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Interview with Angeline Visias


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SPEAKER 1: This tape is part of the Daughters of Penelope Oral History Collection on the experiences of Greek American women in America. My name is [unintelligible - 00:00:18], I’m at the home of Angeline [unintelligible - 00:00:21], 2001 East Third Street, [unintelligible - 00:00:25] Minnesota. It is November 9th 1987. What is your name?
A. VISIAS: Angeline [unintelligible - 00:00:33].
SPEAKER 1: Where were you born?
A. VISIAS: In Louis Hills Cruise.
SPEAKER 1: What year was that?
A. VISIAS: 1908.
SPEAKER 1: What was your maiden name?
A. VISIAS: Voulgarkkis, V-O-U-L-G-A-R-K-K-I-S. I don't know if I say it right.
SPEAKER 1: Okay.
A. VISIAS: Voulgarkkis.
SPEAKER 1: What is your father's name?
A. VISIAS: Mathew.
SPEAKER 1: When was he born?
A. VISIAS: He born [unintelligible - 00:01:10] Greece.
SPEAKER 1: Is that where he died too?
A. VISIAS: He died there [unintelligible - 00:01:18].
SPEAKER 1: What did your father do for a living?
A. VISIAS: He was a merchant, he used to provide [unintelligible - 00:01:27] and he was merchant that [unintelligible - 00:01:30] is something gum. He was merchant that all over the world.
SPEAKER 1: Wonderful.
A. VISIAS: I was painting the boxes to send them all over the world.
SPEAKER 1: That’s interesting, did he have a nickname?
A. VISIAS: He is a well [unintelligible - 00:01:56] nickname [unintelligible - 00:01:58], he was his father John and they called Johnny and they called [unintelligible - 00:02:04] is Y so they called [unintelligible - 00:02:07] Yannoly stir up the whole [unintelligible - 00:02:10].
SPEAKER 1: What was your mother’s maiden name?
A. VISIAS: Mama [unintelligible - 00:02:19], the first name [unintelligible - 00:02:23] my daughter's.
SPEAKER 1: Your daughters name too, right.
A. VISIAS: Yeah.
SPEAKER 1: Was she born in Greece too --
A. VISIAS: Yeah.
SPEAKER 1: Same home town?
A. VISIAS: Yeah in Hills.
SPEAKER 1: Oh in Hills, where are your parents buried are they -- buried in Hills too?
A. VISIAS: Buried in hills too.
SPEAKER 1: Did you have --
A. VISIAS: [Unintelligible - 00:02:45] may be [unintelligible - 00:02:47].
SPEAKER 1: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A. VISIAS: I have five, five of us all then four here and one in Greece.
SPEAKER 1: What were their names?
A. VISIAS: My older brother is [unintelligible - 00:03:07] term in Greece, Greek name, [unintelligible - 00:03:11] knows [unintelligible - 00:03:14] God’s wisdom [unintelligible - 00:03:18] they all know so.
SPEAKER 1: Wonderful, yeah I didn’t know about that, what about the other sisters, your sisters?
A. VISIAS: Mary Maria and Antonas, Antonas and George in Greece that one is in Greece.
SPEAKER 1: Are they married?
A. VISIAS: They were married, had children. One the older brother was -- he died but he left a girl... he is [unintelligible - 00:03:56] his name, [unintelligible - 00:03:59].
SPEAKER 1: Can you tell me anything about your grandparents?
A. VISIAS: Big story in that.
SPEAKER 1: I’d like to hear it.
A. VISIAS: Our -- my grandfather was a merchant, a [unintelligible - 00:04:21], but he was an -- Constantinopoly -- one of those those poor family boy and he went to Constantinopoly or [unintelligible - 00:04:44] make some money, he came to here is and he started his business of merchant and he grow to the world, [unintelligible - 00:04:57] and olives [00:05:00] and pigs and all those things. When I grow up half of the village belongs to him because it was so grown you know, people from all over the [unintelligible - 00:05:22] came and worked for him and for my father later because he took over after he died very young my grandfather, but my father was working for him and he married his daughter, and he took over the land. And he is about 40-50 people was working everyday for the company and of course for us were coming and [unintelligible - 00:05:59] cleaning there you know they had to clean there and then wash and then ride and then put it into the [unintelligible - 00:06:11] sizes of [unintelligible - 00:06:13] you know there is something like gum but beautiful you know if you taste it and [unintelligible - 00:06:24].
