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Dr. Zografakis

Posted by brokenstrings on Wednesday, July 4, 2007

When my daughter was about nine, I took her to Greece, in particular to Crete, where I'd lived for a while 20 years before. We hit several other places first, and in one of them I found a book, THE WINDS OF CRETE, written by a guy, David somebody, who'd obviously been in Crete about the same time and in some of the same places I was. I recognized some of the people. I read to my daughter his passages about Dr. Zografakis, which brought memories vividly to light.

Dr. Zografakis' office was always full of peasants who paid their medical bills in kind--with agricultural produce, for example. He had studied in Germany and he welcomed the chance to speak German or English, so he befriended the local foreigners. You could stop by in the middle of the day and he'd send out for ena kafedhaki (a coffee) and a plate of mezedhes (snacks, varying from olives to dried octopus to lupini beans), question you as to the virtues of various German cameras (he couldn't make up his mind which to get), hold forth on Cretan weavings, which he collected, tell you how to make avgolemono sauce and find you a place to stay (in my case, with his relative Kyria Leondini, who asked me right off the bat, "Are you Christian [meaning Greek Orthodox] or Catholic?").

My daughter was enchanted. Dr. Zografakis had become absolutely real to her. When we finally got to Aghios Nikolaos and learned that Dr. Zografakis had died, she burst out crying.


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