Mr. Goudas Events and News

Jun 1, 2014

In the Company of a Pair of “old geezers”


It’s 4 pm on the 1st of June 2014 and by all appearances, it’s a beautiful, sunny afternoon.

I have found myself in the quaint village of Pape and Danforth surrounded by nature and other houses in the company of a pair of “old geezers”-and I say that affectionately...

Both men are over seventy—this I assume because I know Mr. Goudas’s age so his compadre is not too far ahead or behind.

We are in Dimitri (Jim) Kottas’s back yard, on his deck to be exact.

You may remember Jim from Mr. Goudas’ article A Wise Sheppard.
He is also the author of five wonderful books; my personal favorite being his book of quotes ( Proverbs and Wise Sayings ), in Greek (Γνωμικα και Παροιμιες), and later followed up with the English version in 2009.

Since Mr. Goudas published the article about Dimitri Kottas, he has completed the writing and publishing of two more books. In the back of his mine, he admires Mr. Jim kottas for his work on Greek complicated history from the beginning of time. Even historians have admired him.

Latter Jim books were available in the public library of his home town.

 

I am being studious—or so I appear—little do they know that amidst their Greek blah blah blah, dice throwing and peculiar game of tavli I am musing, watching and recording their every move.

Tavli is an interesting game; it appears to be a “brainiac” game; the sort of game that requires its players to pay detailed attention to his opponents every move.

I have never played the game but would juxtapose it to Chess by nature of both games objective. I believe it is also called Backgammon-the rules however may be a little different.

By the way, did you know that in the '80s Mr. Peter Spyros Goudas was the President for the Canadian Chess Club Association located in High Park Toronto Ontario?

As a matter of fact, when he was 10 he began playing and soon thereafter began competing in championships.
He played to the point of madness- he was consumed with Chess. 

Perhaps I should enroll in Tavli College but until then let me focus on this afternoon…Mr. Goudas has a serious disposition but Jim Kottas seems contemplative…

Jim Kottas & Peter Spyros Goudas in tavli

It, therefore, comes as no surprise that   Mr. Goudas is leading 2 to 1…

I asked Jim Kottas “Aren’t you mad that you are losing? ” To which he responded “Not at all.
That’s why Peter likes to play with me.”

All this time Peter sits quietly with a smile on his face pretending to be unaware that a discussion about him is ensuing.

They continue their game of tavli into early dusk. By this time Mr. Goudas has won three rounds. 

Jim bids him good evening but they play once again, perhaps it’s his victory, perhaps just a whim.
Perhaps it’s an outlet to keep him away from everything.

You see I neglected to say when I began this piece.

That earlier this evening he was melancholy, he was seated at his computer with three cups of Greek coffee that Chantal made for him.

But his hearts emotion was visibly displayed on his face as a smile did not accompany his greeting.

I said, “Mr. Goudas, What’s happening to you?”  He looked at me sadly, then I left the room. He then had me read a story he’d written, then we listened to The Koukla Story, a sad story.

Now I wondered what I should do.

His food he did not even want to consume.

I offered to drive him wherever he pleased in hopes he would say yes and feel more at ease.

He contemplated, made phone calls, and then finally conceded… I got myself ready so that we could leave and take his bodyguard Shantal with us.

We headed on the highway on the 407 East to somewhere he knew but our destination remained unknown to me.

Though I concentrated on driving it became apparent to me that as we journeyed further away from his place his mood improved as did the sadness on his face…

We spoke, played reggae music and the audio of Canada Geese he directed me to exit and before you knew it we had reached.

A smile slowly crept to the corner of his cheeks--It’s like he left to worry, fear doubt and distress behind and on seeing his compadre he was as happy as a child. We all carry burdens in our heart buried deep of trials of failures of tasks incomplete. 

But time must be taken to reflect and renew one’s courage in order to conquer defeat.

For Mr. Goudas I guess Tavli is his outlet or momentary relief from all that the business was, is and forever he hopes will be…

Mr. Goudas is determined to make his Cambodian assistant Chantal world champion…Really I kid you not.

Click here to view the video clip of the Tavli master and his student Chantal. 

Santal had inspired Mr. Goudas to write an article about Cambodia since her father was one of the victims in the Holocaust which had taken place in Cambodia at the hands of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

Mr.Goudas has portrayed the story in details in Flyermall with the title Flyermall looking at Cambodia a country that had seen terror, misery,  genocide, war, refugee camps, hunger, executions, displacement of part or entire families. in addition the era of Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, among others who authorized the bombings over Cambodia killing more than 200000 people.  

The Cambodian government has invited him to the country to present him an award for his contribution to Cambodia history.

Of course, this Tavli video was made in 2012.
Since then Chantal has improved her skills and learned two more games of Tavli by the name Portes and Fevga.

You can also see the video on youtube by searching the word "tavli".

Contributed by Mickel Allen

MICKEL-ALLEN

Mickel Allen IS WRITER FOR NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES  

If you wise to send a letter to Spyros Peter Goudas Click Here

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