Family Spread From Coast to Coast

Man remembers the story of his grandfather first coming to America as a stowaway.

| Good Old Days

My Grandfather Vellios first came to the United States as a stowaway. We were told he came several more times by working on ships.

Grandfather and his two brothers envisioned a better life in this country than in their homeland, Greece. It was on Grandfather's fifth trip that he and his brothers came to Ellis Island for processing. He was just 17.

One brother did not pass the physical and returned to Greece. The other became successful in the restaurant business in the East. My grandfather went to work for the railroad. Along the way he met a pretty French girl who became my grandmother.

Life was hard in some ways and rewarding in others. Just recently I learned that my grandfather never drove-never had a car-and they all walked a lot. My grandfather died on his job.

A really memorable thing is my Uncle Bob's cooking. My mom and I suspect Bob got his great cooking skills from his dad and uncles. I wish I could share a recipe here but my uncle, Bob Vellios, always said it was a secret. All I can tell you is that I think his skills are a combination of effort and inheritance. In the 74 years since Grandfather immigrated, his family has spread from coast to coast. I think he would be quite surprised.

Jerry Miller
Huffman, Texas

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