SPEAKER 1: Oh yes.
A. VISIAS: Now the government took over, after my father died, the government took and he [unintelligible - 00:06:34] because they were [unintelligible - 00:06:36] another place in there world all in growing [unintelligible - 00:06:39]. And the -- after my grandfather died when he gets four daughters and one son after my granddaughter, my grandfather died, my father took over with his son, but the son was very young, he was going to school and my father could [unintelligible - 00:07:17] then fire destroyed, destroyed the whole thing.
SPEAKER 1: Oh my goodness.
A. VISIAS: And my father kept after whatever is [unintelligible - 00:07:33] connection to how you call it I don’t know, but he kept it until the war came on and he [unintelligible - 00:07:52] his brother [unintelligible - 00:07:56] grandfather son grow up and they got together by now and they were brought in court sending her a lot of [unintelligible - 00:08:08] it's where they were using it, I remember that where the Lebanon and all those things are now I remember what I was American the boxes side to send them to those condos.
They were using it I don’t know for what but they, they were taking the most of it and olives and figs and almonds. They were sending all over around the [unintelligible - 00:08:40] was staring they were staring from my village to the end of the, they weren’t there where they were going to put it in the boat, now my English how can you say those things there?
SPEAKER 1: You can say that in Greek or English whatever way you want to say it.
A. VISIAS: Oh I can say in Greek fair.
SPEAKER 1: Sure if you want to say it in Greek that’s fine too, sounds wonderful, wonderful story, you worked very hard then when you were in Greece.
A. VISIAS: Pardon.
SPEAKER 1: You worked very hard when you worked --
A. VISIAS: Well I was over like the work is I was watching the workers you know so you know I was making [unintelligible - 00:09:30] stay on the corner there, like in lace so crusade they call after my watching the girl so I get to be watched. But they were wonderful they would listen to me you know I was so young and they were, well older people like they were wonderful. But they were happy that they have those days place to get to work; there was no any other [00:10:00] around all those villages for I don’t know. I didn’t know any other places where they could go and work. Except they could go and pick things like you know olives or [unintelligible - 0:10:17]. Then they get to clean it and wash it, and each of them get their own job, different job [unintelligible - 0:10:28] the payments, the hours and after the fire there were everything destroyed and...
SPEAKER 1: Oh that’s too bad.
A. VISIAS: And anyway I was [unintelligible - 0:10:49] my husband, I got married but that was long before that that the [unintelligible - 0:10:57].
SPEAKER 1: Who were your nono and nona?
A. VISIAS: My grandmother.
SPEAKER 1: When were you married?
A. VISIAS: Where I married?
SPEAKER 1: Yeah where were you married?
A. VISIAS In [unintelligible - 0:11:15] and George came from here, my husband came from here. He saw a picture of me in my sister’s house, so he took a trip.
SPEAKER 1: What year was that?
A. VISIAS: 1928.
SPEAKER 1: Did you come right to America then or...?
A. VISIAS: Yeah, I came to America.
SPEAKER 1: Did you have a dowry or [unintelligible - 0:11:44]?
A. VISIAS: No. [Unintelligible - 0:11:52] that you’re going to laugh if I told you. This is how you get married and I told him if I say you’re going to laugh. You know my husband he was from Sparta and I was from -- he was from far away but he came with his brother from Sparta to see me and I didn’t know anything about it that he was coming for that. But anyway he saw my father’s mule, my father [unintelligible - 0:12:37] one of the most highest you know because he [unintelligible - 0:12:42] he had to use mule to go to the villages. So his brother saw the mule so good, and he said: 'Aren’t you going to give a [unintelligible - 0:12:56] or dowry'. And my father says 'no', he says then, we’re just going to do that and bring it here in America. He said: 'My brother wanted a mule.'
