Jim Kottas by Spyros Peter Goudas
A WISE SHEPHERD
TRIBUTE TO A GREAT MAN
DIMITRI (JIM) KOTTAS
By Spyros Peter Goudas
Σπυρος Πητερ Γουδας
Today, 03 March 2013, I would like to talk about a gentleman by the name Dimitri (Jim) Kottas.
Dimitri was born February 28, 1943, in Prosvoro, Ipiros, in the northern west part of Greece in the middle of World War II.
In 1948, during the Civil War in Greece, he was taken from Greece to Czechoslovakia with other Greek children by an organized group called Andartes (paidomazoma).
It is important for one to understand this issue by viewing the film Eleni.
Eleni  by CBS Productions - Greek Subtitles
This is a film about the greek civil war, when Nicholas' mother was executed, and now, after going to the NYC, he comes back, despite his promise to his mother to never return.
He comes back to find out what really happenned to his mother, Eleni.
There are Greek subtitles.
All rights are reserved to their perspective owners, I did not create this film.
The film looks back on the effects of the Greek Civil War on the remote Greek village of his upbringing where they were taught the Czechoslovakian and the Russian languages.
Paidomazoma - The Abducted Greek Children
I did not make this video and I do not own it. I uploaded it solely for educational purposes.
The copyrights (©) belong to the producer of this video, who deserves all my gratitude.
It is a fact that the toughest people in the world today are the people who were born between the years 1938 to 1945 in Europe.
In 1955, the children were released from the camp and Dimitri returned to Greece where he resided for 15 years working as a shepherd looking after his father’s sheep.
In 1970, he immigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Immediately thereafter, he found employment in a restaurant as a busboy.
His ambition led him to learn how to cook and he became a professional chef.
This led to a 4-year term of employment with Cara Foods one of the largest catering companies that provided food for travelers on airlines at the Toronto International Airport.
In 1975, he gained employment at a meat corporation for 8 years and upgraded his education through night courses at George Brown College aiming to ultimately become a graphic designer hoping to open his own business.
He accomplished this dream by starting up an enterprise called, Photo Menu Signs, designing the menus for different companies including restaurants.
Unfortunately, in 1997, he suffered an injury which forced him to retire.
At age 55, he was still full of energy and with his background in graphic design, photo-shop, in-design, adobe illustrator, a bag full of knowledge and the will to write a book.
In the initial stages, he decided to document Greek history in his own words, but soon realized that Greek history is a very complicated issue, dating back many thousands of years.
Consequently, he thought the best way to proceed was to obtain and highlight information.
In addition, since he was adept at photo shop, in-design and adobe illustrator, after years of secluding himself, he plunged into this effort, incorporating photos and stories to create one of the finest books the Greeks will ever hold in their hands.
The extraordinary book by Jim Kottas entitled:
Just a Look in History and our Civilization.
(Mia Matia στην Iστορια και στον πολιτισμο μας).
Greek history is a subject of many books and many, many titles and could be very tiring for the younger generation to read and grasp.
However, this particular book is a compact compilation of information that does not only contain beautiful pictures of Greek civilization, but includes write-ups and explanations in such simple language that anyone, young or old, could discover his/her roots through history.
One successful book led to the creation of another.
He proceeded to introduce the great philosophers of ancient Greece, titled,
The Great Philosophers of Greek History.
Οι μεγαλοι Σοφοι της Αρχαιας Ελλαδας
Are you familiar with any of the following names: Anaxagoras, Demosthenes, Pythagoras, Diogenes, Euripides, Thucydides, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Asclepius?
Of course, these names may all seem foreign, “Greek” or like the names of people in an alien or outer space movie.
However, for instance the name Asclepius, is the name of the man who discovered medicine and was the first doctor in the world.
Further, have you ever noticed or paid attention to the universal symbol for medicine that is imprinted on all medial documents worldwide.
Asclepius was born in 1247 B.C. (BC is the term used for before Christ), Yes, I do understand. Who possibly cares about someone born way back then?
The truth is, reading this book by Dimitri Jim Kottas (Δημητρη Κοττας) will introduce you to this and other significant details and inventions attributed to the ancient Greeks.
In fact, I will refer to a recent film made by Tom Hanks,
My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which was produced in the English language.
In one part of the film the father of the bride by the name, Mr. Portocallos (Mr. Orange), Michael Constantine made a statement in the Greek language that was not translated into the English language within the film.
However, I will tell you what that statement means: It states that when the Greeks wrote Philosophy the rest of the world knew nothing about it.
