like her great grandmother, Legeri, my husband's mother. And, in my opinion, she looks Greek. She has the tight skin her grandpa had. He wasn't very wrinkled, even when he died. I don't think I sent one of her sister, Shelly, either. I will have to see if there is one of her on this machine. I had to get the one of Janessa off the work computer. This machine is used strictly for the internet and e-mail.

Janessa For Father's Day

Found one of Shelly on this machine, her wedding picture, which they e-mailed to me. I have attached it, too.

Shelly Wed5

The reason the top graphic is titled "Janessa For Father's Day" is because the last few years, since I had a computer and a good laser printer, plus Adobe Pagemaker, I would make John a special Father's Day card. An 8.5X11 inch picture of him and his kids and grand kids, and great grand kids, with Happy Father's Day John! in big letters, cantered, about 1/3 down the page, with the year, "2000", or whatever, cantered underneath. Then I framed it and put it up on the wall with the rest of them, circling the kitchen clock, so that he could look at all of them while he had breakfast. He loved that kind of father's day card! Of course this took a lot more effort than buying a card, but he got to enjoy his Father's Day card year around, and the next year, too!
Sincerely,
Jo
1 October 2007
Letter from John
(38-2)
Hello Jo,
Nice to hear from you again, I like reading your letters.

Thank you for the graphics you sent to update the Proferes family tree. Janessa looks like a Greek girl really. I will send the photos to Stelios to update the tree.

I have exchanged a few e-mails with Shelly in the recent past. My last e-mail to her was one month ago. I don't think she gets much time to check her e-mail box. She looks very busy.

The fires are all out, but the winter and the rains are coming, and there are going to be a lot of problems in those areas.

I think you were a treasure for John and John would've loved of you very much. Your idea to make John a special Father's Day card, the way you have, no-one else could think of it. I'd love to see it, if you have this graphic on your pc or as a photo on the wall.
Sincerely,
John
1 October 2007
Letter from Jo
(39-1)
Hello John,
I do not hear from Shelly very often, either, maybe once every 6 weeks or so. She is busy establishing herself, gathering clients for her new insurance business. She has finished her training, got her license, her own office, and is out knocking on doors, passing out her business cards. She gets only a small percent of what she sells, the parent company gets the rest.

Yes, John LOVED those homemade Father's Day cards! I do have some copies of those Father's Day Cards, and I will scan one in and save it on a CD so I can get it into this machine. I am not knowledgeable enough to attach as a Pagemaker document and will send it as a PDF file.

By the way, is Father's Day an International holiday, or just observed by Americans?
Sincerely,
Jo
1 October 2007
Letter from Jo
(39-2)
Hello John,
I had unframed copies of three of the Father's Day cards, and scanned them all at 75%, 150dpi. I just sent the 2004 card to myself, to see how long it would take to go, and how it would look. It took awhile, so I will send you all three, one at a time. I imagine that your system is both faster, and more powerful than mine. Mail is scanned for viruses on my system, both coming in, and going out, and that is what takes the time. I have a telephone line connection, not satellite.

I have attached the 2004 card. John died in July, 2004. I knew that he be leaving, since about March, so I made this card a long time before Father's Day and hung it up so he could enjoy it. I didn't know if he would live to Father's Day, that was why I did it early. The bottom half of the card was a black and white photo out of an old 1940s history book, and the caption underneath was: "FROM SPARTA TO THE SEA". I colored it in Adobe Photoshop. The top half of the Card is the view of Karitsa that John's brother Gus sent. I faded this picture out in Adobe Photoshop, and used the tools in Photoshop to select, copy, and paste the graphics onto each half, then I placed both into Pagemaker and did the text.

John really loved this one, he remembered going with his mother and Gus, with a mule, down that trail, to the sea; I used the graphics from when we were young on the bottom part, and from when he was young, on the top part.
Sincerely,
Jo

2004 Father’s Day Card
2 October 2007
Letter from John
(39-3)
Hello Jo,
I received John’s Father’s Day Card. I really liked it. Of course, your work makes the difference. I would like to have your permission to include it on our websites.

If it possible I'd also like a copy of the view of Karitsa in the top half of the card that was provided by John’s brother. I'd like to be able to work out the spot where Gus stood to take the photo. I can see electric posts, so it must be at least after 1973.

The other photo at the bottom of the Card is from an old history book. Do you still have this book? I’m interested to find out which part of the area is this?

Yes, Father's Day is an International holiday, also recently celebrated in Greece as well.
Take care of yourself,
John
1 October 2007
Letter from Jo
(39-4)
Hello John,
I do not know what happened to the letter I just sent to you, but when I opened it in the sent box, it was pure gibberish, encrypted garbage, so I am resending it.

The cap top on the bottom half of the card was: "FROM SPARTA TO THE SEA". It was an old black and white photo from a 1940s history book. John said that is the trail he, his mother, and Gus, with a mule, took to reach the sea where they boarded a small boat before going to Athens, where they got on the big boat (Edison), to come to America.

2004 was the year John died. I made the card, framed it and hung it long before Father's Day, because I had no idea if he would live to Father's Day. He loved this card.
Sincerely,
Jo

P.S. I am sending these, one at a time. There are three of them that I found unframed copies of and scanned.

2004 Father’s Day Card
2 October 2007
Letter from Jo
(39-5)
John,
Here is another of my homemade Father's day Cards. It is work to do this kind of thing, but it is more personal than a regular card. Of course a woman wanting to do this needs a computer, Adobe Photoshop and Pagemaker software, and a really good printer, and not everybody has computers. Although I suppose most young families do, but the Adobe software is expensive. Adobe has replaced Pagemaker with Indesign, a combination of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Pagemaker, and it does not require the PPDs to make photo quality graphics. I am sure you already know this. Unless you have had no need for this kind of software.
Jo

2003 Father’s Day Card
2 October 2007
Letter from Jo
(39-6)
John,
Here is the last of the Father's Day cards that I had made extra copies of, and which I scanned in.

This is one of the more colorful ones. The grandbaby John is holding is Janessa, the same girl I sent a couple of days ago, The one I believe looks like John's mother, Legeri.
Jo

2001 Father’s Day Card
2 October 2007
Letter from Jo
(40-1)
Hello John,
Here is the graphic of Gus's photo of Karitsa. And, yes, you may add the card to the Website. I do still have the history book, I believe it was my brother's world history book from high school. While he was overseas we left Arizona where we had loved so many years, and I ended up with the book. If you want I can see if I can find information in the book about the photo, it should be under picture credits someplace in the back.

I will send you the other two graphics of the Father's Day cards I made in Pagemaker, one at a time, because it takes so long for them to be scanned as they leave this computer.
Sincerely,
Jo

Karitsa from Gus
2 October 2007
Letter from John
(40-2)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for the graphic of Gus’s photo of Karitsa. The next time I go there I will try to find the point from where this picture was taken.

From the world history book it will be helpful if you can find any information about the photo to be able to find the name of the place shown on this graphic.

I received the 2003 and 2001 Father’s Day Cards. They are both great. So, every year you produced a new Father’s Day Card for John, and then as you say: “Then I framed it and put it up on the wall with the rest of them, circling the kitchen clock, so that he could look at all of them while he had breakfast”

It would've been very uplifting for John every day while he had his breakfast with all these cards around the kitchen clock.

I liked also John’s photo on the 2001 Father’s Day card. The 2001 card is full of new faces, grandkids and great grandkids. Big family, John’s and Jo’s family.


I don't use the kind of software you are skilled in. I only use the Photoshop for my pictures, when sometimes I have to make corrections after scanning old photos.
I have collected many old photos but haven't had the time to name and organize them yet. I hope to do it sometime.
Sincerely,
John
8 October 2007
Letter from John
(41-1)
Hello Jo,
The Proferes family tree on the site has been updated with the photos you sent recently, Janessa’s, Shelly’s and the three Father's Day Cards for the years 2001, 2003 and 2004.

Thank you for enhancing our site with all the wonderful photos and graphics you have provided.
Sincerely,
John
23 December 2007
Letter from Jo
(42-1)
Hello John,
Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you and your family.
May God bless you.
Jo


Maranatha
25 December 2007
Letter from John
(43-1)
Hello Jo,
Two days ago I returned back from my trip to Karitsa. Every year at this time I use to travel there to bring back with me enough cooking oil to last for the coming year.

They produce good quality cooking oil and I get it directly from the producers The traditional olive harvest begins mid November and at this time they also produce the olive oil. The weather was pleasant this time, not snowing like last year when I was there. Everyone - the young, the middle-aged and older villagers- were busy picking olives.

I'm forwarding three photographs I took of the Nikolas Profyris house, recently renovated by his youngest son, Vangelis.

Take care of yourself.
John
31 December 2007
Letter from Jo
(43-2)
Hello John,
Thank you for the photos of the Profiris house, I will send them on to John's sister, Bess.

I do not know if I sent you a Christmas greeting, I think I did, but I deleted a lot of sent mail, there was getting to be so many in the sent box. Still 147 sent messages in there. There should have been a graphic of Christ that I sent you. I sent it at Christmas and Easter to everybody.

I am still writing out the puzzles and clues in longhand. I have one more book to do besides the one I am working on, then I will type them into a computer, probably my laptop. Every so often an idea pops into my head for a .BMP image for puzzle background to tie into the theme, and I stop to do it. Even when I get tired, as long as I can see the letters, I work, if I don't it will never be finished. 
Have a happy New Year.
Jo
30 March 2008
Letter from John
(44-1)
Hello Jo,
I'm always thinking of you, even if I don't write to you. I hope that you are in good health, active and strong.

