(Jimmy) Kalogeropoulos, was born on July 15, 1939 in
He engaged in
the tourist business and had a travel agency in
unfortunate turn of events during the military regime, he left
A keen lover
of sports, Dimitrios has served in various sporting organizations as an
official. Being a civic-minded person, he was an active member of Lions Clubs,
Toastmasters International and the Friends of the Opera Society in
studied law and business administration.
Married to a
Dutch lady, Christine, he now lives in
With this very readable book, Dimitrios takes us on a fascinating, intensely personal life journey.
Read a sample of the book:
This is my story.
However, my story is not unique. It is similar to the many stories of people who
were born and raised in this beautiful country, and then forced to leave their
most natural surroundings due to the twist of fate. Through this brief
recollection of my experiences, an earnest attempt is made to paint a picture of
life during the time of the late Emperor and the dark days that followed after
his abrupt overthrow. Having lived in a place blessed with natural beauty,
soothing sounds of many streams, and a dignified people possessed with wisdom
As I turn back the pages and reminisce on the wonderful and at times painful memories of the yesteryears, I invite the esteemed reader to enjoy the voyage to the past; a voyage when the carriages were still on the road.
I was born
and raised in
of our house, around 150m long, was visited by people of all walks of life and
nationalities on a daily basis. I could see an Armenian businessman (the son of
the Armenian priest) going to and from work, an Indian employee at the British
consulate always dressed in blue suite, an Ethiopian shylock, carrying an old
torn leather bag. A small bar, a Greek bakery, two Arab bets (kiosks), and an
Italian auto-mechanic shop were on the same street. Before the end of the road
to the left, the house of Hakim Dr. Workineh Eshete, a prominent Ethiopian
Doctor, with a big garden. The life story of Dr. Workineh is monadic because of
its nature. While a child he was found by a British officer Charles Martin
wandering around the ruins in Maqdala fortress in 1868 and he was brought by him
the corner of our house, coiling and leaning in the wall we had a regular
customer every morning; Ato (Mr.Bulcha). He used to drag his body; apparently
due to some type of a muscle disease. He was nicely dressed for a beggar and
looked decent and clean. He was there every morning sharp at nine, go for lunch
at one and come back at three as though he was a Bank employee. Although we
never heard him begging, he was living from the charities of the neighbors.
It’s been said that he once was a successful merchant, in Wolega province,
before he was hit by the disease.
frequent visitor was a prolific Gourage (province in
was quiet busy; a wave of pedestrians coming from Haile Selassie avenue used it
as a short cut to the St. George Cathedral and then to Piazza (center of the
city). Looking through the windows of our house I could see all sort of people;
women wearing Ethiopian dresses of all kinds, vendors carrying their products
wrapped on their heads, hamals bearing goods on their backs; beggars, street
kids, prostitutes. Very few cars used this sharp ascent road, as they gasped to
drive through. After some cars with defective brakes sliding downwards crashed
into nearby walls, rather than going all the way down and end up on the main
thoroughfare, it was forbidden to drive the other way. From time to time I could
hear the whistle of a policeman chasing a thief from far away. Representing
people from all walks of life, our neighborhood was a microcosm of the capital
a 2 storey stone building, was built by my father sometime in the mid forties.
The land with a smaller house belonged to my mother. In this poverty-stricken
country, anyone with property was considered privileged. I once had heard, from
a passer-by talking to his friend, that my father built the house from the money
he raked by gambling. Whether this was true or not, it served the purpose, as it
gave us shelter and income from the rent of the upper floor. During the years
that followed the upper floor was rented to various nationalities; a mixture of
different people. Among the tenants, I recall a Rumanian dentist, a Greek
teacher, a Belgian teacher, a Greek merchant, two Armenians and an Italian
grocer. But the tenant who stayed the longest period was Mr. George Polytaridis
for almost a decade with his gentle wife, Mrs. Valasia and their two children. I
always remember them with great sympathy.
with all our guests we had a smooth relationship, in the early years and for a
short period of time, we had two Greek couples sharing the apartment. They
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