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James Prineas

October 2006

10,000 pieces of the Kytherian Puzzle

Dear Friends of Kythera,

A few days ago the 10,000th entry was uploaded to Kythera-family.net. It was a source of great pride to all of us working on the site. Thanks to all those who have contributed, to those who have spread the word, and to all Kytherians on and off the island whose love for Kythera help make it such a special place.

Many of you have submitted more that 20 entries in the last couple of months and thus qualify for our 10,000th Entry Competition. There is still 2 weeks to go before the deadline so it isn't too late to join in. The winners of the prizes will be announced in the next email newsletter in about a month.

The site team leaders,
Angelo Notaras, George Poulos, James Prineas

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Peter Clentzos, 1906 - 2006

Peter Clentzos (or Chlentzos), 1932 Olympic competitor, was born in Oakland, California, USA on June 15, 1909 to parents Diamantis Haralambos Chlentzos and Yanoula Coulentianos from Kythera, Greece.

Clentzos took up pole vaulting in high school in the 1920s, then perfected his art as a member of the University of Southern California track team in the early 1930s. In 1932, Clentzos tried out for the U.S. Olympic team, hoping to play for his native land at the Los Angeles Games. He didn't make it.

He did well enough, however, to attract the attention of the Greek attache, who recruited Clentzos and awarded him dual citizenship on the basis of his Greek heritage. He lived with the Greeks at L.A.'s Olympic Village and competed in a Greek uniform. He ranked 7th in the event.

Three years later, in 1935, he did better, competing in a meet at Athens's Panathenaic Stadium, where the 1896 Olympics had been held, and vaulting 13 feet 5 inches, a Greek record that stood for 15 years.

In 1936 he consulted in the 1936 Olympics that were held in Berlin. He wanted to go but it was the depression so he had to get a job. He was one of thirteen teachers that applied for a job at Barstow Union High School, California. There he began teaching history and coaching the football team. In those days, Barstow was a rural town and students were bused to school from long distances. Consequently, Clentzos had to rush through football practices in 40 minutes, and he took to yelling at his players: Hurry up, hurry up, up, up. According to Peter Clentzos that humble chant evolved into hubba-hubba.

During World War II, Clentzos became a physical trainer at the Santa Ana Army Air Base in Southern California and he used "hubba-hubba" in his workouts.
"It was something to get them going," he says. "It was a motivational thing. I'd yell, 'Lie on your backs, lift up your legs, pat on your bellies and yell hubba-hubba!' " he recalls. "I tell you, 225 guys yelling, 'hubba-hubba' - it makes a lot of noise."

The phrase soon became famous. Peter had an old clipping from the Santa Ana Cadet, the base newspaper, that describes "hubba-hubba" as "a modern war cry that may become as famous as the old rebel yell." The article is illustrated with a picture of Clentzos bellowing "hubba-hubba." The caption reads: "Lt. Peter Clentzos, cadet instructor, gives voice to his battle cry." As his cadets went off to war, Clentzos says, " 'hubba-hubba' spread around the world."

Along the way, the meaning of the phrase was altered. "Some of the cadets, when they saw a pretty gal, they'd say, 'hubba-hubba,' " Clentzos says, "and the connotation changed to that. . . . I think having them pat their bellies may have had something to do with that - giving it a sexual connotation."

After the war, Clentzos moved to Los Angeles, where he and his late wife, Helen (whom he called Helen of Troy - she was born in Troy, New York) raised their son, Peter Jr. Peter Clentzos worked as a high school teacher and coach and then became a Los Angeles public school administrator. He retired in 1974 but kept active as a football referee and an after-dinner speaker.

Peter Clentzos is an inspiration for his many accomplishments. Already at 97, he was the oldest living Olympic athlete in the world. He has been honoured by numerous organisations for his dedication and contributions as an athlete, teacher, coach, and administrator.

Peter Chlentzos died Monday, September 11, 2006 from complications of hip surgery at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California.
Terry Chlentzos, California, USA

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Dolmades for Lunch 5

When I was first asked the question, I hesitated to answer... much to the surprise of the lady who asked me. I knew I would love to say 'yes', but I also knew that I had to ask my Dad first. It wasn't easy at times, being caught between one culture and the next.

Though we'd all been born in Australia, some of our ways were more like the 'old country'... a country that belonged to my grandparents, not to us. I was just 17, with a head full of dreams, as is the way with girls of that age. To me, what could be more important than dancing and having fun?

I raced home to ask Dad, but asked Mum first, to pave the way... surprisingly she thought Dad would agree. A deep breath, then all the words came tumbling out at once..."Dad, you know how nice Mrs. C. is... well, you'll never guess what she asked me today? She was sure you would say yes, you will, won't you?????" The question hung in the air...