Karitsa is still there, but the number of older villagers, most interesting to me, are dwindling.

I don't have good news from Uncle George. He has a few health problems and has to have the oxygen tank with him at all times.

I've copied and pasted for you a section of his letter:
Sorry I was not able to write you sooner but so many things have occurred this past three weeks I did not have time to think. Lots of doctors visits, lots of changes of medications, lots of therapy. I think they thought my number was up, could find no place for someone as mean as me so they let me stay here a while longer. I am well, minus a few things, plus having to carry the oxygen tank with me. Everything is great. Every day I wake up is a beautiful day. Going to the OTB, watch the horses run. May make a bet or two maybe three.

Hope to hear from you.
Regards, and take care of yourself.
John
4 April 2008
Letter from John
(44-2)
Hello Jo,
Five days ago I sent you a letter saying hello to you. Probably you didn't see it out of 400 to 700 messages you receive every day. I can see your problem.
I am well and my family too.
John
4 April 2008
Letter from Jo
(44-3)
Hello John,
I am writing to tell you that I am having my e-mail address changed, I am tired of getting 400 to 700 pieces of trash a day that I have to delete twice, out of my in-box and out of the trash, by right clicking to avoid getting a virus, or worse. I hope everything is well with you, and your family.


My new e-mail address will be (address details omitted here for privacy, ed.)
Jo Proferes
8 April 2008
Letter from Jo
(45-1)
Hello John,
Not much power or action, but still breathing. . It is a relief not to have to delete all that trashy junk mail. I did get one piece of garbage the day before yesterday, makes me wonder if the ISP is selling addresses to the spammers, how likely is it that someone has come up with (address details omitted here for privacy, ed.) on their own? A few years ago I registered a non-profit corporation in the state of Washington, and within a week I began receiving telephone calls, which I still receive, on my unlisted telephone line. I can't help but believe the state, or someone working in that bureau, sold my unlisted number.

I am still trying to figure out the software for the puzzle and game books that I want to do to go with the 8 coloring books I just recently finished on American history. It took me all summer to do the 8 front covers and the 4 back covers I needed. I used a map for one of the back covers, a pen and ink sketch for another one, and mu own oil paintings for the other two. One of the paintings was a Big Wheels used in Logging, which is one I sent to you.

I bought two programs of puzzle software in 2002, and another one last summer. My granddaughter did this before, all I did was edit and furnish the pen and ink drawings, as well as the original text from which the words and clues were taken. Simple enough a 10 year old can do it? I don't think so, it seems more difficult than Adobe Pagemaker. I will just have to experiment.

Got a letter from George, I told him I was changing my E-mail address, I also told Stelios, and Nick in Australia. George's letter is quoted below. He still has things planned to do, so I think he will live for a while. When we get to the point that we are finished with everything here on earth, and all of our family, mate, and children are gone, then we go.

I am attaching the other painting I used for a back cover on the American History series, on book 7, the Civil War, and also the colored pencil front cover I created for the Civil War. The front cover is titled "Terrified" and it is my illustration for the Fort Pillow massacre.
Jo

Book 7 front cover

Nellie
Letter from George Proferes
Hi Jo,
I sure can’t blame you. That junk mail is enough to drive you nuts. I wish I could do the same. John in Athens sent me a couple of maps of our home town area. Sure were useful to me. I now know exactly where I was born. It seems as if we just left yesterday not 79 years ago.
Well next week I go to the publishing house to publish my book I have been doing it myself with a plastic binding for too long its gotten too much for me. Will send you a copy when it comes off the press.

Getting used to carrying the small oxygen tank with me but can’t get used to the lines around your ears and nose hose. Feel like an invalid. Stuck with it now just have to make the best of it. Only real good thing about it when I’m playing poker no one can read my facial expressions.
Take care of yourself
George
12 April 2008
Letter from John
(45-2)
Hello Jo,
I would like to thank you for the beautiful paintings you sent me. I can see you are doing a lot of things all the time, and I can say that this is very good for all of us, not just to live for the sake of breathing.

I plan to send to you also a map, indicating the path John followed from the mountain to the sea when they left for the United States the old days. I find it difficult to describe it in English and will ask Stelios or Dimitri for some help. I'll write it in Greek first.

At the end of May I plan to visit Geraki, a village very closed to Karitsa, and Karitsa of course. At that time every year we meet and celebrate under a very big plane tree, in an area outside Geraki village. I'll send some photographs and text about the celebration. I'll ask Stelios to help.

Take care
Regards
John
21 April 2008
Letter from John
(45-3)
Hello Jo,
I'm sending you what I promised a few days ago. I would like to thank Dimitris Katsambis from Australia who translated my letter. It was written in Greek. On the maps I have just typed the names with capital letters. I hope that this helps you.
Regards
John
Dimitri's Translation

In this letter and accompanying maps I hope to describe the paths John trekked across as a youngster, up to the age of seven, when growing up in Karitsa and nearby villages, before he left for far-off America and regrettably never managed to return.

John’s grandfather, Konstantinos Profyris, hailed from the village of Mari and came to Karitsa in the early 1870s when he married local girl, Chrysafia Katsambis. Mari, a mountain village northeast of Karitsa, bounded by rugged, rocky, steep terrain, lacked suitable tilling fields for sowing wheat and growing olives necessary for its folk to eke out an existence.

They thus sought land away from their village to clear and develop into tilling fields. One of these was Agios Andreas, in the plains due south of Karitsa. John’s grandfather, Konstantinos, had tilling fields there. He had inherited from his father, and in turn had left them to be shared by his children. So, John’s family, including the children, would often go to the tilling fields, where they would stay in the kalyvi (hovel) built by his granddad.

John’s mother, Lygeri, was from Kounoupia, a beautiful village immersed in the greenness of the Parnonas Mountains Range. The children and their mother stayed there for a time when their father was in America.

I would also like to clarify that the sea can be seen from Karitsa only when looking due south; that is across the Gulf of Lakonia. But in those years when people travelled from the village to Athens they would head northeast and set off on a ten to twelve hour trek by foot or mule passing through Kounoupia, Peleta and Poulithra before reaching the tiny harbour at Plaka and then boarding a sailing ketch for Piraeus.

This would have been the route taken by John when he left for America with his mother. He would not have headed south towards the bay, even though he could see and marvel at the vast blue sea from Karitsa. It is most likely they left either from Karitsa or Kounoupia, if they had been staying with Lygeri’s family. From Kounoupia, where views of the coast are blocked by the mountains and are out of direct sight, they would have headed for the port of Plaka where they boarded a ketch for Piraeus.

On the accompanying maps I have traced the route from Karitsa to Agios Andreas as well as from Karitsa to Kounoupia and then on to Plaka. It is a trek across fir covered mountainous terrain. On the way at a spot known as Kanalakia, due north of Karitsa, among the firs, passers-by would come across a natural mountain spring with cold water streaming out. There they would stop for a rest, have something to eat, drink from the cold spring and then head on. John certainly passed this spot.

I hope this provides a brief description of the basic route followed by John on his way to America.
John
Map 1

Map 2
21 April 2008
Letter from Jo
(45-4)
John,
Thank you for the maps, I saved them to a folder, and will open them in the fax/photo viewer on the desk top, and print them, as well as the letter.

John's brother, Gus, sent him some black and white maps of these towns and marked the route to the sea, I will have to see if I can find them in the stuff I packed up from John's dresser. I showed our daughter where I had put all his stuff. I still have some of his clothes, but gave most away to people who could use them.
Again, thank you.
Jo
24 June 2008
Letter from John
(45-5)
Hello Jo,
I had promised to write to you about my trip to Karitsa and and neighbouring villages. My trip took place at the end of May.

But first, in case you heard and was concerned we did not have any problems with earthquakes in Laconia, where Karitsa, Agios Andreas and Geraki are situated.

I visited Karitsa for few hours and Agios Andreas too and had some interesting chats with the locals for the family trees and old photos I am collecting.

Karitsa was beautiful at this time, green and serene.

The main reason I visited Laconia this time, was the annual get-together of descendants of the Maroudas clan at their ancestral tilling and pasture fields, known locally as Kakavouri, a few miles out of Geraki. We all meet and celebrate under at the big plane tree where our ancestors gathered their flocks under its shade. We have a great time: food, wine, singing, and reminiscing. This time there were about 130 people at the gathering. I'm forwarding ten photos for you to have an idea what it was like. In picture 76 you can see the papers hanging on the trees, this is the Meroudas family tree, with all the names. I produced and printed it. I’m on the very left sitting down with the black t-shirt.

I have sent the same photos to Uncle George.

Hope everything is OK with you and your family.

Regards to all
Take care
John

10 pictures from 2008 Maroudas clan annual reunion














24 June 2008
Letter from Jo
(45-6)
Hello John,
I am glad that the earthquake did little or no damage. It is truly amazing that the fabulous ruins of Greece still stand after several thousand years! This says something about Greek engineering!

There are earthquake faults in this area. Last one in this area was in the 1920s, about 100 miles from where I live. We are due for a big one.

Thank you for the pictures. The leaves on that plane tree look like those of a big leaf maple that grows wild out here in the west, along rivers and creeks. Greece is beautiful, if I came to America to make my fortune I, too, would want to return to such a beautiful country, one with such history!

I have not heard from George for awhile. I need to write and see how he is doing. I have been busy driving my great grandson around to his summer activities. Basketball Camp is done, and so is Soccer Camp. In July there are 2 weeks of Science Camp. When he isn't going to some sports thing he goes to the Boys & Girls Club. It is a good babysitter, keeps the children busy from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

I still have not figured out how to substitute my BMP graphics for the background crossword puzzle program's own graphics. My granddaughter did it once, but she doesn't remember what she did to get rid of the built in background shapes for crossword puzzles that came with the software program.