SPEAKER 1: That’s wonderful yeah.
A. VISIAS But that was you know the most valuable thing to my father, to my father it was the most valuable thing you know the mule.
SPEAKER 1: So he wasn’t going to...
A. VISIAS: I didn’t know nothing about that, the one I came here I hear that. If I knew I would -- I sold myself for a mule.
SPEAKER 1: Oh that’s wonderful.
A. VISIAS: So that’s what I thought [unintelligible - 0:13:47].
SPEAKER 1: But your father wasn’t going to give up that mule.
A. VISIAS: Oh he did.
SPEAKER 1: Oh he did?
A. VISIAS Oh he did, he didn’t tell me, but he did.
SPEAKER 1: He did.
A. VISIAS: He did because he wanted George so much. George was a big man those days.
SPEAKER 1: Oh yes.
A. VISIAS: Yeah he had the [unintelligible - 0:14:05] and he had flower shops...
SPEAKER 1: And he had the flower shop in America is that it?
A. VISIAS: Yeah where the Northwestern Bank is now there were florists they have all the [unintelligible - 0:14:23] and then they have the [unintelligible - 0:14:26] too. But then they gave up the florists and then they -- and he had a lot of people working, big store; the Snider, where the Snider is now.
SPEAKER 1: Oh wonderful, see I’m learning all these things about Duluth too now. Who was -- who was your kumbara?
A. VISIAS The kumbara was one friend of my nono, his father was nono of [00:15:00] my husband and they travelled to Greece together, young man and he came -- I don’t remember his name, he’s down south somewhere.
SPEAKER 1: Do you know anything about your in-laws at all?
A. VISIAS: Not very much, I never met them.
SPEAKER 1: Oh is that right?
A. VISIAS: Only the in-laws that were here and they were [unintelligible - 0:15:28] mule.
SPEAKER 1: What are your children’s names?
A. VISIAS: [Unintelligible - 0:15:39] my children?
SPEAKER 1: Your children.
A. VISIAS [Unintelligible - 0:15:46] Iglesias and Constantine.
SPEAKER 1: When was he born?
A. VISIAS: He was born here in Duluth and my daughter’s name Oliver she born here in Duluth.
SPEAKER 1: Who are their godparents?
A. VISIAS: Carnies’ godfather is [unintelligible - 0:16:09] and that was one of our religion heritage you know. He... Constantine was very close to me and that, my grandfather was Constantine and my brother he just died six months before I came here before we grown up together we’re 11 months apart like twins and I love him very much. And he born to San Constantine bay and then his godfather, he came from Minneapolis. He has an American woman Mary and he didn’t think that his kids is going to give his name anywhere so he asked me -- he took me on the side and told me, he says 'I don’t think anybody is going to inherit my name so I’d like you to give him the name Constantine'. And I kissed you know [unintelligible - 0:17:27] I kiss him and said that’s the name that he [unintelligible - 0:17:30] to carry, that’s fine name Constantine.
SPEAKER 1: Wonderful, that’s amazing.
A. VISIAS: So I gave him the name Constantine.
SPEAKER 1: How about Olga, do you know who her godparents are?
A. VISIAS: Yeah, Jim his uncle, my brother-in-law.
SPEAKER 1: Yeah, I think I remember Jim. Have you baptized any children?
A. VISIAS: Have we...?
SPEAKER 1: Have you baptized any children at all?
A. VISIAS: Oh 16 -- not only me, but other family.
SPEAKER 1: Yes aha.
A. VISIAS: 16.
SPEAKER 1: 16 godchildren.
A. VISIAS: One of them is John Popus, [unintelligible - 0:18:12].
A. VISIAS: Sophie [unintelligible - 0:18:18] (Papula), you remember Paul (Papula)?
SPEAKER 1: Yes I remember Paul.
A. VISIAS: Yeah I remember -- I don’t remember the names now, there’s [unintelligible - 0:18:31] gone all over.
SPEAKER 1: But they’re all over.
