Kiki Scaros of Medford recalls how she was introduced to her husband, Nick.
In October 1956, I was shopping at a store in Jamaica, Queens, for a bridesmaid’s gown for my friend’s wedding. My sister was with me and we spoke to each other in Greek. To our surprise, the saleswoman responded in Greek.
She asked me for my name — I was Kiki Porgeotes back then — and my phone number. She also asked if I was single, married or divorced. I asked her why she wanted to know. She said her cousin Nick was visiting from Ikaria, Greece, and wanted to meet a nice Greek-American girl. I immediately said I wasn’t interested.
A few days later she called to say she was going dancing and wanted me to join her. She offered to pick me up in her car at my home in Woodside.
For some reason I agreed to go, but when she showed up at my house she wasn’t alone. I opened the door and saw this handsome man standing there, and my heart skipped a beat. It was her cousin Nick. We ended up going to her family’s house in Ridgewood, where Nick was staying.
Nick and I talked all evening. I knew something special was happening. When he asked if I’d go out with him, I said, “Yes.”
The following weekend, after Nick asked my father for permission to take me out, we strolled through Central Park, hand-in-hand, visited the zoo and later had dinner at Schrafft’s. He told me that I made him very happy. Little did he know how happy he made me! We continued dating.
In December, Nick showed up at my house with chocolates and flowers. He asked my father for my hand in marriage, and my father granted his permission. Nick then turned to me and asked me to marry him, and I said yes!
We married on May 19, 1957, my 27th birthday, at the Greek Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral in Manhattan. Nick was 32.
Nick was a painter for Utilities Corp. in New Jersey. He helped paint the Verrazano Bridge and the Elmhurst gas tanks. Whenever possible, he would send money to his widowed mother in Greece. I left my secretarial job at Pearl Assurance Co. in Manhattan to become a full-time homemaker and we started our family in Woodside.
We moved to Patchogue in 1971. Nick and I both worked at Stony Brook University. He was a painter in the Physical Plant Department and I was a secretary in the student services office and the business office of Stony Brook University Hospital. We retired in 1987 and began spending summers in Ikaria through 2010. We also enjoyed taking cruises and going to Atlantic City and Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.
In 1990 we moved to Medford. We have been members of the Pan-Icarian Brotherhood of America since 1957. They honored Nick in 2013 for his dedication to the philanthropic organization. That year he was also named “Father of the Year” by the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption in Port Jefferson.
Nick is so very special to me. He is hardworking, honest, loyal, and a wonderful husband, father and grandfather.
Last month we celebrated our 60th anniversary with a quiet dinner at home with our two daughters, two sons-in-law and our three grandchildren, enjoying Nick’s favorite meal — Greek meatballs, French fries, a salad and a glass of wine.
— With Virginia Dunleavy