Dad just laughed and said it would help if he could hear the question..."Dad, can I make my debut with the Hellenic Association? Mrs. C. will be the chaperone and she said you'd know we will be well looked after, can I?"

"Your debut? Why?"

"Please, Dad... it will be so much fun and I'll finally learn to do the Greek dances... properly!" Dad smiled and said he'd talk it over with Mum and let me know. I didn't push it. That was far better than a straight 'no', or even a "we'll see"... the standby of fathers all over the world. I was already planning what my dress should look like and how I would wear my hair... then I realised that I'd need a partner. That would take some effort in itself. I liked a boy in my class, but didn't think he would agree to be my partner. Anyway, it wasn't worth getting too excited just in case. I couldn't help myself... that night at dinner, I kept bringing up Mrs. C's name, saying bits and pieces like how it was great that she had always been associated with our family and how she was almost family and one of the most respected people in the community...until my Mum's glowering made me stop. It was time to leave well enough alone.

Dad was getting ready for work the next morning and I was still on tenterhooks... and had to stay that way all day... I couldn't concentrate in school, kept daydreaming and wasn't focusing on the preparations for a forthcoming United Nations camp. I'd been chosen as one of 4 representatives from our school and was very excited about that. . It was a long day... After dinner that night, Mum said that Dad wanted to talk to me. By now, I didn't hold out much hope. I expected a lecture on why I couldn't go, instead Dad asked if it was this weekend, or next, that I was going on camp.

With heavy heart, I said it was the next and waited for him to tell me that I couldn't expect everything. "That's good" he said "as you will need to go to your first dance lesson". It took a moment to sink in, then I nearly knocked him over with delight. "Wait on, I only said a lesson... I didn't say anything else" Crestfallen, I stepped back, then realised he and Mum were grinning... "Yes, it's ok, you can make your debut."

Mum had rung Mrs. C. during the day and been told all the details...the next few months were a flurry of dress hunts, and rehearsals. I had met a new friend at the camp and had no doubt that he was the one I wanted to partner me. That took some convincing Dad to allow that, but Mum could see how much I wanted this to happen, and all was agreed. Besides, she'd had a word in Mrs. C's ear, and ever the romantic, she told Dad that there really weren't any more young Greek boys available that she knew, as with over 20 debutantes, most had been taken. Dad thought my younger brother might have been suitable, but he wasn't keen either, so my new English friend it was. As a golfer, my partner had concentrated on sport and had never danced before, and in fact hadn't even seen any Greek dancing, so there was a lot of stumbling... but finally, the big night arrived.

It was with much grace that a bevy of beauties, mostly of Greek descent, graced Cloudland Ballroom, looking as if we had always known how to walk and stand and dance, like young, elegant ladies. I'm sure Mrs C. would have breathed a great sigh of relief at the end of the presentations, that all the months of cajoling and coaxing, and darn hard work, had culminated in the 'coming out' of us young ladies. No one stumbled over a curtsey, no major errors in the dances and the greatest moment of all, to me, was when my non dancing father, agreed to spend a few moments on the dance floor with me. I had, indeed, made my debut.

Crissouli (c) 2006

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Tsitsilias family members
submitted by Shay Burgess
Hi Everyone. I was browsing this website and noticed that there were two entries relating to this surname ( My grandfathers surname). I was wondering if anyone has any information regarding any living relatives or any history behind the name. Thanking you in advance

Reply - Tsitsilias family members
Submitted by Muriel Logothetis
Hello Shay. We have a family tree (mainly in Greek) prepared by Anargyros Tsitsilias in 1976. It appears that my husband Nick Logothetis is a third cousin to Rhodanthe Tsitsilias who married Ron Burgess. I can send you pdf files showing the lines from their common ancestor, great grandfather Georgios Tsitsilias who married Chryssa Panagiotopoulou. I put Georgios' birthdate as early 1800's. We had always thought your line to be in NZ. Is that correct? Would love to hear from you.
Muriel Logothetis

Reply - Tsitsilias family members
Submitted by Shay Burgess
Hi Muriel, great to hear from you
Rodanthe is my mother and Ron is my Father. Any information would be great. We are in New Zealand. Feel free to e mail me and I can try and help fill in any gaps that may be missing

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NEW Kytherian Association of Australia website!
submitted by Panayioti Samios
I'd just like to let everybody know the ALL NEW Kytherian Association of Australia website is NOW ONLINE! The address is http://www.kytherianassociation.com.au. Keep up-to-date with all the latest KAA news and information, as well as details on upcoming events. Check out the new look website now!

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