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Coffeehouse Traditions- KPHTH Magazine

Marjorie and Sam


Giving thanks.

They made a difference in this world, enriching the lives of those around them with their kindness and generosity.

Marj and Sam 2006

Marjorie – 1929 to  November 7, 2015

Spyros “Sam” – 1921 to November 27, 2009



Marj and Sam 2006







I watch you write letters of Christmas.

Your heart guides the point of your pen,

As it renders sp
eech to intangible feelings

(hydroactive feelings)

That ebb, rest, or flow,

tides of the sea of life in many forms….

Lakes of familiarity, influential factors fixed….

Gushing springs of renewal, resource cisterns calm and cool….

Sometimes floods swell, bursting in passion….

Rivers of sweet hope meander

toward their destinations….

And above them all, the sharing mode

of love’s gentle rain:

All distilled by you into incomparable

gifting messages of vibrant

and warm expression

That happily ripple and enrich the same waters

of the people who receive them!

*      *     *

(I admiringly wish you rewarding holidays.)

Sam 12/18/07

53 times

San DIego 1106 095

Marjorie, come,
The bells have rung!
53 times our song has sung.
It’s clear to all, and not just some
That our long great venture has made us one.

With each other in spirit we’ve danced, Fueled, and steeled, by love and devotion’s stance which blossomed from a cliff-climbing Ozark romance.

Beginning with Nietzsche and tree-hugging Wooster, to the Inn Season Cafe’,
From Morgantown to Pleasant St to Guilderland
to Ingleside Rd to Atwood, aye,
Through the burgs of Pitts and Harris, Pennsylvaniay, You have hung in there with me the entire way.

And now, whence?

Well, let’s dine at Lily’s Seafood Cafe’ hence also enjoy The Cooler’s humor thence. next to Marino’s food events.

Through it all, I confirm that (despite the domino effect) I loved you in the past, do so in the present, and shall do so in the future tense.

(As was said about West Virginia’s mountain water, Marj, it’s just plain common sense!)


Birthday Poem

Marjorie finding beauty

San DIego 1106 089

This is a very special birthweek, featuring the

arrival on earth of such eminent human beings as the

Reverend Martin Luther King, the Reverend Oscar Olson,

and, Marjorie, you.   And your paths in life have

since crossed.

There was the occasion, when you were 21, of

Reverend Olson uniting you to fortunate me, the

first time he presided over this important process.

Then there was the memorable 1967 sermon in

the Cleveland Antioch church by Dr King, which you

attended, when you were both 38.  There was visible

only one other white woman amidst the congregation

of hundreds, which is a tribute to you as well as your

presence then was to Dr King.

So now you are 75, three-quarters of the way Home.

May your way be sunny with health, and flowered with love,

as by these Primroses.  And may the attached coins, such as

your ancestors used, be the root of riches to come.

Mother’s Day 1972


In 1971, Anthe Vutetakis, son Spyros Vutetakis, daughter Helen Krikos and grandson George Vutetakis, visited Crete. It was the first time Anthe had stepped foot on the island in over fifty-two years. Every year Spyros would give his mother a poem as a gift on Mother’s Day. This one was inspired by the celebrated visit.

Now you’ve been a mother for 51 years, and a yaya for 22.

You have done it very well, as you can tell

By just looking at the people around you.

We each have our ideas, our style and our place, but

one feeling together embrace:

Much more than a mother you are- the roses in our garden,

a faithful friend in our lives, a warm magnet that

gathers us from afar.

The Lord surely guided patera to Plakoures, and then

gave us to you

And lovingly gave you to us.

So there’s a song in our souls, let your ears and your heart

have their fill:

We love you….metera, yaya, friend….and always will.


The Beauty poem


With the kindness of its weather,

San Diego has developed multiple forms of beauty.

(My words of enthusiasm are difficult to restrain.)

The soil harbors and embraces plants which give birth

to hundreds of varieties of flowers.

Their creative method of procreation is:

they make their flowers so fragrant and colorful

that the bees and other pertinent species

are attracted to visit,

To collect their nectar, and thereby leave tracks

from gathering visits to neighboring flowers.

The plants then “eat”, and become happily pregnant.

This is the intelligence of beauty!

Now the plants we call ‘trees’ reach high for the sky

and its sunshine.

Each family has its own leaf formation, and height,

their arms lissome to the winds,

as their hair of leaves is tousled.

And we humans too enjoy our views of them.

~Spyros Vutetakis 2007


Today was a cold damp day. My painter friend showed up about 10am. Mary Cay and I finished the kitchen and started on a garden room / breezeway at the back of the house. I had your photo gallery up and sat down to take a look. As I scrolled through each photo I began to get a feeling for the dynamic man your father was. I so wish I could have known him.

When I hit the “next ” button and the shot of you and him appeared with the vasilopita, I choked up and tears came to my eyes. Mary Cay came into the room and silently put her hand on my back and I became one with that moment. In the photo I could smell the bread and feel the pride. It is most intense the moment before the first slice, when you make the sign of the cross above the bread with the knife. The moment you feel most Greek. Perhaps it was that after twenty some years of this tradition, I had simply never seen a photo of someone with one of my breads. I think it was that this man, this proud Greek, got to know a teeny little part of me that that photo captured. What an honor.

Every evening after Mary Cay and I go to bed and turn out the lights, one of us , in the silence, will ask “best part?” The other will take a moment and think through the day and share what their best part was. Tonight, mine will be seeing that photo of you and Spyros on that new years morning.

Thank you George and Sara

Vasilis Loizos

A Veteran of WWII


I am an infantry combat veteran of WWII, and do not easily cry, but

I cry as I read of the personal lives of our latest soldiers to needlessly die,
as I gaze on their youthful faces.

I feel for their parents who had hoped,
I feel for the widows, who too had hoped,
and I cry for their small children.

My heart is heavy
because they shouldn’t be in Iraq in the first place!

I cry as they die.

Written by Sam Vutetakis
April 9, 2004

Sam was a proud veteran of two overseas tours during World War II.  Both deployments affected his life deeply.  The first tour was “overseas” in Alaska, where he saw no combat, but developed a lifelong love and respect for mountainous wilderness.

Combat Incident

John returned from a patrol amused.

A German had approached him with arms up,
to surrender.

And John shot him:

“You should have seen the look on his face!”
he tells us, laughing.

I pondered, and thought of the German man’s mother:


Spyros Vutetakis 1945

The second was in the 3rd Army, 71st Division, 14th Regiment as an infantry soldier in France and Germany.  There,  he witnessed the intensity of combat, the horrors of war and the horrific results of the holocaust.  This front-line experience was the basis of his life-long conviction that peace was the right course for humanity, at all cost.  At every opportunity he would write, attend protests and talk about the value and sanctity of a human life.   He did this with a deep philosophical understanding, benevolent humor and a kind heart. gv

A Favorite Quote

Your days are short here;

This is the last days of your springs.

And now in the serenity and quiet

Of this lovely place, touch the depths

Of truth, feel the hem of Heaven.

You will go away with old, good friends.

And don’t forget when you leave

why you came.

~Adlai Stevenson