A. VISIAS: I have three in Greece those are all mine and [unintelligible - 0:18:43] baptized well [son] Jimmy.
SPEAKER 1: Now you told me that you came to the United States in about 1928, do you remember the ship that you came on?
A. VISIAS: Yes. I came from Greece, I left Greece at 12 I guess of September, and I went to -- by train to Paris and I stayed there for a week. And then we took the boat; those days the boat was 40 days or 30 days but I took the [unintelligible - 0:19:47] boat was 50,000 tons, it was big boat. We took that boat from German -- from [00:20:00] I guess I didn’t know what it was, I don’t remember. And then we took the boat and took only six days and came to New York. We stayed in New York a week and then Chicago. He has relatives and I have relatives. And then came here October 12th 1928. That day is for me and I always remember it.
SPEAKER 1: Oh I'm sure. Was it a very rough trip?
A. VISIAS: Very easy trip and very beautiful trip because I didn’t you know it was by train and then the boat was one of the first class. All the way he had me on first class because -- oh I shouldn’t say that statement.
SPEAKER 1: Sure you were a new bride that was wonderful.
A. VISIAS: Well they wanted to impress me I guess and he took me -- he bring me first class on the way.
SPEAKER 1: Now you told me that you used to do some hand work like you did lace and things, was there any other type of work that you did in Greece too?
A. VISIAS: Oh no. I was with my father helping around just managing things you know and my younger gone, gone days because I'm born too close with my brother, I wasn’t very healthy, I always had allergies that I keep again till now and malaria resist and [unintelligible - 00:22:11] oh my God now help me, use to call it farm, but he had beautiful, [unintelligible - 00:22:23] they called it, and yes all the beautiful grapes, any tree in the world was there to get my children and I have beautiful, beautiful child who was ill because in my family there were lot of kids and up there I was all by myself and I loved it. That’s why I keep and love their flowers, admire birds and all those, I'm crazy about all those things and I still have them, they're still in here. Yeah you know how beautiful it can get and so forth.
SPEAKER 1: Beautiful yes. Well when you first came to the United States did you work here at all?
A. VISIAS: I work in my late years, but not the beginning, but in late years I work for a while at Morris'. Just to get out because they were in and out of business and the men were around too much so you can't get --
SPEAKER 1: What kind of work did you do at Morris'?
A. VISIAS: Sewing.
SPEAKER 1: How did you get that job?
A. VISIAS: If you remember my daddy was going to college and working there part time and she suggested that go there that I do you know that those [Calimata] that they have in church, those was the sequence, I had gotten those, not only done it, but I design it. They have the Christ on the back and I took it from a Christmas card you know the whole bag and then I have the wheat because of the Prospero the wheat red, I had the wheat on the side and the grapes the sequences is supposed to be the grapes and I designed it all by myself [unintelligible - 00:24:46] I had done a nice work, and she says Margaret why don’t you come to the bridal shop, there was the bridal shop and she was managing that. 'Now why don’t you come to the bridal shop to do those extra [00:25:00] things and all those', they like that things and I start out like for that and after I loved it to get out a little bit and I liked it and stay there for a while.
SPEAKER 1: Wonderful, but what year was that? Do you remember?
A. VISIAS: Well [unintelligible - 00:25:20] remember '54 yes.
SPEAKER 1: Oh huh? Do you remember who your boss was at that time?
A. VISIAS: Yeah Morris', Morris, Morris' [unintelligible - 00:25:39].
SPEAKER 1: Huh. Did you or do you know any Greeks who opened their own businesses when you first came over to the states?
A. VISIAS: When they open that.
SPEAKER 1: Did you know of any that had their own businesses here?
SPEAKER 1: Which holidays did you celebrate with your family?
A. VISIAS: Now? Well that my sons come spend a day and that was that at the best my sons, my husband's name George and Christmas I suppose and Easter also with some of us where traditions and very lovely to have.
SPEAKER 1: Was Easter your favorite holiday then?
A. VISIAS: Easter and Christmas.
SPEAKER 1: Easter and Christmas. What are some of things that would happen on one of those days? What are some of the things that might happen on one of those days in your home?