It is too hot right now to think clearly, and I am too busy with my great grandson's activities to sit for hours and try. I guess I will wait until school starts again.
Sincerely
Jo
25 December 2008
Letter from John
(46-1)
Hello Jo,
I want to wish you and everyone else the best ever Christmas and a Happy New Year. 
Stay healthy and take care of yourself.
John
28 December 2008
Letter from Jo
(46-2)
John,
Thank you, I also hope you had a good holiday and have a good year in 2009. I hope to wrap up a lot of projects this year, and get back to painting.

I still have not finished the puzzle & Game books that go with the 8 coloring books, I could not get the puzzle program to use my .BMP images for crossword puzzles, and it was supposed to do that. I found out there were a lot of "GLITCHES" in the software, and ordered updated software. While I was waiting for the new software, I opened up some old Iomega Zip Disks that had the text for a non fiction book, Journey into Sorrow, a history of the Nez Perce War of 1877 that our son David had saved on zip disks back in 1998, before I knew much about computers. I decided to redo the book.

While I was waiting for the updated puzzle software I worked on the book. Then my working computer lost its hard drive (this was about the middle of October). The machine was 6 years old, and had never been hooked to the internet. It took about 6 weeks to get it fixed, they had to freeze the hard drive, but 6 minutes after they took it out of the freezer it would get hot and quit again. I finally told them forget it, I had backed up most of the important stuff on CDs.

A friend and I first did the book back in the early1970s. He is a retired National Park Superintendent, and has had several books published. There was not much interest in the book back then, and one of the places, The Yellowstone Association, which publishes material and movies about Yellowstone National Park, had just made a movie that didn't do well, said they could not at that time, publish the book, they did not have the funds.

So, we put the book aside and both of us went on to other things. My friend is now in his 80s. When I said I would like to redo the book and give it another try, he said, "fine, let's go for it." He is not expert in using a computer, so I have revised it, in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Pagemaker. I am now waiting to hear from 3 local Nez Perce Artists. They have agreed to furnish me photographs of their work, and permission to use them in the book.

One, Dan Maxwell, about 50 years old, an ex-U.S. Marine, makes hand crafted guitars, in a very different way, and they are awesome. I am waiting for him to finish the one he is working on. The hole in the top of the guitar is a grizzly bear footprint, and the neck of the guitar is inlaid with bear tracks in mother of pearl, abalone shell. There is a grizzly bear on the back, top of the guitar, inlaid in different colored woods. The bear is fishing. They throw the salmon out of the water with their paws. The salmon are inlaid abalone shell, scrimshawed for the lateral line and other details. Dan's work is beautiful, breathtaking. I have never seen anything like it. He gets $8,000.00 American dollars for a handmade guitar. He combines traditional Nez perce design, the old, with the new, European stringed instruments. He also makes drums. One of the 3 artists is his sister, she does beadwork, the other is a young friend of theirs who makes handmade flutes. The flute is a traditional American Indian wind instrument. Usually decorated with inlaid designs and strings of hanging beads, ermine tails and eagle feathers. Young men serenaded girls they were interested in, by playing a flute.

I still have not tried out the new puzzle software for the unfinished puzzle books. I finished all the words and clues, months ago. I decided to finish the Nez Perce history book, first, get it on disk, and see if I can interest a publisher while I am working on the puzzles. I already have a publisher that wants me to send CDs of the American series coloring books. I want to send both the coloring books, and the corresponding puzzle books at one time. So I need to spend more hours at the computer.

It has been a very busy year for me. I still have my great grandson, he was 9 years old in July, and a handful for an old woman like me. He takes a lot of my time. It has been a relief that there is no basketball practice during Christmas vacation.

I have been thinking about George Proferes for several days, I don't think he replied to my last letter. I know he had been very sick, and I he didn't know how long he had before passing on to the next world. I hope is still here, and that he is enjoying life. Please let me know how he is doing.
Take care,
Jo Proferes

P.S. I am pasting a poem my old friend (who is part Indian, as am I) wrote, it is worded the way Americans Indians think about life and death:

The High Winds

Spirits of the Pueblo, the Hogan, the Tipi, the Long House,
the Wigwam and the Wickiup return when I am alone with Mother Earth.

They tell of the buffalo and the deer; the wolf and the bear;
the elk and the coyote; the fox and the badger; the horses and
the dogs to point out their worth.

The past is forever as is today. Riding on the High Winds in
the paho of the eagle and all the other winged ones are the
Spirits of the Grandfathers and Grandmothers to soothe the
soul.

Like the throb of the drums that match my heartbeat. Like
the songs that make the dance a joy and the lovely costumes
that enhance the Circle of Life - the High Winds of the seasons
make up the whole.

From the pleasant smell of the sage and sweetgrass and the
smoke of the kinnikinick and cedar bark tells of my history.

While over the ridge awaits the Great Mystery.

Eagle against sun logo

29 December 2008
Letter from John
(46-3)
Hello Jo,
It is always a pleasure to receive a letter from you. Thank you for your season's wishes. I wish you good health for many years and letters to come

It sounds good you wish to be wrapping up a lot of projects this year, and getting back to painting.

One of my dreams is sometime to see one of your paintings of Karitsa in John’s memory. I’m attaching some more Karitsa views, I copied them from a 2009 Karitsa calendar.

I see you had a lot of problems with software, old zip disks and most importantly your Hard Drive. Lucky you had a backup on CDs. It really was a very busy year for you 2008.

It would've been pleasing to redo the book with your friend after so many years. It is also interesting that Dam Maxwell and the other artists are making hand crafted guitars, drums and many more instruments.

As for myself, I've been having a few health issues, resulting from very heavy physical work. Back problems have resulted in transferred pain along the left leg, hurting day and night. I've had an operation at the hospital and now feel better. It is a matter of time for full recovery but I have to be careful with heavy work and weights.

As for my uncle George, we exchanged wishes recently. I'm copying/pasting for you extracts of his letters he sent me on November 13th and 16th 2008.

Regards to Diane and your great grandson,
Take care,
John

Pictures and compilations from the 2008 village calendar

13 November 2008
Letter from George Proferes
Hi John,
I thought you were still in the islands. Hope you had a good vacation.
I am getting along with the oxygen tank I have to carry and use 24 hours a day, gets me real irritated. But that’s what happens when you smoke too much. Then you're confronted with high blood pressure. That’s what happens when you get old. In the mean time, I still spend three to four days at the horse pallor.
Am now negotiating with SYSCO foods to buy my Restaurant Book. It’s far improved since the first copy was written. Sold over 300 books on the internet I hear the wife I think dinner is ready. Glad you wrote.
Keep in touch.
George
16 November 2008
Letter from George Proferes
Hi John,
Sorry to hear you had to go to the hospital. I hope all is well now. I’m glad you got out without any major problems. It is hard to digest that we cannot do the things today that we did when we were younger. I find it very relaxing to take off in the morning, go to the OTB, meet with friends, have lunch, talk, bet some horses, leave go home, play some internet poker, dinner and pass the day. When I retired I did not know it would be so boring. I did not anticipate the oxygen tank. It makes it hard to go anywhere. No Las Vegas No Islands, we just must make the best of it. I am glad you will not be burdened with what I have. Thank God.

Blood pressure, bladder and liver problems, just to name a few. But it's been a good life, no regrets. Now John you take care of yourself.
Regards to all
George
2 January 2009
Letter from John
(46-5)
Hello Jo,
I hope you received all six Karitsa pictures I sent you last.

I write to you to say that I have asked Dimitri Katsambis, my friend in Australia, to translate into Greek the poem The high Winds and the other you sent me a long time ago, Wooden Reminders written by Joseph. It would then be easier for me to understand them. Dimitris liked the poems and I liked them too. He asked me if we have your permission to publish both on the Karitsa sites.

In your previous letter, describing the hand crafted guitars made by Dan Maxwell, you opened up for me a new interesting area of knowledge. Following your detailed analysis, I started searching on the web to find about mother of pearl, abalone shell, literal line etc. It wasn’t so easy for me.

The sentence «The salmon are inlaid abalone shell, scrimshawed for the lateral line and other details» isn’t very clear to me.

Has Dan Maxwell any page on the web where I can see pictures of the instruments?

It is really very interesting, very creative.
Take care of yourself,
John
11 January 2009
Letter from John
(46-6)
Hello Jo,
I have sent you the last days two e-mails and six Karitsa photos. Have you received them?
Take care
John
14 January 2009
Letter from Jo
(46-7)
Hello John,
Yes, I have received them. Thank you, I see some of the same buildings that you photographed and sent me on a CD. I appreciate your sending me all this information, my daughter still cries when she thinks about her papa, and she loves anything on Greece, and especially where John grew up, and his mother's home village.

Yesterday I bought a Dr. Norton, Symantec antivirus and up-date DVD, and got it installed before I opened any mail. My virus protection was supposed to come due in February, but because in 2008 I renewed it by phone about the first of January, they started the due date at that time, and cheated me of about 2 weeks. This year I bought the DVD instead of renewing by phone or over the internet. I now refuse to use my credit card over the internet.

There were 2 DVDs in the package, the one I put in was for spyware and virus, the one I will put in tonight is a Norton save and restore program. I had to get online to put the other one in. I am not a computer knowledgeable person, and I didn't know that. Then I had to go back and delete the old version first. I finally got it all done, then got the virus updates, there were more than 16 Mgs of updates. Then I did a full system scan, and got a warning about cookies somebody was trying to send. It asked me if I wanted to get rid of them. I said yes. The Norton program I have been getting from the internet by phone does not do that.

