submitted by Vikki Vrettos Fraioli on 30.03.2018
761 Aubert Avenue
My Greek American Sanctuary
by Jennie C. Vlanton
Fleeing from the ethnic conflict and impending war of their native Smyrna in Asia Minor, Stefan and Evangelia Glitsos Constantinides settle in the industrial metropolis of St. Louis, Missouri. Here they struggle to establish themselves as entrepreneurs, community members, and most importantly, Greeks in the New World. Striving for happiness and security in their adopted country, Stefan and Evangelia open a dry cleaning business and work tirelessly for its success, at the same time instilling in their children a strong morality and work ethic. Gaining strength and comfort from her family and her Greek immigrant community, the Constantinides' daughter, author Jennie C. Vlanton, battles with the burdens of her time: the economic hardships of the Great Depression, the xenophobia of a close minded America, and the lingering questions of identity that riddle an immigrant's daughter in an alien land. Told with the humor, warmth, and vitality that only a true veteran of the Greek American experience can possess, 761 Aubert Avenue: My Greek American Sanctuary is an essential account of the passion, grievances, and ultimate elations of the immigrant experience-an enduring story of human perseverance and an imperative read for Americans of all generations.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1924, Jennie C. Vlanton has lived most of her life as a member of the city?s Greek American community. A frequent lecturer on the Greek immigrant experience in America, her stories have appeared in Odyssey, The National Herald, and The Greek American.
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