Joanne Siomporas Brew
Mom (Evangeline Samaras) was born in Annapolis in 1922. Her parents, Theodore Samaras and Katherine Economou, were from Trikala, Greece, settling in Annapolis in 1920. Mom was the second of five children. She was smart, loving and a great role model. She taught us to be independent and useful. I always thought twice before claiming to be bored…Mom always could find house or yard work for me that needed to be done . She was the second of five children. She was smart, loving and a great role model. She taught us to be independent and useful. I always thought twice before claiming to be bored…mom always could find house or yard work for me that needed to be done.
The fifties were an innocent time to be a child in the U.S. Our parents brought us up in the Greek Orthodox Church of Annapolis. We were also to attend Greek School, which was held two days a week after school in the lower level of our church, and just happened to be a block away from the Jr High and High school. I wasn’t a very good student in Greek School and (to my sorrow) did not learn the language well.
Our little Greek community in Annapolis seemed small but was mighty.
We were usually all involved in Church holidays, Christmas caroling at each home, “Name Day” gatherings at the homes of those who celebrated their Saint’s holiday, bake sales, Philoptochos, AHEPA, dances, Greek School, Sunday School, choir, altar boys, and basketball tournaments with the Baltimore churches.
Although many sports were not offered to girls in the fifties, and many immigrant parents didn’t support girls’ sports, Ted prepared me to be physically active and play a 4 person version of softball. (Until I learned to swing a bat I was to start on 1st base).
Into my teens I was able to keep up and learn other more sporting activities. Water skiing became my summer passion. Through my high school years I spent most of my summer days on my l4’ boat…crabbing in the morning, swimming and skiing in the afternoon.
I was in great physical shape and pulling in some money on the always sought after crabs; Dad and I enjoyed crabbing most mornings in the summer. He let me keep all the sales.
Going through the University of Maryland, College Park, in the late 60’s was an energetic time for me as I had little desire to focus on studies. I left school without graduating in 1969 and jumped immediately into marriage. Jim and I were married in 1970, having three children…Tom, Kate, and Amy. I was determined to give them as many opportunities as possible, which included my love for travel and sports.
All along my children were playing several sports. I observed as Kate and Amy played lacrosse in 6th and 4th grade. Not being familiar with it, I became mesmerized. I wanted so badly to contribute to this activity. As I watched from the sidelines; I could tell that the actual training of the game was not universally available. Many well-meaning parents stepped in to help but their efforts were often lost in non-continuity, lack of experience and training for coaches.
At that point I set out to actually learn the game, its rules, history and teaching techniques. I soon found that there were very few books or tapes available for that purpose. Finding a copy of the Rules of Womens’ Lacrosse became my bible. I studied it, bookmarked it and highlighted it. I was determined to be a coach for young teen aged girls. My achievements in lacrosse were overshadowed by those of my daughters and my involvement with camps, clubs, travel teams had become all-consuming. My daughters had played at James Madison U. and Kate went on to coach at Vanderbilt and Ohio U. Amy ended her career as an All American.
As I continue to live on the same street for almost 60 years I am in awe of my wonderful life. I have no regrets but miss so many of my relatives and friends who have passed. I thank my amazing parents, Tom and Evangeline Siomporas, for my strong upbringing. My grown children and five amazing grandchildren fill my live with happiness.
I have moved on to a part time job that included no sports no food service and a simple routine.
Life is good….
Joanne Siomporas Brew