Ourania Konstantinos Fivya Polizou

 

She was the second of three children, the only daughter born to Konstantinos Fivyas and Kerasia (“Keratso, Tsitso”) Elias Koutroúli. Named after her maternal grandmother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timeline:

 

Sept. 15

Saturday

1883

 

Ourania was born in her mother Kerasia’s home, in the village of Ano (Upper) Klima, on the island of Skopelos, Greece. This home later became part of her wedding dowry. All of her children were born in this same house, which was located across the village lane from her future husband Varsamas and mother-in-law Alexandra’s (“Alexandro”) home.

She was baptized by Ioannis Florou and his wife, Alexandra Polizou from Glossa (the first cousin of her future husband, Varsamas Polizos).

 

1889

6 yrs old

She did not attend school. Her father, Konstantinos, did not see the value of an education for women. Ourania would never learn how to read or write.

 

1903

20 yrs old

Ourania’s future husband, Varsamas, moved temporarily to Pensacola, FL.

Jul. 22

1907

23 yrs old

Ourania married Varsamas Nikolaos Polizos in Ano Klima and they lived together in the house she was born in.

Jul. 4

1908

24 yrs old

Ourania’s daughter, Kerasia (“Keratso”), was born. She was the first of their seven children, all of whom were born in their maternal home in Ano Klima. Kerasia was baptized by Alexandra (“Alexandro”) Mihilis (Varsamas’s older half-sister) from Glossa.

 

1912

29 yrs old

Ourania’s father-in-law Nikolaos Polizos died in Ano Klima.

Oct. 18

1912

 

Balkan Wars  Begin  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balkan_Wars

Aug. 10

1913

 

Balkan Wars  End

 

1914

31 yrs old

Ourania’s brother, Yeoryios Fivyas, married Kokitsa Delí. Ourania was the koumbara in their wedding and later baptized their firstborn, Konstantinos Fivyas.

 

1915

32 yrs old

Ourania delivered twins. The first infant, a girl named Alexandra, died a few hours after birth. The second infant was a stillborn boy. Alexandra was baptized by her paternal grandmother Alexandra.

Jul. 2

1917

 

Greece enters  World War I  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balkans_Campaign_%28World_War_I%29

Nov. 17

1917

34 yrs old

Ourania delivered her second set of twins, Nikolaos and Anthoula. Nikolaos was baptized by Alexandra (“Alexandro”) Mihilis (Varsamas’s older half-sister) from Glossa. Anthoula was baptized by Andromahi (“Mahi”) Efstathios Karastathis, from Mahala / Glossa.

Nov. 11

1918

 

World War I  Ends

May 4

1920

36 yrs old

Ourania’s son, Konstantinos (“Dino, Gus”), was born. He was baptized by Foutolakis, a Cretan police officer stationed in Glossa.

 

1920

 

Ourania’s brother Ioannis (“John”) Fivyas married Maria (“Mariyo”) Diamandis Kostandaki. Ourania was the koumbara in their wedding and later baptized their daughter, Anaryeri Fivya.

Jun. 13

1922

38 yrs old

Ourania’s last child, Alexandra, was born. She was baptized by a customs officer from the island of Skyros named Anastasios (“Anesti”) Baloutís and his wife Mercini (“Mirka”). Her husband Varsamas probably knew them through his shipping business.

Sept.

1922

 

Smyrna, Asia Minor falls to the Turks, Hellenic population is ousted from the region forever.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_Smyrna

 

1924

40 yrs old

At the age of 16, Ourania’s daughter Kerasia (“Keratso”) became engaged to Konstantinos (“Gus”) Diamandis Berdanis.

 

1925

41 yrs old

Ourania’s husband Varsamas left for America and stayed for 11 years.

Ourania never left Greece in her lifetime. She worked in the fields and looked after the home in her husband’s absence to help support their family. Occasionally, money was sent to her by her husband in America through friends or relatives. Her daughters taught her how to sign her name so that her checks could be cashed in Volos. Ourania’s son Gus always wondered if Ourania received the correct amount of money for her checks.

Life was hard as money was tight. Occasionally, their meals consisted of only boiled “horta” (wild collard greens). The following evening, the juices left over from the previous evening’s greens would be served as a soup with dry bread.

Jul. 29

1927

43 yrs old

Ourania’s brother-in-law Konstantinos died in car accident between Greenwood and Cleveland, MS, at the age of 39.

 

1926

 

Ourania’s father Konstantinos Fivyas died in Klima. His entire life he worked as a fisherman, earning him the nickname “Katskanás” which was the name of a particular type of fish. His oldest son Yeoryios would eventually be given the same nickname.

May 20

1927

 

Charles Lindbergh completes first trans-Atlantic flight  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lindbergh

 

1928

45 yrs old

Ourania’s family had a two-story home built for their daughter Kerasia (“Keratso”). This home would be a part of her dowry (photo).

Houses were built mostly from local stone and mud. The occasional use of wood in home construction consisted of local cyprus or imported chestnut wood from Ayio Oros (Mount Athos). This wood was carried up to the village from the harbor on the backs of construction workers. The doors and windows were made locally or shipped in from Volos.

Sept. 29

1929

46 yrs old

Ourania’s daughter Kerasia (“Keratso”), at the age of 21, married Konstantinos (“Gus”) Diamandis Berdanis in her new home in Ano Klima. Their koumbaros was Ioannis (“John”) Sideris.

Varsama was not present; he was working in America. This was the only child whose wedding he was not able to attend.

