To Arms, They Come, The Greek, The Greek

The goodly town of Tarpon Springs, situated on the lower portion of Florida, is in a decidedly bad fix. The industry of the city is the sponge fishery, in which nearly all of the inhabitants are engaged. The Floridian method of gathering sponges has been from time immemorial, to drag them up from the vasty deep by means of the “hooker,” a kind of a three-pronged rake.

But a few years ago, some misguided Tarpon Springsite imported a Greek diver to settle in the town. The diver came, settled, dived and made a big thing out of it. Then he wrote for all his brothers, nephews, cousins and brothers-in-law to come and settle and dive.

And, accordingly they all came and settled and dived until they captured the town, cornered the market and put the Floridians out of business. In fact, Tarpon Springs has become a Greek town , with three Greek citizens to one American.

Even on the signs, instead of John Smith and Peter Brown, one finds the names of Demetrius Sminthins and Epaminondas Hesutontimorumenos. And the latter respectable gentlemen are controlling the sponge trade of Tarpon Springs, much to the disgust of the aborigines, whose acquaintance with the Greek language is by no means extensive , and who would blaspheme Homer and Aristophanes themselves, were they to butt into the sponge trade. Well a great many southern journals are just longing for white immigration. A glance at Tarpon Springs may suggest some ideas to them.

Source: The Appeal (St. Paul, Minn.): 10-22-1910 


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