A. VISIAS: At the holiday days or?
SPEAKER 1: Huh like Easter or Christmas, how would you celebrate in your home?
A. VISIAS: Oh my brother he had these three brother, my husband he had three brother so and I have sister and our brother and all my family, my sister's family and we'll get together. Our kids were grown together and they were a lot of fun and a lot of enjoyment. We owned a car those days, we owned a Lincoln car and all those kids, everybody's kids wherever we were going, they would come with us. Sometimes why we should be so wrong if they're all late when we would give it so much good time to other people when we were young. You know that this number had a car very few people and wherever we were going my husband was very active at church and [unintelligible - 00:28:14] he is senior to and the [unintelligible - 00:28:18] he is the one who bring their [unintelligible - 00:28:20] here and with Mr. Striker that I kissed I'll show you the picture later.
SPEAKER 1: Oh sure I'd like to see.
A. VISIAS: They were going on the villages to hear the members to correct members [unintelligible - 00:28:40] or the community. So we would fill up the car with people and we would go. There was you know you make the friends easily and I know that we were very popular there because of the car I guess, or because he was active and then those two, but after he closed the store, he got older and the kids gone and [unintelligible - 00:29:09] and of course everything has an end.
SPEAKER 1: Oh sure. Well tell me something about how you celebrated the names day?
A. VISIAS: Pardon.
SPEAKER 1: How you celebrated the names days.
A. VISIAS: The names days they were -- they do the same thing now. They would invite people then everybody was coming, we had the table set with everything on it and whatever he comes enjoy himself with food and wine, dancing or singing or they have fun now they do it by vacations. Yeah.
SPEAKER 1: Was fun then?
A. VISIAS: Yeah they were fun. I remember one bus full that came one year from [unintelligible - 00:30:00] to celebrate the St. George's day because he was every time they were coming down, they were coming to my house, I don't if you remember we used to live on the white house and 6th avenue yeah first we stayed there and well because the church was close there and after the meetings they would come into our house and we have lunch, I had ready or not whatever I had I had put it out. And they were appreciative because just by the time they [unintelligible - 00:30:36] and come down here and then stay for them, they were hungry, so whatever they have [unintelligible - 00:30:43] even bread and toast and [unintelligible - 00:30:45] cheese and wine or whatever it was. They were here so one day one time the St. George's day they well came all these people fill up the bus and come down teach for the St. George's day. Those days there were no other -- we celebrated differently now is more stuck up I guess.
SPEAKER 1: That was wonderful and fun.
A. VISIAS: I enjoyed it; I enjoyed it very much so. Now it's all I ask. You'll hear a lot, oh when there is so much. We got the table set and [unintelligible - 00:31:37] and wine and sweets and whatever and [unintelligible - 00:31:48].

A. VISIAS: Stay and sing and dance and have lot of fun and on the -- and you remember Karanikas?
SPEAKER 1: Yes the high.
A. VISIAS: You know the man I didn’t know him very much at all, but he probably he was thirsty as to family. He was single you know he never got married and now when he came to my house and joined, joined with other dancing and singing. He started crying and I feel myself too bad, I didn’t know what I have done. And then he put his hand on me he says this is the first time I have such a good time, probably he was drinking too much. But anyway we give them time no matter who it was. We give him chance to enjoy himself and now carry those [unintelligible - 00:01:07] you know then we'll have [unintelligible - 00:01:09] didn’t have the same people. But those days we were putting into -- we bring him in ourselves, so they enjoyed themselves too. We go after them to help them and that I hope [Nick] is out.
SPEAKER 1: Did you remember any of the songs that you sang?
A. VISIAS: Pardon me?
SPEAKER 1: Did you remember any of the songs that you sang at those doings?
A. VISIAS: Songs oh, I don't think so I mean --I've been sort of trying instead of trying to check, I do remember to see if they were singing. And then they were singing [unintelligible - 00:01:55]. And those songs which I enjoy myself to hear them. They were cute.
SPEAKER 1: Now I know you belong to the Orthodox Church here in Duluth now were you here…?
