Saturday, July 31, 1976
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Immigrants find a dream...
Tending the Den
with the Roumanis'
By JAY LEVIN
WHEN I FIRST MET Luis Roumanis, he was standing in front
of a steaming pile of tomato-drenched keftes at last month's
Greek Festival, stabbing one of the spicy meat patties into a soft
bun for my culinary approval. As I slurped the tomato sauce and
dispatched the delicacy in several gulps, Luis, speaking in heavily
accented English, briefed me on its traditional preparation.
That day, I realized Luis was a man who enjoyed a balanced
diet - of his work - pampering palates as a restauranteur, and
his recreation - rubbing elbows with the friends and family he
Luis and I crossed paths again last week, but this time it
was in a back room at the Wolverine Den, the South University
eatery which Louis has co-owned with his brother since coming to
this country six years ago. A strong, burly man with fierce black
hair and a thick mustache, Luis invited me to his split level Ann
Arbor home to meet his wife, Anastasia and their three pre-
school children, and to chat about his two livelihoods over a few
"When all the Greeks come over here, the first thing they
have to get is work in the restaurants," he says, reflecting over
his own start as a dishwasher in Winnipeg fourteen years ago.
ANASTASIA, CROUCHED on the brown-carpeted floor of the
toy-strewn den, tries to restrain nine month-old Dimitrios
from chewing the cord which quietly transmits the Olympics over
a large television set.
"The easiest job they can find is a dishwasher because they
don't have to speak English, they don't need English," she ex-
plains, cradling her tiny soi.
Ultimately, the Roumanis' say, the Greek immigrant who be-
gins with hands immersed in suds will rise to some sort of man-
agerial position in a restaurant, as Luis has, with family help.
Before purchasing the Den, Louis worked several months with his
brothers at the Cottage Inn on William St. Now he plans to open
a submarine shop on campus as well as a restaurant in Ypsi-
lanti with relatives.
But along with the rewards of operating a successful restaur-
ant in a town whose residents are frequent patrons, the Roumanis'
have found that a large chunk of Luis' time must be spent over-
seeing business at the Den.
See GREEK, Page 14
Daily Photo by SCOTT ECCKER
The Roumanis family.
.. yet some
Setting cautious roots
By JAY LEVIN
WHEN SRINIBAS Bhattacharya's wife and son joined him in the small
thumb community of Lapeer, Mich. in June of 1970, the family had ample
reason to be happy. After years of painful separation, moving from country
to country, they were finally together again-setting cautious roots into a
newer foreign soil.
Yet the Bhattacharyas have found that the promise of a new life in
America is not strong enough to quell recurring thoughts of India, the nation
hey left behind.
Dr. Bhattacharya himself had come to the United States fortueen months
earlier upon acceptance of a position at the Lapeer State Home for the
Retarded, and for over a year waited anxiously for his wife, Sobha, and son,
Atanu, to be granted visas abroad.
The United States, then, offered the promise of an attractive employment
(Portunity for Dr. Bhattacharya, as well as a setting in which the family
Mald be together after being stretched between continents.
BORN 55 YEARS ago in East Pakistan, Dr. Bhattacharya later was forced
from his ancestral homeland to India, where he became a teacher. There
he met and married his wife Sobha, whom he taught English. After the birth
5f their son, Atano, in 1956, the Bhattacharyas found themselves shuttling be-
Sween their native India and Britain, where Dr. Bhattacharya earned his
Ph. Often the family was split up, and Atanu was entrusted to his maternal
trandparents in India.
"I was drifting from one apartment to one job to another," recalls Dr.
Ihattgcharya of that period.
Today, Dr. Bhattacharya-a reticent man who speaks in serious tones-
h immersed himself in a new job in yet another place-Ann Arbor. He is a
See BHATTACHARYAS, Page 14
Jay! vin is Co-Editorial Direc/or of the ss er Daily.
dream of home
SOBHA BHATTACHARYA looks on thoughtfully as her husband Sriniba
lections from one of his volumes of poetry called Green and Gold.