Jun. 19

1930

 

Ourania’s first grandchild, Ourania (“Nina”) Konstantinos Berdanis, was born in her mother’s home in Ano Klima. She was baptized by Ioannis (“John”) and Kalliope Sideris.

 

1934

51 yrs old

A two-story home for Ourania’s daughter Anthoula was built next to her daughter Kerasia’s home as a part of her dowry. This house would later become Ourania’s daughter Alexandra’s home after a swap between the two sisters. The upstairs of this home was the site of both Alexandra and Konstandinos’s weddings in 1948.

Nov.

1934

 

Ourania’s son, Nikolaos (“Nick”), moved from Skopelos at the age of 17 to Hollandale, MS. Ourania would never see him again.

Oct. 14

1935

52 yrs old

Ourania’s son Konstantinos (“Dino, Gus”) moved from Skopelos at the age of 15 to Hollandale, MS. He travelled together with Ourania’s brother Ioannis (“John”) Fivyas. Ourania saved his pigskin slippers next to the fireplace and told him she would see him in three years. He would not return for thirteen years. As the family left the upper village together and headed in the direction of Loutraki to see Dino onto the boat, they stopped at the village church of Ayïi Anaryeri in Kato Klima to light candles for his safe journey. This was the last time that Ourania would ever see him.

Feb.

1936

 

Ourania’s husband Varsamas sold his restaurant, the Post Office Café of Hollandale. He left his son Gus in Cleveland, MS, his son Nick in Corinth, MS, and returned to Greece.

At about the time of his return, the family added a kitchen onto their existing ancestral home in Ano Klima. The kitchen had previously been separate from the home.

Oct.

1937

54 yrs old

Ourania’s daughter Kerasia (“Keratso”), Ourania’s granddaughter Ourania (“Nina”), Kerasia’s koumbara Kaliope Sideris, and Kaliope’s son, Gus all moved from Skopelos to Cleveland, MS (photo). This was the last time Ourania would ever see them.

 

1938

 

Ourania and her family had an apothiki (storage shed) built next to their daughters’ homes.

Jul. 28

1938

 

Ourania’s daughter Anthoula, at the age of 20, married Konstantinos Ioannis Manolios in Ano Klima. Their koumbara was Anthoula’s first cousin Ourania (“Nina”) Fivya Christou.

Konstantinos was originally from the island of Skyros and was brought to Skopelos as a young boy. He was adopted by the Glinis couple (neighbors with the Polizos family) who had no children. After his wedding, he decided to make his official last name his biological parents’ family name: “Manolios”. He stayed close to both of his adopted parents, both of whom died after World War II.

Konstantinos’s sister Anna, who remained unmarried all of her life, lived with Anthoula until her death at age of 82.

The newlyweds lived in the house which was a part of Anthoula’s dowry and about three years later, they moved into Ourania’s house (the house Anthoula was born in) to be closer to her husband Konstantinos’s parents. Ourania and Varsamas moved into Kerasia’s vacant house with their youngest daughter Alexandra.

May 17

1940

56 yrs old

Ourania’s brother, Ioannis Konstantinos Fivyas, died of a heart attack in a hospital in Greenville, MS at the age of 52 (article).

Oct. 28

1940

 

Greece enters  World War II with the Italian invasion into Epiros from Albania. The church bells of the island toll solemnly to inform the people.  All contact with America ceases during the war. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Italian_War

Dec. 8

1940

57 yrs old

Ourania’s grandchild, Ourania (“Nina”) Konstantinos Manoliou, was born in Ano Klima while her father Konstantinos was fighting the Italian invaders on the Albanian border between August 1940 and May 1941. This was Ourania’s second grandchild; both were named after her. She would only see these two grandchildren in her lifetime.

Apr. 28

1941

 

Athens, Greece  falls to the Germans.

 

1941

 

Both of Ourania’s sons served in the US armed forces, but she never knew this.

Dec. 26

1941

58 yrs old

Ourania’s brother, Yeoryios Konstantinos Fivyas, died of pneumonia / TB in his home in Ano Klima at the age of 59. “He knows he is dying and he wants his family to be there with him so he calls them all together that day,” Dimitrios Fivyas stated. After he died they burned his clothes due to the contagiousness of TB. Yeoryios and Varsamas’s brother, Ioannis Polizos were very close friends. In his lifetime, Yeoryios also lived and worked in America, served as the President of the Klima community (similar to being the mayor) between 1935 and 1940, and lived to see only one of his fifteen grandchildren.

Apr.

1943

59 yrs old

Ourania’s mother-in-law, Alexandra (“Alexandro”) Angelí Polizou, died in Ano Klima at the age of 94. She outlived her husband by 31 yrs, her son, Konstantine, and two of her grandchildren. Before they got married, her two granddaughters Anthoula and Alexandra often spent nights sleeping at their grandmother’s house to keep her company.

 

1943

 

Ourania’s husband Varsamas is taken (along with his boat, the Skilitsa) by the German military to Corinth, Greece. He spent four to six months doing forced labor, mostly loading and transporting wood. Varsamas missed Ourania’s death and funeral by three weeks.

Nov. 4

1943

60 yrs old

Ourania was upset when she accidentally spilled a bunch seeds and beans in her home, mixing all of them together. She spent the whole day trying to separate them. That evening, she suffered a stroke.

 

 

 

 

Nov. 5

1943

60 yrs old

Ourania died of a stroke in her daughter Kerasia’s home in Ano Klima, Skopelos. She was surrounded by her daughters, other family members, and close friends. She was buried the next day in the village cemetery behind the church of Ayïi Anaryeri. She was married for 37 years.

 

As of: August 6, 2009