I hope I don't have as much trouble installing this Save and Restore DVD.

Thank you again for the photos and the messages.
Take care,
Jo
14 January 2009
Letter from John
(46-8)
Hello Jo,
I think you're wise not using your credit card over the internet. I don't either!

Have you finished installing the Norton Save and Restore DVD? Hope you resolved everything without any problems.

I like your comments about my Uncle George's health, on reading his letters I sent you in one of my previous messages.

Also can you please let me know what you think about the poems I asked you on my previous message?

Regards to Diane
Take care
John
18 January 2009
Letter from Jo
(46-9)
Hello John,
You may certainly, with my blessing, put our son Joseph's poem, Wooden Reminders on the family website. For High Winds I should ask my friend, Jack. I tried to call him, no answer. He may have gone to the city for his heart check up, or a new battery for his heart's "pacemaker". I will let you know.

I did not install the Norton Save and Restore DVD. I started to, but decided I did not want to do that. It wants to take over how I get my E-mail. It would take over completely. I now open with Google as my home page, and go through Netscape as my host. I don't think I would like change, I am too old and set in my ways. And I am computer illiterate, if I change it, and don't like it, I probably would not be able to get my Google back as a home page.
God bless you and your family,
Jo
30 January 2009
Letter from Jo
(46-a)
Hello John,
I finally was able to reach my friend Jack R. Williams, and he said, yes, let them put it on the Karitsa Website, though he was curious why, since he is not Greek. Then he answered his own question, "The Nez Perce!" He has been my best friend since about 1973. He is the genie who obtained all the necessary photos from the U.S. National Archives, and West Point to help me make the paintings authentic. An artist is just an interpreter, especially an historical artist, like me. Many, many people helped me when I did the Nez Perce Bicentennial Exhibit paintings. It was Jack who introduced me to the Nez Perce Elders who knew Nez Perce Oral history, he also introduced me to the ladies who had done, and taught beading and other crafts, like corn husk hats and bags, and how to tan hides, to teach the young people, so their culture would not be lost.

In the complete painting, attached above, I had the beadwork pattern on Chief Looking Glass wrong. The diamonds along the leggings used to point the other way, like the Sioux tribe did them. The Nez Perce copied them, but reversed the pattern. SOOO I had to do them over to make them authentic.

Traditional Nez Perce bead patterns were floral. I have attached the painting, and details of the Sioux type beadwork on the leggings, I am not expert enough at copying pieces and parts and pasting them on a white background. But this shows what I am trying to explain. I think I should have started both with 300 dpi, I think I copied parts of a 150 dpi graphic and pasted it onto a 300 dpi background is what is wrong.
Take care,
Jo
Howard Shows Rifle

Nez Perce Beadwork
31 January 2009
Letter from John
(46-b)
Hello Jo,
Thank you for the poem and permission by your friend Jack R. Williams to include it on our sites. Please send him our best wishes and thanks.

I always find new and interesting things in your letters, which are well written, descriptive and detailed. It's fascinating how a historical artist like you has to depict in detail so many observations, no matter how small, in order to render the painting authentic. I can see how hard it was for you to redo the painting to correct this marvelous Howard Shows Rifle picture. How long has it taken you to finish this wonderful painting?

My idea and proposal to my friends in Australia, Stelios and Dimitris, is to collect from our correspondence, the most interesting extracts and constructing a narrative about John’s life in America, about a young boy from Karitsa who grows up in America, meets and has a family with an American Indian historical artist, who never stops working and supporting her people and family. I'd envisage it then being translated into Greek and presenting it as a bilingual text.

I have had at the back of my mind, for a long time, two points you made in your very first letters to me. Sometime I would appreciate your comments on these two points, if you possibly have the time and the inclination to do so:

From your letter on Feb 11th 2007:
"I knew Greeks when I lived in Arizona, who said many places in the state of Arizona looked like Greece. They were from Athens. He was very tall, blond, with blue eyes, she had light brown eyes, light brown hair, and her skin was medium dark. He spoke English well, she understood, but couldn't speak much English. Nice people. She spun wool with her fingers to make a heavy yarn, which she knitted or crocheted into blankets. She also made rag rugs out of old clothes, as did my mother. They both taught me to crochet that summer. I was 10 years old. At that time my dad worked on the railroad, laying ties, as a section hand. Mr. Kirk was the Section Foreman. I know that Kirk is not a Greek name. I think they had changed their name to Americanize it. They came to visit us later, after we had moved to a different place in Arizona, after the war (World War II).

"I will tell you another time how it was that we had moved to Arizona in 1941… "

Can you please now tell me about that?

From your letter on Feb 12th 2007:
"I stayed here, I was trying to finish up some educational coloring books that I was writing and illustrating, and our son, David, was on his way up from Arizona with my brother. David stopped in southern Idaho to pick up his three young sons, who lived with their mother, and bring them, too. I was going to help my son with some legal papers, so I could not go with John to Florida. But I wanted him to be with his family again before he died.

"Both of our Sons, Joseph and David Proferes, are dead. I will write you about that in another letter. I feel that it is important to record family history. There will be Proferes' in the future who will want to know"

I sincerely encourage you to do that for the extended family in the USA and in Greece.

Also I think your family are a precious connection between Karitsa and the Indian American people. That is why we like Jack’s poem.

Jo I would like to hear from you.
Take care
John
Letter from John to thank Jack
Jo
Please thank your friend Jack for his kind permission to include "High Winds" in our collection. We are keen to feature this magnificent work to illustrate the cultures worldwide that our family trees embrace. It is yet another illustration of the unity of the human race that a once isolated community secluded among the slopes of the Southern Parnon Ranges is now directly connected through your family to the American Indian community. Your friend Jack's moving verses on the metaphysical world outlook of American Indians, as portrayed in "High Winds" is not dissimilar to that of traditional views of Karitsa folk.
John
1 February 2009
Letter from Jo
(46-c)
Hello John,
I am formatting this so that I can tell you the rest of the story the easiest way. I can talk about it now.

I will tell you another time how it was that we had moved to Arizona in 1941…

My mother and her brother (orphaned when young, and raised by relatives) had adjoining homesteads in Colorado. They needed cash to develop them. My mother was an excellent cook, having cooked for harvest crews since she was 12 years old. Her brother stayed to care for their cattle and horses and she went to work cooking for wildcat oil exploration crews. She ended up in California where she met my father. By this time she had a child, my oldest brother. My father had filed on a timber claim homestead in Oregon in the 1920s, built a log cabin on it, and he too, worked out, for a time on a big ranch in California. California was where they met, and finally married.

At the time I was born my father was working as a lumberjack in Oregon and he and my mother lived in the log cabin. I was born there in 1932, January 1. My father delivered me. It was storming. There was a neighbor who raised turkeys named Mr. Webb who had a telephone. He was the only one around who had a telephone. The doctor had been called, but due to a storm he did not get there.

My mother missed the prairie the great open spaces in the plains of Colorado. This was in the height of the Great Depression, which was nationwide. There wasn't much work in Oregon, even in the lumber business. They decided to return to where her brother lived in Colorado. She had given him her homestead, which was now deeded, it had been "proved up on".

We arrived in Colorado when I was 4 years old, about the beginning of the dust bowl, a severe drought, no moisture. Then plagues of grasshoppers came, they ate everything, even the cedar bark off the fence posts. I remember the sky was black with them, The chickens quit eating them. The baby hoppers crawled, they ate everything in their path, the big ones flew. The big ones were about 5 to 6 inches long. (Once in a while one of the big ones would fall from the sky.) The crawling ones stopped trains, made the rails slick. My father worked for a government project, the WPA, poisoning grasshoppers.

They traded the homestead in Oregon for a ranch in Colorado. The winters were bitterly cold. By the time I was 9 years old, they were ready to quit. When the winds came, and the dust blew, it drifted against buildings and fences like snow, and piled up. It piled up beside fences so that in some places a person, cow, or horse could walk over. The dust blew through the key hole in the door of the house and made a pile on the floor. When a dust storm came my mother put us all down on the floor and under quilts, so that we could breathe. But first, before we went into the house, when a dust storm was coming, the animals had to be put into the barns and the chickens inside, too.

I still remember Oregon, but my memories of this time of grasshoppers and dust storms is still very vivid. There was nothing for the cattle to eat. They used fire to burn the thorns off deer horn and pear cactus, and fed this to the cows. We lost the ranch, we had not paid taxes. We moved back in with my uncle, who had never married.

We heard of a job in Kansas, cutting broomcorn, got a 16X16 used army tent, and left to cut broomcorn. They traded our horse herd (the cows were already gone, but we had goats), 36 horses, for a used 1 1/2 ton Ford, long wheelbase truck.

We moved to Arizona. But there was no work there, either. These goats didn't do well in Arizona, they had never eaten any of the kind of weeds that grew in the desert. Arizona had very few people at that time. We lived in the tent, off the land. My older brother was 5 years older than I, we had a single shot .22 rifle, and a by now, old dog (she and I were the same age). I was 9 years old. We lived on rabbits. Old Pup, the dog, found them, my brother shot them, I held them while he skinned and dressed them, and I carried them.

There were five in the family. It took 2 cottontail rabbits for a meal, and desert cottontails are tiny, not big like the Colorado cottontails. We lived like this for 3 years. World War II broke out in December of 1941, the year we went to Arizona. My dad was in his 50s by then, and there was no work yet even for younger men. The war made jobs. He went to work on the railroad, as a Gandi Dancer, replacing ties and rails, with a section crew, in a little mining town called Mayer. Then transferred to Entro, behind Granite Dells, near Prescott.

