After twenty-seven and a half years of teaching, in the North Carolina Community College System, Dr. Manikas retired and moved to Tampa in 2002 where he met his wife, Nancy. He became an adjunct instructor at Hillsborough Community College and St. Petersburg College.

He left St. Peterburg College in 2012 but still teaches at HCC. His subjects are American History and political science. While teaching in North Carolina, Dr. Manikas wrote many articles on history and political science for Salem Press. Lately, he has written pamphlets on history and short biographies and had Amazon.com publish them. The subject in the biography, Christine Scourtes is ninety- four years old. She has lived a full and varied life.

Her life story paralleled the story of the Greek Community in Tampa, Florida. Her parents, Canellos and Maria, were immigrants from Sparta, Greece. Christine was born in Vidalia, Geogia, and while growing up she learned to speak in English and Greek. Her father was concerned with the Greek cultural upbringing of his children, and in 1929 her father moved the family to Tampa, Florida. The family settled in Hyde Park, and Canellos opened his restaurant across the street from the post office and called it the Post Office Café.

There were very few Greek families living in Hyde Park during that time period, but they kept the Greek culture and Greek language alive. They acquired Greek school teachers, especially single men from Greece. According to Christine the teachers were very strict. She relates the strictness surrounding her at Greek school and at home. Christine’s mother was a disciplinarian because she was widowed at an early age, and she had three daughters to take care.

Maria did not believe in “spare the rod and spoil the child.” Christine loved school and was a very good student. At home she played school with her two younger sisters. She chose to play the role of teacher because she liked to put red marks on their papers like in school. Christine and her family frequently went to Tarpon Springs, and visited her Uncle George Stamas, who was her father’s brother-in-law. His two sons, Peter and Nick, after W.W. II, went into the boat-building business.

They cofounded Stamas Yacht Company which competed with Chris Craft, the number one builder of boats in the U.S. When Christine’s father passed her mother took charge at the restaurant where Maria hosted Greek soldiers from MacDill Airforce Base during WW II. One of her customers was George Zaharias, of Greek descent. George was a famous wrestler, and his wife was Babe Zaharias, a famous golfer, was the most outstanding woman athlete in the world.

At the age of seventeen Christine graduated from Plant High in 1914, and then she attended Tampa Business College which offered a five-month curriculum. Upon finishing Business College Christine she entered the workforce. When she worked for the McCloskey Shipyards Christine met Ben Lewis, her first love. She wanted to get serious with him, but she was brought up to listen to her parents. Maria told her to marry someone like you, who believes in the same things, has the same faith and goes to the same church, even though Tampa did not have one then.

In 1950 Mary Denise was born; therefore, Christine took time off to care for her children. In 1963 at the age of thirty-nine she started taking classes, one at a time at the University of Tampa while working full-time. One day in 1950, while visiting her Stamas cousins at Uncle George’s restaurant, Christine met Frank Scourtes, her future husband. Frank was a restauranteur, who was from Long Island, New York, and annually went to Clearwater with a close friend for the winter months.

Their close relationship developed quickly and Frank and Christine were married on March 10, 1950. At the age of twenty-four she started working, full time, at the University of Tampa as a social secretary to the president. After her second child was born, Christine took time off to care for her children. In 1963 at the age of thirty-nine she started taking classes, one at a time at the University of Tampa while working full-time.

William Manikas

Christine majored in counseling-psychology and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1971. To continue her education and work on a master degree, Christine took the GRE examine and entered USF. Christine graduated from USF in 1973 with a Master’s degree in counseling and psychology. Finally she retired in 1997 at the age of 70 to help in taking care of her mother. In her retirement Christine has spent a lot of time with family and friends.

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