GoStats web counter KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE – NEO Magazine


By on July 3, 2021
Dimitri C. Michalakis

by Dimitri C. Michalakis

When we started this magazine over a dozen years ago we wanted to connect the various generations of Greeks, and the various regions of Greek America to each other, and be a community forum: the platia where everybody could get together, young and old, and learn from each other.

As we all know, there is a vibrant world of Greek Americans out there—the older generation that has accomplished so much, against all odds, and created our modern history. And the succeeding generations who, while respecting the past, have forged paths of their own: the young strivers who have conquered the American landscape, while respecting their past.

Do we know these people?

Do the Greeks in New York know about the eminent Greeks and the work they’re done in Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Portland, Los Angeles?

Do the Greeks in New Orleans know about the eminent Greeks in Canton, Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, Albuquerque, New Mexico?

Or even just the ordinary people doing extraordinary things? I will never forget the man who made candles in Astoria—but travelled the world to fight for human rights. The donut man in Pittsburg who for years had self-published volumes of his elegiac poetry. The firebrand in Oregon who spoke so passionately about how we were losing our language in America after two thousand years of keeping it alive throughout our history like the Olympic flame. The contractor in Manhattan with his mad scheme of building a replica of Agia Sophia in America on one of his properties.

There is a world alive out there—and we hardly know it—because for all our virtues, we are forever insular: we know what’s going on in our omospondia, in our church, in our clubhouse or catering hall, but do we know what’s going on elsewhere in our Greek American communities and what these vital people are doing—something that could benefit us all and give us unity in these trying times, as we had unity throughout the tumult of our history?

That was the purpose of this magazine: to shine a light on all our work, regardless of where we live in America, regardless of what part of Greece we come from, regardless of how rich or poor we are. I remember driving at the crack of dawn to a big city to have a breakfast meeting with a possible investor in our magazine. And he said it would take millions to keep our magazine alive. We have kept it alive through our own fortitude for over a dozen years. I remember another meeting after dark in a trailer in the shadow of a bridge to talk with another possible investor, a bridge contractor, and a nice man, who listened to us patiently, all our arguments, and smiled patiently the whole time, but inevitably sent us on our way with his good wishes, and nothing else.

We have persevered because we believe in our mission, and believe that the story of the individual Greeks of America, of all generations, should be praised and highlighted for all of us to read about and to unite us with a common pride and spur us to further progress.

Please join us in this mission and don’t let the dream die.

Dimitri C. Michalakis

About Dimitri C. Michalakis

Dimitri C. Michalakis is Editor in Chief on NEO Magazine.