My father's first job was when was 9 years old, was working for Stark Brothers Nursery in Missouri, where he was born. When he was 13, he went to work for the railroad, also in Missouri. He worked replacing ties and rails then, too. It was at Entro that we met the Kirk family. Mr. Kirk was the Section Forman.

Both of our Sons, Joseph and David Proferes, are dead. I will write you about that in another letter. I feel that it is important to record family history. There will be Proferes' in the future who will want to know…

The only way to tell about this is to just say it. They were both murdered, David first, in 2003. Nobody knows who killed Joseph. When John finally accepted that Joseph was also dead, he decided he didn't want to live. He had heart trouble, and was taking digitalis and something called "vaseotec". He quit taking the digitalis. He died July 8, 2004. Joseph had disappeared, nobody had seen him. John died before Joseph's body was found. His body was found in the Clearwater River after the Spring runoff. They would not let me or our daughter, Diane, see his body.

I had had a vivid dream that Joseph would die, several months before, and I later saw, in a vision, his skull with a 1/2 inch hole in the middle of his forehead, about 1 inch above his eyebrows. I tried to warn him, he would not listen. He was associating with the wrong people. I used to have dreams and visions that came true, but not anymore.

The FBI took the body to the veteran's hospital in Spokan, WA, where they got a partial thumbprint (and where he had gone after a fight when he had a fractured skull) the thumbprint was then sent to the Idaho State Police laboratory and matched to his army records.

David died October 14, 2003. His oldest son (almost 14), from a former marriage had come to live with him. He found out that his present wife, named Darla, was having an affair with another man she met at the Jr. College where she was taking special classes in computer technology. He told her she had 2 days to straighten up her "act" or if not, he was taking the money out of the account, and he and his son were leaving.

David drank fruit flavored Mountain Dew, and he dropped his pain killer medication into his soft drink to dissolve. He had been taken off oxycodin and prescribed Methadone. He had been very, very thin. He had started to gain weight and muscle on the Methadone.

The next morning he and his son went for a walk in the desert, and the boy came inside. David stopped in his rose garden, and did not come in. His son went back outside and found him dead, and gave him mouth to mouth to try to make him breath. He was gone.

Darla sued the doctors and the local hospital for malpractice. The coroner told me that he had 400% more Methadone in his blood than what it would have taken to kill him. She was the one, according to his son, who kept his medicine under lock and key and gave it to him so he would not "overdose".

David had had a severe back injury, a rib that had come loose from his spine when he jumped off a lowboy flatbed trailer, with a big generator for a dozer (he was an exploration contractor in Nevada) in his hands, and he didn't land right. He hurt his back when he hit the ground. The rib was "floating" and rubbing against nerves, according to a specialist he had gone to see in San Diego. Then the disks in his back began to disintegrate.

Darla had gotten rid of his body, she had it cremated as soon as possible, before she sued. Diane and I had given depositions for the defence, we thought she had overdosed him, on purpose, dropped more methadone into his soft drink while he and his son were on their walk. Our depositions were never used in court, but 2 members of the jury suggested she had killed him herself, to be able to sue the hospital. She lost the case. But she got away with murder. We did not go to Arizona for the trial. The defense attorney, Joseph A. D'Aguanno, called me to let me know how it ended. It was at least a year after David died that they finally got around to going to court. Joseph A. D'Aguanno was with Olson, Jantsch & Bakker, in Phoenix, Arizona.

It just seems incredible that within 10 months, all the male members of this Proferes family were gone.

Diane is still dealing with the loss. I have accepted it. It won't be long before I will join them. Grief is something that never truly ends, a person just has to learn to live with it. I want to go before the 7 years of tribulation, but I have a few things I want to do before I go. I have set goals since I was about 7 years old.
Take care,
Jo
2 February 2009
Letter from John
(46-f)
Dear Jo,
Thank you very much for your life story. It is a story of struggle to exist. I read it and read again many times. I think you are a hero of the little people. I say to you again one word: Thank you. I cry for you about David and Joseph. When you are ready, I listen to your story.

I admire you, the mother, the wife, the grandmother, the human being.
John
2 February 2009
Letter from Jo
(46-h)
John,
I forgot to answer part of your questions in the last letter. You asked: "Howard Shows Rifle picture. One question is how long has it taken for you to finish this nice painting?"

I do not remember, but probably not long, I did all the research, and all the paintings in 3 years. I took David with me the first time, to go follow in the Nez Perce footsteps to where they surrendered at the Bear's Paw, on Snake Creek, in Northern Montana, near the Canadian Border.

The Indians wound around, went to Montana, then back into north eastern Idaho, up through Yellowstone park, headed east into Montana, then went north, turned west, and went north, almost back to the middle of Idaho, close to the Canadian line. I made another trip with John, the second year, and went through the Big Hole and Yellowstone with both Diane and David the last year. I started in September of 1973.

When at home I painted 14 hours a day, cooked and took care of my family, but no longer vacuumed the ceiling once a month nor waxed the floors once a week. I let my house get dusty, and cleaned it once a month. If I had cleaned it as usual I would have had a clean house, but no paintings finished. If I cleaned it once a month, it was just as clean at the end of 30 days as it would have been had I cleaned it every day as I used to do. I never slept more than 3 hours at night. I worked like a maniac. I had many psychic experiences. I had no idea when I was doing the paintings that they would become the Nez Perce Tribe's Bicentennial Exhibit.

I know one thing, even with all the beadwork, and the fancy head gear of feathers and ermine tails, this painting was much easier, and faster than the one I did of Central & Washington, (attached) which I sent you before, I think. The one of Phoenix took 6 months, actual painting time, but there is a BIG difference between painting tents and mountains and grass, and painting Victorian buildings and power lines.
Take care,
Jo.

P.S. I am making an index for the book on The Nez Perce War that Jack and I did back when. He started the Text to go with the paintings for an illustrated book back in 1974, while I was doing the paintings. As I said, it was set aside, and we both went on to other things. I have been revising the book for about 7 months, now.

Is George doing OK? I must take the time to write to him.
Howard Shows Rifle
Central and Washington
2 February 2009
Letter from Jo
(46-i)
John,
Good grief! I just realized that I put down the wrong name for the man being led by the one armed general, Howard, and Captain Perry. He is not Looking Glass, he is Toohoolhoolzote! The Chief on Captain Perry's left, with the Sioux head gear is Looking Glass! Toohoolhoolzote is wearing a traditional Nez Perce Head gear, it is a split buffalo horn, eagle feather and ermine tails headdress.

I have also attached a pen and ink of this kind of head gear.
Take care,
Jo
Howard Shows Rifle
Nez Perce Traditional Headdress

2 February 2009
Letter from John
(46-j)
Hello Jo,
I may have made a mistake in my previous email saying that when you are ready, I will listen to your story. I thought that you may have had more to add. Sorry, my mistake.

Today I realized that such is life: very short and anything can happen to any of us, but your story is amazing!

If you do not have any objections I'd to pass this story to Stelios and Dimitris as well.

It was very interesting you writing that during the period you were researching for the Nez Perce project you also managed the cleaning of the house, the cooking and all the other activities, painting, sleeping 2-3 hours and up again for months. You are a very strong lady, wonderful lady. I believe John was very lucky to have you.

I checked also the Nez Perce Traditional Head dress. Thank you for the explanation.

You can tell me more about the book when you finish it. The book you and Jack are preparing. I am also interested to buy the revised edition when you finish it.

I haven’t heard from my Uncle George for the last month. I must also take the time to write to him. My problem is that it takes me a little more time if I write in English. If I write in Greek there is no problem.

Regards to Diane,
Take care
John
5 February 2009
Letter from John
(46-n)
Dear Jo,
The more you tell about your life story the more it captivates. Do you think it would helps to know how you, an Idaho girl, first met John, the boy from Karitsa? Please, can you talk about that?
John
16 February 2009
Letter from Jo
(46-o) 
Hello John,
I hope everything is well with you and your family, in Greece, and with the cousins in Australia.

I have finished the Index. And I will always appreciate the work that goes into making an index. I frequently use the index of books. Now all I need to finish the book is the modern Nez Perce art (old with the new, musical instruments), and I will be ready to fill out some Copyright papers and get them to Jack to sign, than send them with a CD to the U.S. Copyright Office. Then I will query a publisher.

I have been thinking about John, and his cancer, the recovery from cancer, the trip he made to come over on the Edison. All that.

I do not remember if I ever told you about some of his sea adventure. When we first married, before children, late at night he would tell me bits and pieces of his adventurous life. The Edison went through a terrific storm on the way over, and was in so much danger of sinking that it refused to help another ship in distress. All the passengers, were of course, supposed to be below.

But there were two who were not, they were on the highest place they could, above the Deck, watching the storm with great excitement. Until they got caught and hauled below. John, and his brother, Gus.

Their first night on the ship, before they left the Mediterranean Sea, their mother, Legeri, told them to blow out the light. They had never before seen electric lights. She finally had to show them how to turn it off. The switch was an old fashioned one, with two buttons side by side. You pressed one to turn it off, the other, to turn it back on. After Legeri showed them how it worked, they spent the whole rest of the night, playing with the light switch. One punched it on, the other punched it off.

John loved the sea, and he loved boats. When it looked as if he would die from the cancer, every morning I expected to find him dead, I began to paint little 18X24 inch oil, seascapes. I could not sleep. He did not sleep well, either, and had moved into a back bedroom. Cancer, in its late stages, stinks, and the room where someone with cancer sleeps, also stinks.

