Another year has come and gone. For me a “75 year journey” – ¾ of a century. A milestone but not so outstanding as four other people: (1) My good friend John Kutcha, Maryland, 83 this Christmas eve, (2) Cousin Helen, Maine, 85; (3) Aunt Olga, New Hampshire, 88, visiting me in Florida with son Tommy, and (4) My good friend John Moundalexis, Virginia, 90 this year. They are “centurions.” Other friends in the U.S. and around the world are also “ageless.” May our years be many with health and happiness.
This year is my year of FAMILY – accomplishments of my five sons and their families. Not working in Greece this year on my “Achilles Project” gave me the opportunity to closer bond with my growing Brianas clan. Right, 15 of us for a family photo in Jonnie’s and wife Jen’s (and their 4 children’s) yard in Annapolis this summer. Six missing – Jason, wife Lea, living in Chicago, and children Alexander, Meghan, Nathan, and Anastasia.
Son Chris and his wife Cezanne renewed their vows in the Greek Orthodox Church in Annapolis. Same day, their daughter Melania was baptized. And from serving aboard an aircraft carrier in Virginia Beach, LTCR Jason was reassigned to the Naval Academy this summer where LTCR Chris and LTCR (reserves) Jonathan were also based (Jonnie just transferred to a new private sector job and Chris transferred to the Pentagon). Eldest son Gregory (assisted living manager) and wife Janie and youngest son Stephen (sports company supervisor) are also in the Annapolihe Naval Academy, Jason received the rank of Commander sworn in by Col. Arthur Athens, Ethics Department head, where Jason is now a professor. A proud moment for Jason and family present.
And in October, Stephen tied the knot marrying Natalie Cullers in a beautiful ceremony at Saints Constantine and Helen Church in Annapolis. A big year indeed. From a clan of 21 the number is certain to now multiply. And count in my two “adopted” granddaughters, Caliese and Journey (from their great aunt, grandma Abigail, and adopted mother Tasha).
The year would not be complete without thanking a new supporter of the “Achilles Project,” Dr. Christofilis Maggidis, Professsor of Archaeology at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Excavation supervisor at Mycenae, site of King Agamemnon’s palace, he brings expertise vital to our project. Like family (a 6th son), the warmth of his Greek personality and strong drive are indeed welcome. I am blessed with great family and friends.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS – Papa Jimmy