* A PROFILE OF COURAGE – by Tina Chippas

We love heroes. They are people who demonstrate gallant, selfless and audacious behaviors to help others and we’re as proud of them as if we knew them personally.

A first-generation Greek-American, I was schooled in the great heroes of Grecian myths and history:  Homer, Plato, Socrates, Zeus and his family of amazing, often-mischievous children, to name but a few. I took it for granted that heroes existed, fictional and real. I knew I had heroes in my family: a father who, at age nine and parentless, came to America to work. He demonstrated a work ethic and code of honor for his children to follow; a brother, an Air Force belly gunner, who died in the Pacific. Surely, he was my hero. And a mother who epitomized all that was good and pure in helping others. Yes, I knew people I considered heroic.

But I had never known my heroic grandfather, a Greek-Orthodox priest, until forty years after his death. Call it kismet: I was in Berchtesgaden, Germany touring the salt mine where Hitler manufactured fighter planes deep underground. Hitler’s summer home, “Eagle’s Nest,” was visible from where I stood. I wandered into a tiny cemetery and stopped short. On each large tombstone was a portrait of a German soldier in uniform. The swastikas leaped out at me. With three brothers in that war, one lost and another wounded, it was still too real and painful. Hitler was a crazed demon to the little girl who saw her mother dressed in mourning black, weeping for the oldest son she would never see again, for the two she might never see again. I stared at the grim faces of Nazi soldiers and officers, chilled to the bone though a hot July sun beat down on me.

“Incredible,” I said to an American tourist from my bus, “that we can see this so many years later and still be affected by it.” He nodded silently. We exchanged names: his was Jacob. He asked the nationality of my last name and I told him it was Greek.

Jacob smiled.  “I’m Jewish. If it weren’t for a Greek Orthodox priest in Athens who sheltered my parents from German soldiers, I wouldn’t be here!” I had the strangest feeling that I knew the answer to my question when I asked if he knew the priest’s name.“Father Nicholas,” he replied.


It was my grandfather!






Tina Chippas is a founder of the North Palm Beach Writers’ Consortium to support advanced writers to seek publication. She has been published in educational texts and professional periodicals and journals. Tina currently resides in South Florida, where she is working on her next novel and writing a column for a southern Florida newspaper, Condo News. You can read her essays and views on various topics as well as flights of fancy tales about her dogs on condonewsonline.com/  Tina’s new book, Affair in Athens, will be published by Oaklight Publishing under the name “Matina Nicholas,” within a few months.

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About loiswstern

I was in education for just over 20 years when I unexpectedly pursued another passion and entered the world of authors and journalists. I have since published two non-fiction, full length books on different aspects of beauty, but also avidly endorse the confluence of Inner and Outer beauty. I have written feature articles for Long Island Beauty Guide and LI Woman, and have served as Editor-at-large for MakeMeHeal.com, the largest Internet site for plastic surgery and beauty needs. I enjoy researching what's new in the world of aesthetics & anti-aging and devote one of my blogs: www.FabulousBeautyBlog.wordpress.com to sharing cutting edge, hype-free information. I devote my second blog to my other passion: writing, collecting and sharing stories to warm the spirit and inspire the soul. To this end, I have created an 'Authors Helping Authors' project/contest, to create books for inspiration, the first of which is titled: Tales 2 Inspire ~ Beyond Coincidence. It is a jewel of a book, filled with inspiring stories and full color original photos and/or drawings. If you're a talented writer with one inspiring story to share, visit www.tales2inspire.com to learn how to participate. FREE to enter. All you need is the talent and perseverance to do so. Lots of positive platform building opportunities for the winners. Learn more at: www.tales2inspire.com.

Posted on December 1, 2012, in Lois' Contest, Tales2Inspire, Tales2Inspire Contest, TALES2INSPIRE WRTERS CONTEST, Words to Inspire and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Tina, what a sad but wonderful tale, it brings back memories. I remember the time I was a little girl in Massachusetts during World War 2, when the Italians invaded Greece. I accompanied an adult as we went door-to-door in my small home town, soliciting money for The Greek War Relief shortly after the invasion. In those days most families didn’t have much money, but they gave generously what they could afford.
    Like you, I never knew my Greek grandparents. Someday, I plan to revisit Greece and drive to the Peloponnese region of Greece and visit their grave site.
    Thank you for your beautiful story.
    Pauline Hager

    • Pauline, although we have never actually met, I know you through your writing, and have learned of your facinating traves, but never knew about your Greek heritage. I’m sure that will be of great interest to Tina.

      thank you for taking the time to hare your memories.
      Very best,
      Lois W.Stern
      Creator of the Tales2Inspire contest

    • Thank you, Pauline, for your comments and your own story. I hope you do get to Greece and experience the soul satisfying connection to long-gone relatives. I thought I owed it to my mother to write about this man who sacrificed himself in the name of humankind and God.
      Good luck!
      Tina Chippas

  2. So how are we related? Because there aren’t so many Chippas’ out there.

  3. Martin, I actually thought your name was mine with a misspelling of the first name!
    Are we related? What is the national origin of your Chippas? Is it a shortened version?
    It would be interesting to note that.
    Please respond on tinachipp@gmail.com…much easier for me to log on.

  1. Pingback: INTRODUCING TINA CHIPPAS AND HER AWE INSPIRING STORY: A Profile of Courage « Tales2Inspire

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