SPEAKER 1: When the church was first established in Duluth?
A. VISIAS: No, the church established in 1918 and I came 1928 so it was 20 years later then.
SPEAKER 1: Do you know why the church was called by the name it's called now? Do you know why they call it the 12 holy apostles?
A. VISIAS: No I didn’t know -- my family has told me a lot of stories of that and I get it hard sometimes to tell you.
SPEAKER 1: What other things do you remember about the things you did in church?
A. VISIAS: When we came one year it became about eight brides. There were all new girls you find that [unintelligible - 00:03:30]. And the priest was from Greece, not very active one. So, we tried to organize ourselves and we organized one cloth like Christianity [unintelligible - 00:03:58]. And we were made in that was the same constitution they have -- they were exactly what the [unintelligible - 00:04:17] is now. To help the poor, to help the schools to help the national or at least to -- at that time was annual depression and we were working very hard with wherever was needed help. And everywhere he wants, every one of us and were working very hard and I remember the exact other day I was telling my son, how different we were working then to collect money and how is it now. [00:05:00] We went... the man went and fish, was fishing those small how do you call this…
SPEAKER 1: Was it those the smelt?
A. VISIAS: How we call it?
SPEAKER 1: The smelts?
A. VISIAS: No the larger ones you know -- and then the woman went and picked dandelions and we have... You know it was depression become deeper it might have anything. And now we have dinner dandelions and that fish and we collect money for the poor with that. You know it was many things like we went through those days. And we worked hard, we enjoyed it very much because we saw many families where they have 10 children who have [unintelligible - 00:06:07] to help them. So that was the process and all of that and later we were helping whatever was needed and at most would help ourselves it was being together. We were meeting two times a month and we have one a lot that year, how you call it one thing put on -- I know what it is and we collect money on that and that was going in our treasure too and all kinds of things. But we get together ourselves and have the family together the children and everything later on. Later [unintelligible - 00:07:20] the same exactly there are -- the laws aren’t the same but -- and then later when we'll go the kids, our kids learn quick and learn how to pray and how to serve through the church and through the organizations and the families together. And special we were all one family.
SPEAKER 1: You said there were eight of your brides that came do you remember who the other women were?
A. VISIAS: The other brides? Mrs. [Manoles] and Mrs. Andrews that’s all the women were now. Mrs. Riggers and Mrs. [unintelligible - 00:08:36] Riggers they are in the area. And [unintelligible - 00:08:42] were brides then. We were eight or 10 then most of them left Mrs. [Papas from superior] they are from [unintelligible - 00:09:08] and all those, that all the you know 1928 was very prosperous year and all the men came down and got married and they causing into the depression after. But, I remember -- but then we see them regular yeah but Perris and Rodgers all these going. So we were [unintelligible - 00:09:45] and two, but there and I stay more here than more Mrs. Komati's [unintelligible - 00:09:54] now came to that between [00:10:00] one and two three years and we were [unintelligible - 00:10:09] for each other and one or another and we got together [unintelligible - 00:10:17].
SPEAKER 1: What about the priests in the church?
A. VISIAS: Well the priests they were from Greece some of them they were very educated, but some of the kids, the older kids have a very good start. Like father Tomas he was very agitated but you couldn’t tell [unintelligible - 00:10:56] but you know what [unintelligible - 00:10:57] and special patriotism and both American and Greek [unintelligible - 00:11:04] started and for instance now the soldier kids are from here [unintelligible - 00:11:15] with your husband’s [unintelligible - 00:11:25].
SPEAKER 1: Did the archbishop of the angora come to Duluthwhen you were there?
A. VISIAS: Yes he organized [unintelligible - 00:11:38] he eats dinner in my house and he was [unintelligible - 00:11:53] they were together, so he organized them the [unintelligible - 00:12:07] so he strayed us out.
SPEAKER 1: Do you remember what year that was?
A. VISIAS: It was 1 [unintelligible - 00:12:25] I am not sure of that.
SPEAKER 1: Did the church have a lot of difficulty during the depression?