John asked me to paint him a seascape with lightening and a storm. I did. I painted 10 paintings, all seascapes, during this horrible period of our lives. I had 2 others sketched, but I never finished them. I did the sky on one, then John’s health improved, he could eat, and began to gain weight. I quit painting all night, and we both slept.

The little seascape of the storm is now in our great grandson’s bedroom. He, too, loves ships.

I am attaching the seascape to this letter. I do not remember if this is one of the painting graphics that I sent you before, or not.
Take care,
Jo
Pop's seascape
16 February 2009
Letter from Jo
(46-p)
Hello John,
I am sending you another seascape graphic. John wanted to give Gus and Mary something special for their 50th wedding anniversary, and I knew that they both loved the sea. She had fallen in love with a blue seascape I had done when John was so sick. She liked the moon, and said something about, if the painting was in green and brown, it would fit into her living room perfectly. She wanted to buy the blue one, but I did not want to sell it.

They had finally found John, who ran away from home and stayed gone when he was 15 years old. Gus found him. They stopped in to see us, and again when Gus wanted to drive to Alaska, all the way from Florida. He lived at Cocoa, close to Cape Canaveral. He bought 5 acres of citrus orchards and built a big home there when Nasa asked him to go to work for them.

I do not know if I told you that he was a retired Air Force career man, who went to work for NASA. He retired from NASA, but they asked him to come back, and he did. This was in the early 1980s when he went back to work for them. He finally retired, again, and they again asked him to come back to work. Mary said if he went back to work again, he would buy her a new Lincoln car. He thought about it, but decided he wanted to stay retired. He and Mary could fly anywhere in the world, on a U.S. Air Force plane, for free.

Not long after their 50th wedding anniversary, she got sick, and she died, in December, 1998. Of Lou Gehrig's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. She got to the point where she could not swallow. They cut a hole in her throat and put in a feeding tube, but she passed on right after that. She was buried (her ashes) at Arlington National Cemetery.

I think I probably already told you all about this. Gus died on valentine's day, 2007, and his ashes are next to hers. He received a military funeral, 21 gun salute and all that. Their sister, Bess went, she told me it was impressive.

I have never liked big crowds and lots of hoopla, so, even if I had been able to go, I wouldn't have. I haven't ridden on a plane since 9/11, though I have gone through the indignity of having to remove my shoes and all that, to go inside to put a great grandchild on a plane.

Of course if John had been alive, we would have gone to Gus's funeral. He was alive when Mary died, he had just had a heart attack, and was using a portable oxygen tank. Later, his health improved, and he flew back to visit Gus in 2001. I was so happy that he did. David was coming up with his three boys, and my brother, from Arizona, I was going to, and did, prepare some paperwork for David. His insurance company was not living by their agreement. Legal documents had to be written up, notarized, and filed in court, and I had done a little of that, so I knew how. I was cheaper than an attorney. Besides, I cooked them some great dinners.
Take care,
Jo
Mary's moon
23 February 2009
Letter from John
(46-q)
Hello Jo,
Sorry for the lateness in my response.

This year, due to my health issues, I was late in collecting the cooking oil for the coming year, as is my practice from Geraki, the neighbouring village to Karitsa. I was there on the 15th of February and I visited Karitsa also. The weather wasn’t good at this time, it was too cold.

I read the latest news about your work and the stories you sent about John and Gus, the sea adventures on the ship Edison. I enjoyed them very much as well as the seascapes too you sent me. Thank you. You have done so many wonderful things for your family and for us by providing us with this information that we would not have the opportunity to learn. To us your story is part of the Karitsa story as a result of John Profyris' migration in the US.

The more you tell about your life story the more it captivates us. It would be interesting to know how you, an Idaho girl, first met John, boy from Karitsa. Please, can you write about that?

Gus's story is a remarkable one, Nasa, Mary’s death, Gus's death on Valentine’s Day and the rest. You wrote about all of these and we're indebted to you.

I'm sending attached a PowerPoint Slideshow file (.pps) that I think you've never seen before "When Niagara Frozen in 1911 (Rare photos)".
Take care,
John
Niagara Falls Frozen - 1
This picture was taken when Niagara Falls was completely frozen in 1911.
A very rare photo.
Niagara Falls Frozen - 2
Niagara Falls Frozen - 3
Niagara Falls Frozen - 4
10 March 2009
Letter from John
(46-r)
Hello Jo,
I'm just resending my last letter in case you have not received it.
Take care
John
13 April 2009
Letter from John
(46-s)
Hello Jo,
I have sent you two messages, the first one almost two months ago.
I’m concerned whether there's a problem with your health.
I wish you good health.
Take care
John
13 April 2009
Letter from Jo
(46-t)
Hello John,
I found your message this morning, I apologize that I did not reply, I did get sick, and I am not accomplishing much. I will look for your last letter, I have deleted every letter from people I do not know, but yours I keep, and tell myself I will get a reply off to you a little later.

I was working on a children's book at that time, and I did finish the book, it was the puzzles in the back that stumped me, I finally figured how to do this, and use my own graphics. My granddaughter did 5, or maybe 6, but I had 18 for that little book, on varieties of goldfish. I finally got the software program to print out a skeleton puzzle, just the blocks, no picture, then I scanned in the blocks, and used Adobe Photoshop's magic want to select and copy just the blocks, then pasted them over a background graphic I had created. It worked, but it was a very slow way to do it.

The ISP is doing some kind of change over, and last week I got a message telling me ". . . . First Step Internet is pleased to announce that in response to customer requests and to provide new features we are upgrading our email servers."

So, I am opening mail this morning, and found your message.

I have been quite ill this winter, even lost consciousness for a couple of days. I think I had the flu, I am getting old. But I am functioning again. I am assuming that All my old mail will still be here after the change. After I get my great grandson to school, I will call the ISP and find out what I am supposed to do now, since they have not listed GOOGLE as a way to get mail. I just wrote your e-mail address down so if everything vanishes in the changeover, I can still contact you. Again, thank you for writing.

Thank you for your concern
Take care
Jo
15 April 2009
Letter from John
(46-u)
Hello Jo,
It was nice to hear from you again. Whenever I receive a letter from you I think I'm getting a special letter from a very close member of my family. Your way of writing is much appreciated by me.

As for those in my family that are no longer with us, my mother died in 1981 from cancer , aged 68, my sister died in 2000 from cancer, aged 49, and my father died in 2003, aged 87. I miss them all dearly.

On Sunday 19th of April is the Greek Orthodox Easter people, so we all get together on this day to celebrate: roasting lambs, crack red eggs, drink wine, dance and sing. You are probably aware of how Greeks celebrate Easter.

I am glad you are active again. Last winter we had a few problems. Keep active for many more years to come. I know that you are, as an American Indian girl, very resilient.

I'm resending my last letter from two months back in case you haven't found it, and await your response sometime when you have the time.

Regards to Diane
Take care,
John
23 April 2009
Letter from John
(46-v)
Hello Jo,
In case you had problems with your computer I resent my last message.
John
30 April 2009
Letter from Jo
(46-w)
Hello John,
Yes, I will tell you how I met my John. We did meet in Idaho, but I am not an Idaho girl.

John was in Lewiston, Idaho, when I first met him. My mother and father had left Arizona and had stopped in a trailer court at Lewiston, Idaho. I had gone on to Oregon, I think I was 22 years old at the time. I came to Lewiston where my parents were. They went back to Arizona, where both my brothers are, and lived there the rest of their lives. Both are buried at Kingman, Arizona.

John and I married in Lewiston, and never left here. I still live in Clarkston, Washington, where we built our house. Clarkston is just across the Snake River from Lewiston, they are twin cities, named for Lewis, and Clark, who were sent to discover a waterway to the Pacific by President Jefferson. Lewis started down the Ohio River with a crew of 11 men in August, 30, 1803. He picked Clark up on his way to the Mississippi.

I have been waiting for my ISP to get done with the changeover of their server, which has been ongoing now for over a month, it did not take place at the scheduled time, they had "problems", and rescheduled . . . 
 "First Step Customer, Last week we told you about a mail server upgrade that was scheduled to take place this Tuesday 4/14/2009. Some of you have noticed that things don’t look much different. That is correct. The mail server upgrade did not take place due to some unforeseen complications.. . . " 

Next letter from them said:
"First Step Customer,

"The much anticipated mail server upgrade has been rescheduled for this coming Tuesday, 4/28/2009. "Please review the previous correspondence for information regarding this change.

"We appreciate your business and your patience while we move through this process. . . "

Well, it is now April 30th. I do not see any difference, so I do not know if the big change has happened or not. We were supposed to leave our computers turned on, and the inbox downloading through this so called change. I have been using Netscape and getting my e-mail through Google since our son, David set it up for me. I am computer illiterate.

Anyway, back to the story of my life. Part of this you have already, I think:

I was born at the beginning of the Great Depression, in Oregon, moved to Colorado’s Great Plains when I was 4, and lived in a dugout with my uncle, with bugs, spiders, snakes and rodents occupying the interior of the dirt walls and floor. It was an experience, one of many. Then we moved into an old ranch house. Then came the grasshoppers, the drought, the dust storms. I will never forget the jackrabbits racing in front of the headlights of the old truck at night, nor the chickens caught by terrific wind and tumbled across the prairie when a dust storm blew in, and us running after them, catching them, and carrying them to the chicken house, three or four at a time. It’s now amazing to think what young ranch children were expected to do! Everything that had to be done that they could do. Then it was get inside, and put a quilt over yourself so that the dust would not smother you. Dust piled up along a fence until just the tops of posts stuck out, and you, the cows, and the horses could walk right over.

