Narratives are personal stories that help enrich the reader’s understanding of a time period, person, place, or event. These are first-person views of history taken from personal recollections, memoirs, diaries, and oral histories.

Information included in this section is not fact checked by the Encyclopedia staff. The author of the Narrative is entirely responsible for its content.

Nick Avlos of Fort Smith and Little Rock was a relative of my grandfather, Theo Avlos, of Fort Smith. Nick made his fortune in the United States, and he and his wife returned to Greece to live out the remainder of their lives. They lived the good life in Greece with a huge sprawling gated house and many servants. They never had any children. Along with Mr. Katsavis, actually spelled Catsavis, my grandfather was big in St. George’s Greek Orthodox church in Fort Smith. He and Mr. Catsavis were chanters in the church and huge contributors.
There were about seven Greek-owned restaurants on Garrison Avenue during World War II, and they all made fortunes. The Greek soldiers who were stationed at Fort Chaffee were invited to the church and welcomed into the homes of many of the Greeks in the community. Almost all of the Greek immigrants in Fort Smith were in the restaurant business, and all of them became wealthy and were well known and respected. They all learned to speak English as soon as possible. In fact, I couldn’t detect an accent when my grandfather talked. Most Greek immigrants have someone else to thank for their prosperity, as others would help them get started. Many of them got loans from a family member or a friend of the family, and every cent was paid back on merely a handshake. After they were set up in business and doing fine, it was their duty to help someone else in the old country, so the cycle went on.

Mary Avlos-Dailey
Fort Smith, AR