Friday, September 27, 2013

Kharpert Country Club

This piece was first printed in the Armenian Weekly

At the Armenian Youth Federation Olympics this year in Washington DC, you may have seen fifteen or so people wearing navy blue polo shirts with an Armenian flag logo and the words: Kharpert Country Club.
photo 8 1024x768 The Kharpert Country Club
Back row:  Judy Gavoor, Armene Kapamajian, Violet Gavoor
Front row:  Mark Gavoor

These are all members of the Gavoor, Merian, and Mardoian Clan. Of course, there is a story behind these shirts.

The story begins in 1986. When our daughter Armené was baptized that year, we had the dinner at the Pine Lake Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It was a very lovely place and a warm gathering of family and friends. A good family friend, Vartan Agbabian, performed selections from Aram Khachaturian’s Album for Children on the piano. 

Everyone enjoyed themselves. At the end, I got up to say a few words, to thank everyone for coming and to reflect on the day. I decided to add a little levity by beginning with “Thank you everyone for coming to Armené’s baptism. It is a special day for our family and we are honored and delighted that you were able to share it with us. It is even more special that we are having the dinner here at the beautiful Pine Lake Country Club, because there is a long tradition in our family of having baptismal dinners at the Kharpert Country Club.” This comment got a few chuckles.

Then my maternal grandmother, well along the path of losing her hearing, blurted out to my mother loud enough for everyone to hear, “Vat he saying? Vee don’ have no country club in Kharpert!” Everyone cracked up.

Thanks to Azniv Merian, who we all called Grannie, the fictitious notion of the Kharpert Country Club became a real, well, concept in our family. At family gatherings we would bring up this story and someone would invariably quote Grannie, “Vee don’ have no country club in Kharpert!” We would all laugh like it just happened. We talked and joked about having golf shirts made with the name of this mythical country club.

We never made those shirts; until this year.
photo 7 300x225 The Kharpert Country Club
Our Shirt Logo

My parents Sonny and Violet Gavoor had the shirts made. There was no question where we would wear these shirts: The AYF Olympics. Grannie was the mother of an Olympic Queen, Suzanne Merian Arzoian, the grandmother of an Olympic Queen, Nancy Gavoor, and the mother in-law of an Olympic King, Sonny Gavoor. Sonny and Itchie met and married through the AYF as did their Judy and Mark Gavoor.

That is why we all wearing Kharpert Country Club Shirts at the games today. We are proudly remembering our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. We are honoring not only that we are Armenian but also Kharpertsi. 

We look forward to a day when we might actually be able to build and join the Kharpert Country Club in what Grannie always called “the old country.” Then, we can truly have all our baptism dinners there.

No comments:

Post a Comment