I lived there during the Great Depression and the dust bowl days. Just before World War II broke out, we moved to Arizona. I was 9 years old. Here, I grew up with old prospectors teaching me mineralogy, how to follow float to the mother load, how to pan for placer gold, and how to file placer and lode claims. Some of these prospectors were so old they had fought in the Indian wars.
. . .
At that time I did not know that my grandmother was an Indian. My father never told us. I am going to quote next from a bio that my daughter wrote about my art career:

Bio: Jo Proferes, Historical Artist
By her daughter, Diane Rae Proferes

Jo Proferes (Minerva Josephine Lowman) was born January 1,1932, in a log cabin on their family’s homestead a few miles North of Eagle Point, Oregon. Their family also lived on the Great Plains in Colorado during the dust bowl era for a short period of time. When Jo was nine years old she moved to Arizona. Her family lived in ghost towns and on mining claims, and she graduated from Wickenburg High School in 1950. While attending this school, two teachers, Helen Hawkins, who taught History and Spanish, and Robert Olsen, who taught English and Radio, greatly influenced the course of her life. At that time period art was not taught at Wickenburg High. Jo loved both literature and history, as well as art.

Jo drew horses before she was five years old, and had dreams of becoming a professional artist. Her mother was an artist. It was she who gave Jo her first art lessons. Her mother taught her to not just look, “but to see what she was looking at, every plane, facet, shadow, and reflection. To pay particular attention to the way color reflects. One simple example, hold your hand in front of you and notice how the color of your shirt is reflected onto the palms of your hands”. Her mother also taught her to mix and blend color. Using this knowledge, she literally taught herself to paint years before she ever took art lessons. Proferes believes most artists are basically self taught. They also learn to use knowledge they gain from others, in their own, individual way. To paint what they see, and imagine, through their own eyes, using their eyes as viewfinders of whatever they decide to paint, choosing the best, most pleasing composition. She focuses on the foreground subject, which is almost photographic. The color, the skies, the mountains and shadows of Arizona have influenced everything she has ever painted.

Eventually, Proferes did study art, although she was mostly self taught, having developed her own style and technique years before she studied under such illustrious figures as Dr. Robert Bannister (listed in Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who in International Art, the Dictionary of International Biography, and Encyclopedia Internazionale Degli Artisti [Italy]. Some of the places she has exhibited are: Thackery Gallery in San Diego, “Old Sac” Lincoln Gallery in Sacramento, Lincoln Gallery in Oregon, Rosequist Gallery in Tucson, the Fred Oldfield Western Show in Tacoma, Curtis Gallery in Spokane, the Charlie Russell Show and Auction in Great Falls and Helena, Montana, MONAC in Spokane.

Originally, Proferes decided to specialize in equine portraiture. Many of her clients were also western art collectors as well as horse breeders and she soon entered the field of western art. Her work hangs in private collections all over the U.S. and Western Canada. She has had wide publicity in newspapers and horse magazines.

Proferes is also a sculptor, and taught sculpture and mold making as an extension course through the Walla Walla Community College at Clarkston, Washington.

She soon tired of painting equine portraits, plain western art, seascapes, and animals. Like “iron drawn to a magnet”, she discovered that recreating historical scenes was really her calling in life. Research, painting, and writing were a perfect fit.

This led to the creation of twenty massive paintings that depict the Nez Perce War of 1877, in chronological sequence, paintings that tell the story of this war from the Indian viewpoint. This viewpoint reminds the world, through an unusual pictorial documentary, that Native Americans had little to celebrate at the nation’s Bicentennial. Native Americans have a much different history than emigrant peoples.

This work was done in a surprisingly short time, even though she had a family. She painted at night, getting by on never more than three hours of sleep each night.

Proferes spent about three years in research and painting this series (which included following the trail taken by the non-treaty Nez Perce who fought and died on it), photographing and sketching the battlegrounds from every angle, visualizing the events that had happened a hundred years before, until “...when I closed my eyes it was like watching a movie, and I could walk into it from any direction”. She made several journeys to these locations. The Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho leased these paintings and used them as their Bicentennial project in 1976.

Proferes achieved her fame with these twenty authentic, museum size oils of the Nez Perce War of 1877, which became the Nez Perce Bicentennial Exhibit in 1976. A special presentation of this work, narrated, and in color was televised nationally by PBS from Boise, Idaho that year.

The paintings were the featured exhibit at MONAC (Museum of Native American Cultures) in March, 1978. People from Europe came to the reception to view this work. In the fall of 1994 seven of these paintings were used in PBS’s America’s Battlegrounds. In September and December of 1996, and February, 1997, Sacred Journey of the Nez Perce aired on PBS. Five of these paintings were used in this documentary.

In 1998 the Nez Perce Bicentennial Exhibit was presented as the “Nez Perce Story” by the Lewis-Clark Center for Arts & History, in Lewiston, Idaho. A special Pipe Ceremony and blessing by the Nez Perce Tribe’s veterans organization opened the exhibit. Again, there was a large turnout of visitors, several from Canada, and even one from Germany. The exhibit was from January 15 through February 20. Because Lewis-Clark Center for Arts & History is a part of Lewis & Clark State College, almost every school in the valley had their students do the tour.

Many Nez Perce had never actually seen these paintings. No written or verbal description of this work, nor even photographs or slides can prepare one for the actual impact of standing in front of one of these huge paintings. How did they respond? Some cried ( the artist also cried while painting them), many were angry, a couple of men said the experience “made their blood boil” at the injustice of it all. Mostly the white people were simply awed.


In 2003 the U.S. Forest Service (in memory of what the Nez Perce did for Lewis and Clark) put 10 of these paintings on their site at:

This site has been closed, as the Lewis and Clark celebration is now over.

Anyway, John, that's most of my story, a brief biography, how John and I met, and my professional bio as an artist. I have lived a life very different from most Americans. Though many went through the dust bowl, and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Not many lived off the land, in a tent, as we did, in Arizona, before so many thousands of people moved there. The desert was empty of people when we went there, just before the war, World War II, broke out, in 1941.
Take care,
Jo

P.S. Thank you for the slide show of Niagara Falls, it is beautiful!
3 May 2009
Letter from John
(46-x)
Hello Jo,
So many interesting things you wrote to me about your life with John.
It was good luck that around 1954 you and John met in Lewiston, Idaho. You came to Lewiston to meet your parents and John was working probably there away from his family, good coincidence. Nice story, nostalgic. Thank you for writing it for me.

I have not had any news from my Uncle George since the 5th of March when he last wrote. I sent him my greetings for Easter twenty days ago but I haven’t heard from him yet. I hope he is well and with no health problems.

Regards to Diane,
Take care,
John
6 July 2009
Letter from John
(46-y)
Hello Jo,
I have to heard from you since the end of April. I hope everything is OK and you are in fine health and in good spirits.

I have tried to communicate with my Uncle George but he has not replied to messages for some months now (beginning of March). I am concerned.
I have no other way of finding any news from him apart from his emails.

The weather in Greece is now getting very hot. July and August are months for holidaying.

Regards to Diane from Greece.
Take care,
John
23 October 2009
Letter from John
(46-z)
Hello Jo,
I haven't heard from you for a long time.

I hope everything is OK and you are in a fine health.
Take care
John
24 October 2009
Letter from Jo
(46-z1)
John,
I did not realize how long it has been since I wrote to you. I apologize.

I hope everything is well with you and your family. I recently received a letter from Stelios, he has a new e-mail address.

I am fine (other than being old and decrepit), I finally finished the puzzle books. Then I revised an end of days/7 years of tribulation novel I wrote back in Oct/Nov/Dec of 1992 when I had my left arm in a cast with a broken wrist. I also had two compression breaks in my spine, was confined to a wheelchair and couldn't do anything. I had long wanted to write such a book, so I rented a computer, and wrote the book, which I titled Maranatha! I used a software called Perfect/Write. Later my youngest son changed it to ASCII and then opened it in Word Perfect.

Publishers now want everything in Microsoft Word, so I had to copy it and paste it in Microsoft Word, then fix it because some symbols are not interchangeable. I also revised a book I had co-written back in 1974 with a good friend, Jack R. Williams, who was at the time the Superintendent of Nez Perce National Historical Park at Spalding, Idaho. He was transferred to Florissant National Fossil Beds in Colorado in 1975. He did the main narrative, I did the captions for the illustrations, and the illustrations. The color illustrations are the 20 paintings, the Nez Perce Bicentennial Exhibit paintings the tribe used as their Bicentennial project in 1976, which they leased from me. The book is titled: JOURNEY INTO SORROW, the Nez perce War of 1877.

I had some other things I had written over the years I wanted to revise. I studied creative writing in the 1960s. After I revised all of this old work that had been set aside I then began to attempt to market it and the coloring and puzzle books. That is what I am now doing. A year ago a Publisher in Utah wanted me to send CDs of the coloring books, but I said I wanted to finish the puzzle books that went with them and send all at once. Now, due to conditions here in the U.S. they have quit publishing children's books. A lot of publishers are laying off their people and some are closing their doors. But I am still mailing out queries. I have attached one of the Australian cartoons my niece, Christy, sent me.
Take care,
Jo
24 October 2009
Letter from John
(46-z2)
Hello Jo,
I received your letter and it was a very welcome one.
I can see that you're still working hard.
Take care,
John
12 December 2009
Letter from Stelios
(47-1)
John,
Jo sent these emails to me. I haven’t contacted her for a couple of years, great to hear from her again. She's a woman of great courage and intellect.
Stelios

Hello Stelios,
Thank you for sending me your new address, I apologize for not writing earlier.