A. VISIAS: It was in difficulties off course to collecting money, six dollars was the membership in church and the poor fellows, The priests would gain two hundred and fifty dollars a month for about four, five, six kids [unintelligible - 00:12:55], but I remember that priest [unintelligible - 00:13:11] was a very educated man he has five kids and he was staying on one of those apartments on the side [unintelligible - 00:13:26] and you know how he was [unintelligible - 00:13:33] to [unintelligible - 00:13:44] but off course the community was not [unintelligible - 00:13:56]
SPEAKER 1: You have icons in your home too don’t you?
A. VISIAS: I remember you know how hard time they had to collect money for the church those days and this priest, we had a picnic and he cut one branch from the tree of ours and he says for instance my son was born that day. Some mothers, they are going to have five, six sons and he [00:15:00] looks out and he says 'I am going to give out this branch to the new baby' and something and [unintelligible - 00:15:08] on the child’s name and the father [unintelligible - 00:15:22] because he was his first child and he got excited about it [unintelligible - 00:15:30] he wanted that and so he collect money but [unintelligible - 00:15:37] and he did with every intervals were five, six, babies and the father would sit him down and I gave you this I give you ten dollars, I give you twenty dollars, I give you five dollars and like they built a treasure because of the new baby. I don't know if that's interesting.
SPEAKER 1: Wonderful story.
A. VISIAS: But I mean some ways you have to find to take care of church and that is the job and money does not come easy even if that now is prosperity because those days they were not prosperity it was depression.
SPEAKER 1: difficult time.
SPEAKER 1: Is there anything you could tell me about some of the picnics that you had with the church?
A. VISIAS: picnics it was coming up okay we did nothing different there and there no [unintelligible - 00:16:50] dances and eating and, but this was the beginning you know. To me it was something new and I admired the priest how he could...and I was in business before and I know what it is how to collect. You know it was my father and then to see him [unintelligible - 00:17:23] and bring the pride of the father to collect money and that was something good I admired then.
SPEAKER 1: Very much so.
SPEAKER 3: Okay Mrs. Bisious I promised I would come back because you said you might have something more to tell me.
A. VISIAS: Yeah.
SPEAKER 3: So whatever you want to tell me about your life here in the United States when you came about, you said you worked for the international institute?
A. VISIAS: Yeah I was working for twenty years [unintelligible - 00:18:06] as a matter of fact me and so many other women we created because both the government people then [unintelligible - 00:18:30] I don’t know how I got it it’s a miracle and we represent the Greek people and my English off course was worse than it is now and there were [unintelligible - 00:18:45] and it would bring Greek people together and all the nationalities we have [unintelligible - 00:18:58] patriotic programs and introduce us, our program to others and others to us. It was very interesting because we learn each other how we live in our own country and I remember once I was in high school and I hear a boy who was graduated that year and there was this beginning of the war and he recited very nice about the war or something and it was Jimmy Minoules and I liked it so much it was super patriotic why we fight and why we send our boys there [00:20:00] and why we came from all the parts of the world for freedom and we used to work for that and not to fight anymore and not to -- and I give it to -- and I took them to you know housed in the national institute of work. There was Mrs. Edward Andrews, she was doing the work you are doing now, interviewing, and we put him on the radio. And we got a letter back, I got a letter back and they were thanking me, I don’t know from where it was. And they were thanking me about putting all those beautiful words that he has against the fighting and against -- how the people were to unite and start out from here to be united and send it to the whole world it was really beautiful. Because I didn’t know if they stay here at some place and they go and YWCA we were working together you know. And Angela put it on the radio and after that and [Manoles] was in the radio and they have half hour on the radio it was just something beautiful. But I picked it up from there, from the -- I listened to [Manoles] recite it in school and then I took it and it was very good. And when they were women, we make patriotic programs and if you ask there YWCA now and then they send me something or they asked about how I made it we resolve now I can follow my foot.
SPEAKER 1: It'd be nice to have copies of those?
A. VISIAS: Yeah and they have maybe I don’t know. And after that and him they recited under it was the appropriate time you know that -- and I was for 20 years with them you know. Something always was working other nationalities and we did together and we recognize it's -- that we all are people one people why should keep on fighting.
