West Virginia Labor HistoryAssociation and South Charleston Museum to Present Christopher Janus'
Goodbye Miss Fourth of July

Janus to Introduce Film

[Charleston, WV] On Saturday, November 10th, 2007, at 7 PM The West Virginia Labor History Association in cooperation with The South Charleston Museum will present the film version of Christopher Xenopoulos Janus' autobiographical novel about growing up in a Greek-American family in Montgomery, WV, Goodbye Miss Fourth of July. Mr. Janus, a resident of Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, will travel to South Charleston to introduce the film personally.

This event is being done in conjunction with the WVLHA publishing a chapter on Greek-Americans in West Virginia that will be eventually be published in a book, Ethnic Sampler edited by Dr. Fred Barkey and Cathy Pleska, two WVLHA board members. The event is co-sponsored by Charleston's leading Greek restaurant, The Best of Crete, located at the food court of the Town Center Mall in downtown Charleston. The Best of Crete co-sponsored Mr. Janus' visit several years ago.

About Ethnic Sampler

Dr. Fred Barkey, author of several books about ethnic groups in West Virginia, has been compiling various chapters on different groups. Cathy Pleska has assisted him on the project, co-editing the chapter on Greek-Americans in West Virginia. Dr. Barkey was made a 2007 WV History Hero for his lifetime of writing, teaching, and promoting WV labor and ethnic history. He was also knighted by the government of Belgium for promoting awareness of the Belgium people in America. He is presently the chairman of the Coal Heritage Trail Authority and chairman emeritus of the WV Labor History Association which he co-founded in 1976.

Cathy Pleska, MA, MFA, is an English teacher and freelance writer and editor. She's published in a number of regional magazines and newspapers and most recently three articles on ethnic groups in the West Virginia Encyclopedia. She performs as WV pioneer photojournalist Frances B. Johnston for the WV Humanities' History Alive program. To learn more about her presentation, visit her website--http://www.catpleska.com.

More about Christopher Janus and Goodbye Miss Fourth of July

Christopher Janus (1911- ) was born in Charleston, WV and raised in Montgomery. He was active in business, publishing, film & entertainment. He has worked with such businesses as Standard Oil, Bache & Co (Bache- Prudential), J. Walter Thompson. He was also President of Sheffield Books and acting director of its imprint, Out of the Box Books (Press). In addition, Janus has facilitated many successful charitable fundraisers and notable events including the Modern Poetry Association White House Celebration held at the White House under three presidential administrations. He contributed to many syndicated newspapers including the New York Times. In 2002 he received the American Hellenic Institute's Hellenic Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award for promoting Greek culture in America. He wrote seven books. He was the keynote speaker on February 11th, 1992 for the annual WV Library Association Legislative Dinner at The Charleston Civic Center. The WV Library Commission published three of his books, Angel on My Shoulder, Remembrances at Eighty, The Feeling Good Book, and Only for Your Eyes and Other Imaginary Letters.

He was most influential during World War II in Greek war relief. Serving as an economic assistant at the U.S. State Department (1943-1944) and later as the Chief of the Greek Desk in the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA) in Cairo and Athens (1944-1945), he formulated the economic and relief needs of Greece following the German withdrawal.

Goodbye (1988) is based on a novel by Janus about growing up after WWI in Montgomery, WV on the Kanawha River. The film was actually shot in Jonesborough, Tennessee because of its look of a town from the turn of the century. Stars include two West Virginia-born actors, Chris Sarandon and Conchata Ferrell. Louis Gossett Jr. plays an African-American man facing problems with the local KKK. Roxana Zal plays the young woman Niki Janus who has to learn the harsh facts of life in the South. The film was shown every year on the Disney Channel on the Fourth of July but has had very limited VHS distribution. It has never been shown in a theater until now.

This will be the first showing of the film in a theater in West Virginia.

(Posting date 10August 2007

Read other articles by author Janus in the eponymously titled category of our achives at http://www.helleniccomserve.com/archivejanus.html

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