I finished the puzzle books that went with the coloring books, which I started back in 2000 (The research first, American History, beginning with Jamestown.). That was an almost 10 year project.

I am now revising some novels written in the early 1990s, and submitting the American History Series coloring and puzzle books to publishers. It takes around 3 months to receive a reply after you mail a query to a publisher.

The publishing industry is not in the best of shape at this time. Several publishers have closed, gone out of business. My grandson, John, is a bar manager at the Red Lion hotel. People still have money to drink, because he is serving huge crowds.

Someone sent me cartoons from Australia, I have attached my favorites I think they are pretty accurate. I sent some to George Proferes. He is not very happy with the way things are here.

I have three grandsons in Iraq. I do not know where the oldest one is, he lived in Alaska. He's 27. The two younger ones are our youngest son's boys. One was 20 Nov. 7, 2009, the other will be 19 on Jan 8, 210. Just children. The younger one is 30 miles north of Bagdad, the older one is 30 miles south of Bagdad. He is in the MP division.

Let's hope that this economic condition does not spread worldwide. The U.S. has not been in this bad a situation since the end of the Civil war, where both North and South printed out paper money, script, with nothing backing it up.

I have a great grandson calling me from Reno, guess I better say goodbye, and send this. I can no longer save to a folder as a draft. I guess this computer is about ready to go tits up.

I hope things are going well for you.
Take care,
Jo Proferes
President
Two Good Reasons
In The Back
21 December 2009
Letter from John
(48-1)
Hello Jo,
I have just returned from a very quick trip to Karitsa, as I usually do every year at this time. The weather wasn’t very good, it was raining.

I'm sending you a picture of Nikolas Profiris's house to see how it has changed after the renovations.

I wish you and all your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2010.
Take care of yourself
John
Nikolas Profiris' House Dec 2009
22 December 2009
Letter from Jo
(48-2)
Hello John,
Good to hear from you, and thank you for the photo. Looking at all the beautiful photos you have sent me of Greece and the Karitsa area, I have to ask myself, "Why would a Greek ever want to leave such a beautiful place and live the rest of his life in America?"

I need to download all of my Greek photos onto a Flash drive (This machine has lost its ability to burn a CD, it is now about 6 years old, and shuts down and goes black if I insert a CD into the CD drive). I have an up to date firewall, and virus thing, Dr. Norton stuff on here, and I never, never open anything from someone I do not know. I right click on all that kind of trash, then right click to delete, and do the same, one by one, in the trash. I am not computer literate, except for the use of Adobe software, and WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, and WordPad. E-mail is a necessary thing now but I am never really comfortable with it. I was almost 70 when I got into it.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and your family. I have attached a photo of the newest member of my family, Jonica Rar, my granddaughter Shelly's first child, she was 6 months old when the photo was taken, by her father, in the baby seat in the car. Such excitement in her eyes. The world is still new, and wonderful, for her. Babies are so honest, they do not pretend. They have not learned deceit.
Have a great Christmas, and thank you again for all of the wonderful photos you have sent me.
Jo
It's GREAT to be Alive!
25 December 2009
Letter from John
(48-4)
Hello Jo,
I’m attaching a letter to you as a .doc file.
The original text is in Greek and I asked Dimitris Katsambis to translate it into English.
I'm sending both texts to you.
Best wishes for Christmas
John

Dear Jo,
It is very pleasing for me to hear you have liked so much the photographs I have sent on occasions from Greece. This reveals somewhere in your deep heart there is a special place for little old Greece, that life somehow brought your way.

Your query is natural. I would say that though Greece is a very beautiful country with so much to offer, there is just as much that it is lacking. Especially during the years of mass migration, people would leave for a better life, particularly from the provinces. What is important is that all those leaving deep in their heart yearned that with God’s help one day they would return to their place of birth. Very few were able to. Most did not have time.

My best wishes on the arrival of the new family member, Shelly's first child, Jonica Rar.

I take this opportunity personally and on behalf of my friends in Australia thank you for the wonderful exchange of ideas and details that we have achieved. With your help and detailed narration we have been able to piece together a branch of the Family Tree of Karitsa, that of your family, that was missing. You acquainted us with your own life story from childhood days which is fascinating. To our surprise we got to know about your contribution to the world of art in America and we had the pleasure of acquainting ourselves with some of that work you kindly sent us. We thank you for that.

Above all we were thrilled to know our fellow villager, John Proferes, enjoyed married life with such a remarkable woman. We value you as a part of us, a part of the family of Karitsa the world over.

Warmest regards from my family and I.

Best wishes to Dianne
Take care
John
27 December 2009
Letter from Jo

(48-5)
Hello John,
I got your letter saved in WordPad, and from there I can put it in both Microsoft word, and Word /Perfect. I should print it out and send a copy to two of my grandsons who are in Iraq. These are our Son David's boys. One turned 20 on November 07, 2009, The younger one will be 19 on January 18, 2010. Just children! The older one is 30 miles south of Baghdad, the younger one is 30 miles north of Baghdad. Our son Joseph's only child, also a John, lived in Alaska, he has been in Iraq about 3 years, where, I no longer know. He will be 28 on February 13, just before midnight.

I have been trying to find out the identity of a George Proferes, who is into some sort of Christianity. He looks a lot like our son Joseph, he is about 52 years old, is 6 feet 8 inches tall and weighs over 300 pounds. My John had a nephew, his brother Gus' son, whose name is George. I do not think he is that tall. I have written to this unidentified George Proferes, he has a website, and is on all these my space things. I just get an auto reply. I am attaching his photo, which I found and his e-mail address.
I hope you had a wonderful, family Christmas
Jo

(address details omitted here for privacy, ed.)
Other George 2
27 December 2009
Letter from John

(48-6)
Hello Jo,
I will pass your message to Stelios to ask if he can find something for George Proferes. I hope Stelios will be able to clear this up.
John
30 December 2009
Letter from Jo 
(48-7)
Hello again John,
Here is another batch of photos from my cookbook file.
Sincerely,
Jo Proferes
Joseph in leather hat
Daniel and David Proferes
John Alexander

3 April 2010
Letter from John

(49-1)
To my dear friend Jo and uncle George,
Wishing you and your families a very Happy Easter.
In Greek we are saying "Kali Anastasi and Kalo Pascha".
All the best
John
THE LAST LETTER FROM JO TO JOHN
4 April 2010
Letter from Jo

(49-2)
Hello John,
A happy and glorious Easter to you, too. How have you and your family been? Well, I hope.

I hope your Uncle George does not give up, he still has a wife and children that love him. Sometimes physical pain is almost more then we can bear. But grief is a pain that is also hard to endure, and it never really goes away, a person just has to learn to live with it. Keep busy, keep working, always have a goal, it makes life more bearable, and people who set goals, and work toward them, are never bored.
Love and best wishes to you, and your family.
Jo
 

Glorified Christ
revised lighting
29 January 2011 
Letter from George Proferes
(50-1)
Hi John,
Hope this letter finds you in good health and the city quiet in the streets and peaceful. I hate to say this but be careful of your email, someone is trying to use it. I received a letter from Jo Proferes through your address (address details omitted here for privacy, ed.) asking 
to send you $2,000.00 to Saudi Arabia as you were stuck there and could not pay your hotel bill and could not get home. She knows it was a scam and just wanted me to tell you to be careful with your email.
Hope everyone is well, give them my regards
George

30 January 2011
Letter from John

(50-2)
Hi Uncle George,
Yes, this happened because a hacker somehow tracked my password, entered my email and sent this message to everyone on my list of contacts. You probably received this ‘Emergency Please’ message from him. A few days later I sent a message to all explaining what happened on that day. I sent this message also to Jo but I suspect she didn’t received it because in the meantime she changed email address. Can you please explain to her what happened to me and also if she could provide me with her new email address.

Thank you for your attention
Give my regards to all
John


I'm forwarding you a copy of the letter I sent to all my contacts on November 27th 2010: 

Dear friends
You may have received an email message on or about 25 November 2010 under the denoted subject "Emergency Please" issued from my email address, pleading for financial assistance because I was purportedly stranded in Dubai.

Please be informed this is a fake, the result I suspect of some malicious hacking by a person or persons unknown who somehow tracked my password.

I have taken steps to change the password and reactivate the email address under my control. Things are working well once again, the only nuisance being my list of contacts has been erased and I'll need to re-enter all one by one.
Thank you for your understanding
John Gabriel (Giannis Gavriil)

EPILOGUE BY JOHN

I would like to thank Jo for the trust and incredible time and effort she devoted in our correspondence. I sensed she welcomed the opportunity to express undying love for her late husband John P. Proferes, a very brave fellow countryman who embraced, loved and lived for his family.

I was saddened that our correspondence should end so abruptly; lost in the cyber abyss by a malicious virus well beyond our control.

I was mostly saddened that I did not manage to collect all that she needed to realise her dream and final dedication in memory of John. She had hoped to paint her own picture of the house where he was born in Karitsa. To visualise it and transfer it on canvas, she would rely on the blurry recollections from John as a six-year-old and hopefully any pictorial material I could provide.

Yet, even if we do not have a brilliant work of art hanging on the wall, we do have painted in our mind’s eye a most intricate canvas of that and much, much more.


For all this, we express our gratitude to Jo Proferes (Minerva Josephine Lowman), above all a wonderful woman, devoted wife and mother.

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια: