Director of a Children’s Summer Camp (Summer 1973)
I was a College Professor in New York City, and sometime in the late Winter of 1972, I responded to an advertisement in the New York Times which was looking for a Director of a Children’s Summer Camp.
I was interviewed by a Greek Shipping Magnate; Anthony Couloucoundis of New York, who told me that he was a graduate of AKSS and that he and several other prosperous graduates wanted to do something for for AKSS in the way of “giving back” what they had gotten. He knew the school wasn’t used during the summer months. So what about making a summer camp for Greek children and children of Greek parents who were living in other countries. I got the job and was flown to Greece to tour Spetses and the AKSS facilities.
I reported that a camp could be done and we went to work getting children. I went to see a famous ship builder in the USA (George O’Day) and negotiated for the purchase of 6 sailboats (Rhodes 19) which were put aboard one of the Couloucoundis ships for Athens and then on to Spetses. We had a local shipyard in Spetses put on the keels for us.
The camp had three sessions of three weeks. You could attend 3, 6 or all nine weeks. We had over 200 children! We introduced roller skating to the Greek children! What fun that was.
I also remember riding on the horse-drawn carriages…my daughter who was 5 years old at the time, was met many mornings by one of the drivers, and taken for a ride. I forget his name but one horse was Baba and the other Ajax.
I also remember going to the movie house and the roof would open for “air conditioning”. Many a night was spent at a nightclub on the other side of the island…The Galaxy and The Twins, were their names. I also remember a record (LP) shop/music shop on the Dapia whose owner was Sotos Alexandridis. Another name that stands out is a rascal of a guy who was our mailman/courier Nico Nicolaidis. I have been looking for photos taken during that summer of 1973…
I have retired from teaching (as of January 2000) and enjoying my time with our grandchildren and also doing a lot of travelling. This past May my wife and I spent a month in Thailand.
One of these days we will come back to visit Greece!
With warmest regards,
Richard A. Kaye