Photograph of my Papou

My grandfather, Aristides Hatzimemos, was born into a upper-middle class family in Larisa, Greece. His father worked in the city government and was a well respected man. Things quickly changed for Aristides when the Nazis invaded Greece. He soon found himself destitute, fatherless, and burdened with a sister who suffered from PTSD because of the bombings. He felt alone and trapped. In 1951, however, his aunt sponsored him to ride across the Atlantic, to the United States of America. He lived with his aunt and uncle, and worked as a dishwasher in his restaurant. Over the next two decades, he would make a decent living for himself in Brooklyn, New York, working for the government managing shipments in and out of major Manhattan ports. In 1967, my father was born. And then in 1998, I was born, and eventually I found this picture buried beneath countless others in my storage unit. "Dad who is this!?" "Ari cmon! It's Papou!" I couldn't believe it. He was so much.....younger. I was blown away to here how he crosses the ocean in a small boat packed with other immigrants. When I showed Papou this picture, his eyes lit up more than I have ever seen them.

Year: 1951

– Ari Hatzimemos

Relationship:  unknown unknown