[Featuring publications on area history, both present day and in thepast. Offeredas a guide and inspiration for those who peruse used book stores.]
Saugatuck Art Colony [1945?] n.p.,5 1/2 x 8 1/2, saddlestitched. Translatedby Rae Dalvin.
George Coutoumanos was part owner of theAthenian Tobacco Co of
In 1944 the Greek American Tribune of New
York Citypublished a small prose work written by George Coutoumanoscalled Saugatuck Art Colony, inseveral installments. Greek literary critics called it a new literary style,prose with a touch of poetry. Thefollowing year it was translated into English by Rae Dalvin,formerly of the theater department of
Coutoumanos was amuch-loved fixture in Saugatuck. He was tall, with a straight back, and alwayswore a full suit. With his cane punctuating the way he would walk for miles,often hanging out at park benches along
George andJenny had seven children. A daughter, Anna, opened a restaurant in Saugatuckand a son, Clarence, was for a while associated with the Sand Bar on
In the 1950she published three books of Greek poetry. Their titles are translated
The smallvolume Saugatuck Art Colony receivedmuch wider distribution in town, and some of the copies that have been locatedhave notations that would indicate that at least two resorts placed a copy ineach room. The imagery is poetic:
The romanticand magic
George died in1962 following a fall at the age of 82. He and Jenny are buried in
Just beforeChristmas, 1996, the widow of the youngest Coutoumanosson, Steve, and her son who is now a resident of
another son of Georgeand Jenny. Also, tucked away in a big cardboard box, is a large body ofcorrespondence, in Greek, written by George during his time in Saugatuck. Thegrandson is now taking steps to have it translated and promises to sharerelevant results with Saugatuck, the Greek poet's adopted home.
Copies of the little booklet
Did you everhave anyone snitch goodies you had stashed for later consumption at home or atwork? Some mill hands in Saugatuck back in 1877 did, and here's how they solvedthe problem and caught the thief (from the June 29, 1877,
IPECAC -- Themen in the old Johnson Mill have missed their lunch frequently of late, andwere much troubled to find who was perpetrator of the nightly thefts. Finallyyoung Ripley, who was one of the victims concluded to try and find him out. Sohe carefully concealed some Ipecac in some jelly. The goodies were missed asusual, but it was not long before one of the boys at work in the mill began tobe fearfully sick and was compelled to admit that he had eaten the jelly, butthat it was a mean trick to serve a fellow so. One day in bed was sufficient toput his stomach in order and it is hoped that the lesson will not soon be forgotten.
I remember asa boy my grandmother used to talk about being put in the poor house if wedidn't mind our p's and q's.I always thought this was an imaginary place, but apparently it was not. Theyreally existed as the Commercial Record forJanuary 18, 1878, attests:
There are 67persons, of all ages and sexes in the
Times must havebeen very hard then as a place such as that is unheard of in this countrytoday. Makes one a little grateful for all the benefits we have here inAmerican today.-- BK