Monday, March 16, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute, Ο καλύτερος φίλος μου και αδελφός του Pete


Ok... no, I have not lost my mind. (Well, Deb or even my wife may tell you differently and I have come to accept that.) You will find out at the end what the title says.

This Tuesday's Tribute has been a long time coming. I have a rule about writing about someone. I have to have their blessing or ευλογία. Some folks do not like to be in the spotlight or on camera. I respect that. Secondly, as most know I am very selective about the friends I choose to keep. Friendship takes a sincere, lifetime effort. If someone has no desire to reciprocate that effort, except when it is convenient to their liking, then you are a welcome acquaintance around my campfire always but probably not a friend. With that said, let's get this party started.

About 16 years ago I had the honor of meeting Ο καλύτερος φίλος μου και αδελφός του Pete. He was dating a very close friend of mine and she was running a river rafting company out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. So we set out for the weekend to visit our friend Molly and check out this new guy she was so ecstatic about. I guess I figured she had had way too much high altitude air, was lonely and had just found some trust fund resort nerd. WOW, that assumption could not have been further from the truth, and thankfully so, as this guy has become one of my dearest friends.

He lives life with a highly infectious zest that permeates everything. Just being around him inspires you to want more from your short journey on this planet. He recharges your spirits like a great massage invigorates the body and soul with energy and excitement. If you have never had the chance to meet someone like this I bless that one day you will. One of my favorite things he does is his Greek breakdown of words. Seriously, it is one of my 10 favorite things about Ο καλύτερος φίλος μου και αδελφός του Pete. He loves to break down words by their Greek lineage from which everyone can learn, or to show how freaking smart he is, which he is.


He is one of those people for who life's glass is always half full if not flowing over. He is a tremendous father who gives endlessly of himself to his wonderful wife Molly but also to his beautiful children. In the above picture he is teaching my son how to drive his boat. Literally, he would give the shirt off his back for you if it was the last thing he owned and he knew it would help you live a little bit better. He has always embraced life and my family, for which I will be eternally grateful. For the past 8 summers we have spent a week in August in Sun Valley, Idaho with him and his wonderful family celebrating his Naming Day.

(In Greece, everyone celebrates the "Name Day" of the saint that bears the same name. This usually has no relation to a person's actual birthday except by coincidence.

Greek Name Day and Naming Conventions in Greece
Naming conventions in Greece are still followed quite strictly, with the result that certain names are used for many individuals in a generation. In each generation, the eldest grandson in each family will be named for the grandfather, and the eldest granddaughter will be named for the grandmother. If someone had three children, and they all produce a male grandchild, all three of those cousins will have the same name. To top it all off, all those with the same first name will celebrate the same saint's Name Day.)
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Oh, what fun we have had over the years helping him celebrate this date in his life. This usually means a huge party of 50 people and on one occasion 300 people. We cook full lambs and chickens and his wife and family help in preparing authentic Greek dishes for weeks in advance. MMMMMM Spanakotyropita (also known as spanakopita).Or τυροπιτάκια (pronounced tee-ro-pee-TAHK-yah)


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Now for some time I have coined him as the "Mayor Of Sun Valley". He owns a quaint little burger beer joint called Grumpy's. As well as the Silver Dollar Saloon just down the street in Bellevue, Idaho.

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"Same day Service" is the motto. He has worked tirelessly to build this place into a very successful business. Greatest burgers and special fries sauce for miles in any direction throughout the Sawtooth range. Colleen & I even made his hall of fame.( picture above of us holding the fish).
Last Fall, Ketchum, Idaho lost one of its timeless icons on Main street, Whiskey Jacques, which burned to the ground. Well, my friend "The Mayor" and his mates from all around, honored Whiskey Jacques on New Year's Day with a Main street party like no other. (only in a small town)

Hats and clothes off to you gents. We held a huge family gathering there not a month prior to this tragic news.

I promised, if you waited, I would tell you what Ο καλύτερος φίλος μου και αδελφός του Pete meant. It is "My best friend and brother Pete" in Greek. I love him like a brother, and look forward to many more years of our families building and sharing memories. I wanted to make sure that he knew what an impact he and his family have made on our lives through their kindness, love and unconditional friendship. Pete, you are one of a kind to be sure. You are my friend, for that I am forever grateful ,appreciative and honored. God Bless ya brother. OPA!!!!!


Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

5 comments:

Tabitha in Bliss said...

That was such a beautiful tribute!!!

CaJoh said...

I always strive to be a better person and I see a lot of people with those qualities, but never all in the same person. This is a wonderful tribute to a very giving person— I am truly honored by what you have shared. Thank you.

The Frugal Angel-Guided Psychic said...

Wow how very Cool!!! What a great friend to have in your life!

I have to share that when my DH and I went on a very desperate trip (marriage on the rocks-trip)"out West" we stayed in Ketchum and looked at houses to buy... Alas we ended up 3 hours away instead of states away. Never the less, the states and towns we visited will always have such a special place in our hearts.... Who knew your friend was "the mayor"!! LOL!

Oh, and we didn't get to see any displays like your pics. Darn.

Happy TT!

Halftime Lessons said...

Great tribute T...he seems like a great guy...big personality!

I love people like that...they make you want to be better.

Jay

Jenn@mylifewiththecrazies said...

Stopping over from Deb's and Jay's... great tribute. Sounds like an amazing guy!Thanks