SPEAKER 1: Kind of what America is all about?
A. VISIAS: Oh like America is all about.
SPEAKER 1: American people.
A. VISIAS: And then -- I had forgot that I had forgot that it was in this [unintelligible - 00:23:30].
SPEAKER 1: Oh yes can you tell me more about your husband's flower business here in Duluth?
A. VISIAS: I didn’t say anything there?
SPEAKER 1: No you didn’t say much about.
A. VISIAS: The reason they came here, it was a one Jimmie you know the second one, they have a cage, something like they are now more all in one and they have more stores where the bankers no first bankers now. And they were selling fruits, flowers. So you hear a brother in Chicago he was -- how you call it business to buy a lot of flowers complete to the merchant. So he says it's very good here for that because there are people having a lot of money. At that time it was the minds open and all that and they have a lot of money out here. So he says send me some flowers to see if I can sell it there [unintelligible - 00:24:53] he send that and so the first day he got $12 and he was [00:25:00] a happy young man. And from then on 200 and they were high. So they opened right across the street where the northern bank is you know where it is, they open that florist shop and they done very well there. And after the business came down they keep it, they start a restaurant than that offer tea room, they offer tea room. They were candies and pastry, soda [bar], light lunch and they have not too much night work, but in day it was very work. And they were there -- I don't know 18 or 20 years, yeah over there. Nick [unintelligible - 00:26:11].
SPEAKER 1: Oh sure Tom Nuthy the tea room…
A. VISIAS: No the -- it wasn’t that it was the -- somebody got the least the slightest which can find the slightest they got the least. It was two, three stores there you know together. [Unintelligible - 00:26:43] and Chinese and they have free stuff. And so they came to fight it after they give them a lot more and the business wasn't too good, so they had to give it up. And what was it -- you asked me something.
SPEAKER 1: Oh can you tell me more about the daughters of Penelope when it was first organized here in Duluth?
A. VISIAS: Yeah the daughters of Penelope who was, who organized it?
SPEAKER 1: I think Cuba Perris was one of the original ones.
SPEAKER 1: Anita was one of the charter members and Dina Fortis.
A. VISIAS: Well they were -- charter members, but those who organized it... I didn’t go to the first one. I think I have a baby then, I don’t know. But then after I was -- and we were very active then too. Even if I couldn’t talk English, I was vice president not secretary vice president and member always like this, but when Charis Anna Charis was president then and then she got married and left in Duluth. So I had to take the president or like that for the type of year. I don’t know how but I did and the daughters was one of our always pride you know different they weren’t patriotic and there are other religion both are good.
SPEAKER 1: Oh I understand you used to have parades and everything at that time in Duluth with the [unintelligible - 00:29:09] and the daughters, they used to be in parades.
A. VISIAS: Oh they we used to have beautiful parades, beautiful parades and dressed up with face and white clothes and they were a lot of girls I have there in the parade pictures you took that?
SPEAKER 1: Yes I have copies of those, of the pictures. Very nice.
A. VISIAS: They were parades and everything they used to -- and now too they do it all out. I was in Chicago the time that woman president Truman was now was in the convention I have this convention and coming out on the hall, [00:30:00] I saw so many policemen there. And I asked one policeman what is it all about why are you all here you know I don’t know what was going on? He said the president is here he says and we have to protect and so they were payment there, there were 700 lawyers at that time, 700 lawyers I don’t know now, there must be thousands and more.
SPEAKER 1: I suppose.
A. VISIAS: In that convection I took over and the nation both America and Greek they are all educated people work of course, I don’t know now, but that time it worked you know the top.
SPEAKER 1: Very nice and very active yes.
A. VISIAS: Yeah. I have great respect for both Barry and I have both…
SPEAKER 1: Oh yes. I know you do
A. VISIAS: Don’t worry [unintelligible - 00:31:06] that’s all I ask for.
SPEAKER 1: This concludes the interview for the daughters of Penelope oral history project with Angela and Vishaz from Duluth Minnesota.