PHOTO TRIVIA AND TOUCHSTONES
Political intrigue and violence, romance and individual aspirations in conflict with larger forces, make 'paradise' a very complex locale.
Many thanks to Anthony Ayiomamitis who allowed me to reproduce this picture.
1964 street vendor photo of author at 18 in Piraeus harbour
...dreamers, divers and drama in the Gulf of Argos
The story behind the story:
The premise and lead characters of The Keli Dowry leapt from the very moment of my experience as diver on an American dig in the Gulf of Argos in 1968 -- due partly to the intensely elemental locale and archaeological adventure, partly to the key characters being real in origin. That skeleton haunted me for years while I ‘served time’ as free-lance journalist and criminal lawyer ( I flattered myself in pretending I was a third-rate John Mortimer, waiting to explode into something meritorious ).
1968 was the year of R.F.K.’s assassination and heightened frustration in Viet Nam; the brutal perversion of all things Greek by the Colonels’ Junta in Athens was in full swing, and, it was the summer of my graduation from Honours Classics at Trinity College and acceptance to grad school at the U.of Penn.-- and there I was, returning to the sensual, wind-swept islands, where the scents of eucalyptus, bougainvillea, donkey, souvlaki and retzina, the salt waves and pervasive royal blue, reminded one of the roots of life.
Later, political cynicism gradually put flesh on the skeleton -- moving the central period to 1973 for dramatic emphasis ( the year the junta began to implode ); my classical education and research into modern Greek political history piled up notes and snippets over the years, knowing I would, some day, have to filter everything into print. In time, I accepted that the core story was twofold: a good tale ( excuse value judgment ); and, expiation of my own ‘roads-taken’ recriminations -- ‘Cale’ dumps law & home for Greece & the dig – I ditched archaeology & Greece for the law…