AMORGOS AND CAPTAIN PETER

Amorgos and Captain Peter! The two are nowhere related. However, both represent joyful experiences and so share the title of today’s blog.

Last night was a very good one. Unusually good. It was Captain Peter’s 70th birthday. We partied. Played in a bocce make up match. We won all three games. It is a pleasure to share the evening with you. First however, the Amorgos photos.

You will recall the Greek isle of Amorgos was my favorite of the five Greek places visited.

Amorgos is a nothing island sitting out in the extremes of the Agean Sea. I had not planned to visit Amorgos. I was stuck on Mykonos three extra days because of weather. I was desperate to get out. Finally a boat was available. To a place called Amorgos. I went.

Amorgos is a relatively small island. Has six towns. The population is limited. Not many people live on Amorgos. The official population is 1,859. Amorgos’ claim to fame is a Monastery and an earthquake. I have seaparate photos of the Monastery that will be shown in a day or two. The earthquake occurred on July 9, 1953. Left 53 dead. Amorgos was my third island. Santorini and Mykonos preceded it. All three had a history of volcanic explosions. Sort of compares to the hurricane season in Key West. A threat always there. You never know.

I stayed in the town of Katapola. I did not know the name when I landed.

Amorgos’ connection with the outside world is the boat that comes in once a week. On wednesday. Assuming the weather is ok. The winds can be horrific.

I saw very few automobiles on the island. Not ten total. There was a bus. I wondered then and wonder now how they got the gasoline to fuel the few cars, bus and fishing boats. The gasoline had to come in on the once a week boat. Where it was stored, pumped, I never learned.

I loved Amorgos! Again, the best of the Greek places visited. Why? Because it was so serene and quiet. Nothing to do. Peaceful. Old. The people were from another century. Men and women alike dressed in black. Regardless of age. I was told black shuns the sun better than light colored apparel.

Twelve photos.

The first is the view from my terrace. The view says it all.

The next is an inner shot of the terrace. I spent most of my time on the terrace sitting at the table during the ten days I was on Amorgos.

I sat on the terrace in the evening also, as seen in the next photo.

As indicated before, I spent considerable time on the terrace. The next photo is of me sitting on the terrace reading. I did this all day, every day. Never went in the water. Sat, read, and slept. And ate, of course. My landlord would bring me fresh apricots every morning from his garden to start my day.

Another shot of me on the terrace.

The bay I lived on was horseshoe in shape. I walked around the horseshoe one day and had lunch. The photo is me and the restaurant. On the water. Simple. I could not figure out how the owner made it. I was the only customer at lunch time.

Note the boats in the restauant picture and the ones in the next photo. Fishing is Amorgos’ industry. They fish for themselves and the few restauants on the island. Provincially. Most of the fishing boats are mere rowboats with a motor on the back.

Again, Amorgos is from another time.

Every Greek island has a chora. Also known as hora. Means old town. You saw Mykonos’ chora. Now, Amorgos’.

Amorgos’ chora was way up on a hill. Hills again! I took the bus up. The bus had to be 40 plus years old. Shaked, rattled and rolled. But made it! I thought as the bus traveled up the hill that I was like the bus. Getting older and still hanging in there.

Once you enter the chora, everything is up hill. Whether a path or steps. So many steps! A stress test unto itself.

The next photo is me starting into the chora. Old means old. This chora was more than a 1,000 years old. It consisted primarily of homes. People still live in the 1,000 year old buildings. There was also a bar or restaurant every 200 feet or so.

I was mid way into the chora and ready to die. I needed to sit. The yellow chairs in the next photo were my salvation.

The next pic is me sitting in a yellow chair. Tired! Note my beard was growing. I looked like a bum! Did not care!

The next photo is a chora street scene. Pretty. Narrow. Only room for a galloping horse when built 1,000 years ago. Today, only foot traffic. Cars would not fit.

The final photo is me sitting on a stoop. The steps to some one’s home. I was lost. Dead tired. Could not find my way out of the chora. Sat on that stoop till I regained my energies.

So much for Amorgos. Hope you enjoyed.

It was Peter’s birthday yesterday. Seventy years old. A surprise party was planned for him at 5 at the Chart Room. Many friends. Emily, Sheila, Sean, Che, David, Jean, John DeSantis, and many others.

Also present were some friends of Emily. She referred to them as her grad school friends. About 8-10. From Louisville and Pensacola and perhaps elsewhere. Nice people. One was Fred. Fred owns a parking lot at Churchill Downs. Must be like owning Sloppy Joe’s in Key West.

I was at the Chart Room for a half hour and still no Happy birthday! There was a table full of cake, key lime pie, and other goodies. The candle was on the key lime pie. Peter never realized the people and eats were for him. Not till Emily walked up with the pie and candle and every one sang Happy Birthday!

Peter is a good guy. Loved by all. May we all share more of his birthdays with him and with each other.

Bocce was part of my evening, also. We had a make up game for one that had been rained out.

I hurried over to the bocce courts. I knew I would be late. I had already told Captain David. I learned when I arrived that we had won the two final games after I had left the night before.

I played the third game. We won all three games last night. We are on a run! A total of six victories in two nights! Everyone is playing well. May we continue to so play.

It was very comfortable playing last night. No humidity. A cold front had come in in the afternoon. Dropped the temperature 10 degrees to the high 70s. The cold front is still here today. A strong wind is coming from the north. There are big waves off my deck.

I spent yesterday afternoon researching. Also published on Amazon Kindle an article I ran a few weeks ago in KONK Lfe: Catholic Church…..200 Years Out Of Date. It speaks of the death bed interview with Cardinal Carl Maria Martini. The Cardinal was high up in the Papal hierarchy. He thought Pope Brnedict II was being too hard ass (my language), supported condom use in certain circumstances, was not against birth control, remarriage after divorce was ok, and commented on many other things afflicting/conflicting the Catholic Church today. One of his most meaningful observations was to the effect that …..our Churches are empty.

The Cardinal died four days after the interview was given.

I mentioned my Quest neighbors yesterday, There is a film crew next door. Cameras and lights all over. On the roof, on the grounds, etc. It is a new TV film series being shot next door and in the lower Florida keys. Its stars are young men from all over the country. Eighteen to 23. I cannot tell you what the show is specically about. I do not know. It appears a lot of money is being spent on it.

The individual locally putting the show together is Key West’s Denise Jackson. I did not know her. Met her for the first time two nights ago.

Enjoy your day!

2 comments on “AMORGOS AND CAPTAIN PETER

  1. Louis,

    I’ve been dying to ask you about the pictures of you in Greece. WHO was taking those pictures of YOU??? Most of the pics of you seemed to be very candid and spontaneous and in some of them you seemed to be even unaware that your picture was being taken. I’m being nosy here. Hope you don’t mind.

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