Theodore Siomporas, named after his grandfather Theodore Samaras, was known to most Annapolitans as “Teddy” or “Ted”.
Teddy grew up in the Siomporas house located behind the S&S Restaurant at 1803 West Street. He would play outside all day long, with skin that was much darker than his playmates. Teddy had one major assignment as a pre-schooler: be on the lookout for buses pulling into the parking lot of the S&S Restaurant. West Street in the 1950s had been US 50 – the major gateway into Annapolis. The S&S was the first restaurant encountered by buses coming into Annapolis from New York/Baltimore/DC, unloading scores of hungry passengers for a quick luncheon before continuing their journeys into the crowded streets of downtown Annapolis. Ted’s Mom, Evangeline, would don a waitress uniform to help provide waitress service to the hungry patrons in the rapidly filling booths.
One event for little Teddy was out of the ordinary: On October 30, 1953, mother Evangeline pulled 7-year old Teddy out of his Germantown Elementary School 2nd Grade pre-Halloween party, where Teddy was dressed in an embarrassing outfit: the skirt of the Greek Evzone palace guards. Unbeknown to him, Teddy was being driven to join a crowd outside of the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel, where King Paul and Queen Frederica of Greece, on a US tour, came to Annapolis to lay a wreath at the crypt of John Paul Jones. The King and Queen had been given formal military honors, with 21 gun salutes. (Annapolis Greek-American Joyce Characklis, an administrator at the Naval Academy, played a large role in producing this event).
Teddy was a “Baby Boomer” who grew up in the typical manner for an Annapolis area first generation Greek-American boy: boating, fishing, crabbing, water-skiing, Chesapeake Bay beaches, Ocean City, Annapolis High School, YMCA basketball, Head Altar Boy, Greek School, Sunday School, Junior GOYA, Kalanda (Greek Christmas caroling), sports car (Austin Healy Sprite) and USNA, Baltimore Colts and Orioles games. When “occasionally” hooking school, Ted could be found at: Chris’ or Pete’s pool hall, day trips to Baltimore or DC, or in poker games.
Throughout the years his years in Annapolis schools, Ted maintained close friendships with other 2nd generation Greek-American children. Growing up in a female-oriented family (8 first cousins and siblings, none of them boys), Ted gravitated to the boys of the extended Samaras family (2nd cousins), Tommy Kallis, and John Pantelides. His only playmate outside of school was his athletic little Sister Joanne.
Linda describes eating mageritsa soup
During their engagement, Ted took Linda around Annapolis to introduce his fiancee to his Greek-American friends and their families. One of Ted’s longest-standing friends was Johnny Pantelides, whose father Savvas operated the Royal restaurant downtown. John recalls Linda’s introduction to Savvas in this video clip of his “roast” from Ted and Linda’s 50th anniversary party, held in 2018:
Johnny Pantelides tale of Savvas Pantelides at the Royal Restaurant
Ted and Linda’s wedding
What followed was over five decades of a successful partnership between Ted and Linda, with the highlight of their lives being their four children (Anastasia, Angela, Richard, and Alexandra), and nine grandchildren, most of whom live in or near the Annapolis area. All daughters were married, and many grandchildren were baptized, in Greek Orthodox churches, mostly at Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Annapolis. Members of the extended family have been involved in community affairs including teaching or being taught in Sunday School and Greek School, Christmas pageants, Greek Festivals, and Greek Folk dancing. Daughter Alexandra exhibited coolness in not reacting to the loss of her kerchief in this video clip from the 1992 Greek Folk Dance:
Greek Folk Dance Festival 1992
Ted and his family moved due to career opportunities. Leaving their house in Hillsmere, across the street from Ted’s Dad & Mom’s and Sister’s houses, they moved to and from Annapolis to New Orleans, to Crofton, to Huntsville Alabama, and back to Crofton, where they settled down for four decades. Linda stayed at home to raise the four children, then subsequently returned to college to complete graduate work leading to licensure as a professional counselor; she practiced for 15 years before retiring. Ted ran contracting programs for NASA and the Department of Energy, including:
- Tracking and Relay Satellite System
- Renewable Energy program, including establishing the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Hubble Space Telescope
- Space Shuttle Propulsion (Solid Rocket Booster, Main Engine, External Tank)
Since 1994, Ted has been a part-time consultant to industry, for Government contracting matters. (Linda describes his job as being a “Government contracting pontificator”). Ted also did some government contracting consulting work alongside old Annapolis Greek-American pals Ted Samaras and Nick Pantelides. In 2014, when Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides (Johnny’s son) tapped Ted to lead the City of Annapolis’ quest for a privately funded Renewable Energy Park, explained to the Annapolis City Council by Ted in this video:
Ted Siomporas explains renewable energy park to City Council
Ted, Linda, and family have enjoyed the living along the Chesapeake Bay, having cruised its waters along both the Eastern and Western Shores for the better part of five decades, including many day trips to ports along the Bay and many overnights. Add camping in the Appalachian and Rocky mountains, frequently visiting historical sites from Boston to Charleston and Linda’s birthplace of New Orleans, a dozen vacations in Yellowstone Park, and many other trips along the Pacific Coast from Alaska to Baja California, western Europe from Greece to Ireland, and cruises to the Caribbean and Atlantic & Pacific seacoasts. Ted and Linda were season ticket holders for over three decades in support of the Baltimore Colts and Ravens, and Navy, plus hundreds of Orioles games, including both Ravens Super Bowls and many Orioles World Series games. A favorite hobby has been going on Ravens road trips to most of the NFL stadiums and many away Orioles games.
We live the Good Life near Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay. We enjoy our friends, gardening, boating, cruises, traveling, and being “retired”. The highlight of our lives continues to be our children and, especially, our nine grandchildren: there is no greater joy than hearing them call me “Papou”.