Saturday, September 25, 2010

"HELLO...MY NAME IS BOB, AND..."

Dear Friends,


Well, I only have five more days left on Crete. I am as nervous about leaving Crete as a man on death row who is about to be executed! I have become fidgety and restless. Tonight, I wandered around the little seaside village of Amoudara, looking for anyone I might know, just to tell them that I only have five days left here!!!


I think I have come to recognize my problem: I am a "Crete-O-Holic"!!! Yes, I know what you are thinking, "Bob, how did you let yourself slip into the depths of becoming a "Crete-O-Holic?" I don't know how it happened...it just slipped up on me...and before I knew it...Crete had me in its grasp!!! I think that I first became a "Crete-O-Holic" on my first and only assignment to Iraklion Air Station in late 1968. After my first 18 months were drawing to a close, I requested, and was granted a one-year extension. Then, as that extension was drawing to a close, I requested, and was granted a two-month extension. I left Crete in August of 1971 after having spent 2 years, 8 months here on Crete. You would think that I would have had my fill of Crete, but Crete had become my drug of choice! I was hooked and Crete had me in its grip!


I returned to Crete in 2008 for a three month "fix", but that only primed my hunger for more! So, I came back again in 2009, hoping that my three month visit would quell any future desires for Crete, but I just wasn't satisfied. So, I returned for a third visit...this time realizing that I was hopelessly a..."Crete-O-Holic"!!!


I really believe there should be a support group created just for us...Crete-O-Holics Anonymous, or CA for short. However, CA should not be confused with California or with Clarksville Academy!!! It would be a support group created by us...and for us. I can just picture the attendance of my first meeting there. After an opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag, the members of Crete-O-Holics Anonymous would be required to stand and introduce themselves. I would stand, nervously shifting my weight from one foot to the other, all the while wringing and twisting my sweaty hands together, and then in a somewhat shaky voice, I would say, "Hello. My name is Bob. And, I'm a "Crete-O-Holic." At that moment, there would be a chorus from all the others seated in a circle around me who would echo in unison, "Hello, Bob." And, then, I would know that I was among friends!


I don't think there is a known cure for those of us who are "Crete-O-Holics", and, quite frankly, I hope there never will be. The most that we can do is gather in places like CreteStock Yahoo Group or in small groups like reunions, or if any of us are really fortunate we can actually make a return visit to Crete. But in our little groups of Crete-O-Holics Anonymous, we can lean on each other and share our concerns and address questions that may have no answers. But, it is somewhat reassuring to know there are others out there who are as addicted to Crete as the rest of us! So, when your mind begins to wander...and your thoughts become consumed with nothing but Crete, just remember...you are not alone!!!


Take care, stay well, and let me hear from you.


Your Friend and Fellow "Silent Warrior",


Bob Armistead

9 comments:

Dennis said...

Bob, I know exactly what you are talking about. I first spent the winter on Crete in 1971 (outside Agia Galini). I then returned in 1975 for a few months (spent some time in Matala). In 1980 I again spent most of the winter there. And then after my wife had a dream and at her insistence, in 2005 she and I spent a month exploring the island. And now we are ready to return for an extended stay. I would have to say that we are both "Creteaholics"!

Anonymous said...

dear bob,
yeah, me too, I know, what you are talking about. I had my first dose in spring 79, travelled a bit round the island, then met Scottie and stayed with him on a pig farm near by Iraklio until beginning 1980. So, that's why I am writing. I love your report about Scottie, the fotographs are wonderful, give me the heartaches. Could you contact me privately? Give me some more information? May be the adress of that home? Please mail me: crete1979@gmx.de Thanxxxx from Michaela.

Bob (Bobby) said...

Dear Dennis,

When you return for your extended stay on Crete, please check with me to see if I am also on Crete during that same time. I would love to get together with you and your wife for a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine or raki) and talk about all things Cretan!

Your Friend,

Bob Armistead

Robin's Nest said...

And definitely don't confuse it with Clarksville Academy :)

Anonymous said...

love it.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

I have followed your blog and greatly appreciate you sharing your experiences on Crete. Will you be returning this year? Just wondered so I can keep checking your blog. Stay safe.

Steve Dietz,
Dover,PA.
stdietz@comcast.net

gilberte said...

we will be on the beach of Matala 10-12/6. We are from Belgium. We want to hear the music from the 60-70 years when we where young and beautifull.
Since 68 we visit Greece and Matala every year.
see you

gilberte said...

we will be on the beach of Matala 10-12/6. We are from Belgium. We want to hear the music from the 60-70 years when we where young and beautifull.
Since 68 we visit Greece and Matala every year.
see you

Anonymous said...

j étais en 1976 a matala je n'ai pas connu scottie a cette époque il y a environ 15 ans j'ai pu discuté avec lui et il m'a dit etre venu a matala en 1982 je suis partie de matala début 1977 et depuis 1989 je suis dans ce village tous les ans