Friday, May 25, 2012

The value of Granny's great baklava

After graduating from Pratt in1959, a bunch of us joined the National Guard to avoid being drafted for two years and going to Viet Nam.

The Guard was only 6 months and you then served in the reserves for what seemed like the rest of your life, meetings once a week, five weekends a year, and two weeks of camp in the summer.

In those days they did not use the National Guard overseas, so I was pretty sure no Viet Nam and no two years in the regular Army.

You could get a job, start your life and career, at that time two years seemed like a lifetime.

To make the whole thing even less noble, I was sent to Fort Dix in New Jersey for basic training and ended up staying there for the full six months, a couple of hours from NY. A pretty good deal, although no bragging rights and no wonderful Army stories about bars in foreign countries, or even bars in Texas, just Jersey.

My Mother and Jeannine’s family, especially her Grandmother acted like I was in the real Army suffering in some God forsaken country, “Granny I’m in Fort Dix, New Jersey, not that much of a God forsaken a place.”

Their concern for me was manifested by sending and bringing food, lots of it. It is a Greek thing.

Koulouria from Mama and Granny’s great baklava was the currency I was dealing with.

One piece of baklava was worth 6 brownies at least; one koulouri got you 2 brownies, two pieces of baklava meant no KP, or guard duty.

Man this stuff was dynamite I could negotiate anything. The baklava was worth it’s weight in gold.

I even thought I could use the baklava to get an early discharge? It was great baklava but unfortunately not that great.

Granny’s baklava made the Army a snap, “thanks Granny.”


  1. So we both did the same thing and in the same place. How come you never told me?? The only difference was you in th guard and me in the
    U.S.Army infantry. This is a very funny story. You were lucky to have all those great Greek cooks in your family. I guess your writers block is over. Nice to read anadmaningreece again.

    Let's hear some screwup stories. I can't believe you were the perfect soldier. Great story. I can taste the honey dripping from thr Baklava.

  2. excellent article thank for sharing with us