The history of Greece is a tremendous undertaking for anyone, even for historians.
With this in mind, Mr. Jim Kottas decided to study this topic in-depth.
He realized that he could compress information in such a way that you feel you have mentally travelled back in time and found answers to present day questions, even the wonderful pictures and drawings become live in front of your eyes.
The completion of this second book led to a third one,
Proverbs and Wise Sayings,
in Greek (Γνωμικα και Παροιμιες), and later followed up with the English version in 2009.
Since then, Dimitri has worked tirelessly on two additional books which he hopes to publish at the end of 2013.
Collecting the material, writing a book, incorporating photos and the eventual publishing is an enormous amount of work for one individual.
On Saturday, February 23, 2013, while I was attending a gathering where awards were presented to the best students, a display of my books was set up in the lobby.
SPYROS PETER GOUDAS and KOLOKOTRONIS
Obviously, many attendees collected some of my books which are published in both the English and Greek languages.
At one point, a gentleman approached me and proceeded to show me some of the books he had written.
I was very preoccupied at the time talking to individuals, autographing books and conversing with the public, therefore, I was unable to give my full attention to his request.
I made an appointment to meet with him one evening the following week.
The meeting occurred a few days later at 6:00 p.m. I found his books much more than interesting.
I was fascinated. I was unable to read the books in detail but I overviewed the highlights of the material and was amazingly impressed with the contents and the amount of work that a single person could put into the creation of those books.
He asked for my opinion and I told him that he would never, never see the fruits of his works within his lifetime.
However, his work is priceless and is a piece of art, and that his work and his name would live on forever and be part of Greek heritage and culture.
At that time, he was very tired and asked for a blanket so that he could rest for a while on the couch in my office.
For those of you familiar with my writings, you would know I begin my workday at 4:00 a.m.
As I was watching him fall asleep, I thought to myself should I have to write an article about this man, what would the title be?
At this precise moment, I recalled his early career beginnings as a Shepherd and I decided that the title would be, A Wise Shepherd, and that is the title of my article.
It is important for one to understand that a little boy named Jimmy was taken from his country at a very early age and the few years that he attended school he was educated in the foreign languages mentioned above.
Many of you may know that the Greek language is very difficult and yet so rich.
Additionally, the Greek culture, history and civilization are almost endless and for someone to undertake the task of compiling the information into a book of this stature is an impossible task made possible.
At this point, after having met the man and having completely examined the books, I admit that I sincerely admire his work and I wish that one day all his work would be translated into English and other languages.
Spyros Peter Goudas
Η ιστορία της Ελλάδας είναι μια τεράστια δουλια για τον καθeνα, ακόμη και για τους ιστορικούς. Έχοντας αυτό υπόψη, οτι ο Δημητρης Κοττας αποφάσισε να μελετήσει αυτό το θέμα σε βάθος.
Συνειδητοποίησε ότι θα μπορούσε να συμπιέσει τις πληροφορίες με έναν τέτοιο τρόπο που αισθάνεστε ότι έχετε ταξιδεψει διανοητικά πίσω στον χρονο και οι απαντήσεις στις παρούσες ερωτήσεις, ακόμη και οι θαυμάσιες εικόνες και τα σχέδια γίνονται ζωντανές μπροστα στα ματια σας.
Η ολοκλήρωση του δεύτερου βιβλίου οδήγησε σε ένα τρίτο , στα ελληνικά (Γνωμικα και Παροιμιες), και αργότερα ακολουθημένος με την αγγλική εκδοχή 2009.
Από τότε, ο Δημητρης Κοττας έχει εργαστεί ακούραστα σε δύο ακομη βιβλία που ελπίζει για να δημοσιεύσει στο τέλος 2013.
Μαζεβοντας το υλικό, για το γράψιμο ενός βιβλίου, η ενσωμάτωση των φωτογραφιών και η ενδεχόμενη έκδοση είναι ένα τεράστιο ποσό εργασίας για ένα άτομο. Εντούτοις, η εργασία του είναι ανεκτίμητη και είναι ένα κομμάτι της τέχνης.
Η εργασία του Δημητρη Κοττας και το όνομά του θα ζούν για πάντα και θα είναι ένα μέρος της ελληνικης κληρονομιάς και του πολιτισμού.
Spyros Peter Goudas Σπυρος Πητερ Γουδας
Should you wish to obtain a copy of Dimitri (Jim) Kottas books, contact him at 416-466-2677 or at 128 Eaton Avenue (Pape and Danforth), Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4J 2Z8.