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With Stale Bread You Make Bread Pudding!

My Childhood Among the People and
Food of the Virginia Grill Restaurant

by Stamatina P. Yocheved Samson, Ph.D.


  • ISBN: 978-1-935710-04-2
  • 6" x 9", 88 pages, Paperback
  • Published by Rifll Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication Date: November 5, 2013

TEXT FROM THE BACK COVER:


Autobiography / History / Indianapolis / Immigration

An immigrant-owned, working-man's, downtown middle-America restaurant in the 1960s, is the real life stage for Dr. Samson's childhood recollections.

Her father, Paul Vavul, immigrated from Greece to the United States and eventually chose Indianapolis, Indiana, as his home. Functionally illiterate, he created the Virginia Grill in 1939 with a blend of keen intelligence and street savvy.

In numerous wall display cases, patrons to the restaurant could view Mr. Vavul's collection of guns which he proclaimed to be the single largest in the Midwest. His gun collection became his iconic advertising tool for the restaurant, and were centrally featured on all Virginia Grill promotional items.

In vivid stories, Dr. Samson tells us what it was like being a child of immigrants, and the range of characters she encountered at the restaurant, both behind and in front of the counter---all from her unique, thoughtful, and personable perspective.

Her stories, along with her numerous black and white photos, provide a fascinating window on civil rights era Indianapolis.


About the Author:


After playing and working hard, and learning all sorts of things in her parents' restaurant, Stamatina Vavul became a professional oboist.

Unfortunately, that career was short lived as slowly her hands became uncoordinated, and she developed scotomata (blind areas in her vision).

She was finally diagnosed as having Multiple Sclerosis. The diagnosis came during her first year of marriage to Joel Samson. The couple is now in their 39th year of marriage! The couple’s twin adult daughters reside near their parent’s home. However, the Samsons’ home is truly ruled by Giggles, Dr. Samson’s assistance dog.

Doctor Samson cannot be held down. Over the years she has held jobs in sales, business management, and retail management. For nine years, she was an entertainment agent and producer, working with ethnic and national performers, conventions, and organizations. She has earned a BA in Communication, a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Counseling (psychology). Her most meaningful position was, and is, being the head of her own private counseling practice. And, her most prominent achievement was the development of ArtsWORK Indiana, an organization which helps people with disabilities either find positions working in the arts, or become independent artists.

Currently, Dr. Samson uses a voice-operated computer system and telephone, as her hands are quite disabled. Her eyesight is poor, and she uses an electric wheelchair—with which she can control herself and her world. She's a pleasure to visit and speak with.

Dr. Stamatina P. Yocheved Samson has lived a very full life of learning and service, despite her disability. While she is semi-retired, she still has a few patients and is still working at sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for living a thoughtful life. She maintains a very pleasant disposition, and looks forward to many more productive years.




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