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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Teacher


This is a coin that my mother-in-law found when she was digging in her garden.  It's an ancient coin with the goddess Athena on one side and Pegasus on the other. We had it put on a chain.










That's incredible, right? To find an ancient artifact while gardening. But really, it's not so unusual in the ground of Margariti or in any other small village in Greece. In fact, once upon a time, somewhere in the 1960s, there was a teacher in the Margariti School, Mr. Kakothaskalos, who understood the value of those items and sought the help of the children to create a wonderful museum right there in their classroom.

Nick was one of those students and he remembers it as a very exciting time.  Each day students brought in coins and ancient relics that their parents had at home. They placed them around the room, labeled them, and decorated for a surprise opening day of the museum when they would invite the whole town to come in and see it. Even my father-in-law, Toma, had a nice little collection of coins that Nick gingerly wrapped in a handkerchief and brought to the Margariti Classroom Museum.

Finally, the class was packed with coins and artifacts. The surprise was ready to be unveiled. The next day, the children were to tell their parents and then they would be invited to come and see the fantastic history that was on display.

But, the next day, the teacher was gone and so were all the artifacts.  

And no one ever saw him again . . . or the artifacts.  

The man was a thief.  But he stole so much more than coins that day.  There are no words to express the disappointment those children felt or the horror of those who had lost gold and silver that they had held for generations. My only hope is that this man suffered in some way for his crime against the students and parents of Margariti. Perhaps one of the gods caught up with him.


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