Front Page History: Danville mayor’s grandfather was headed to Greece 90 years ago

Mike Perros, the grandfather of Danville’s current Mayor Mike Perros, a well-known citizen of Danville, was heading for a visit to his home country in Greece 90 years ago.

On the front page of The Danville Daily Messenger on May 7, 1929, a story was published about Perros, along with his friend John Tunis, leaving Danville for the shores of their native land of Greece.

The story stated, ”Mike and John are known to practically every man in Danville and have many friends here.”

Perros was the proprietor of the City Restaurant; Tunis had owned and managed the New York Restaurant, both eating establishments in Danville in the 1920s.

According to the article, both men received naturalization papers and were “full fledged American citizens.”

The trip to Greece included crossing the Atlantic, passing through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea and landing on the island of Crete, “where they will linger a while,” the article read.

“From there they will go through the Dardanelles into the Aegean and Black seas, thence through the Bosphorus into Athens.”

While visiting Athens, Perros and Tunis were expected to study the life of Solon and other great lawmakers of the ancient times.

They had also planned to walk the fields of Thermopylae where Leonidas and his small band of Spartans fought a far larger force of Persians commanded by Xerxes and helped save the Grecian Empire from Persian domination nearly 500 years ago.

Mayor Perros said Monday he has also traveled to Greece to visit his grandfather’s family who still live there.

He said he doesn’t visit as often as he’d like to, but talks to a few of his cousins about twice a month. “I’ve got cousins everywhere over there,” Perros said.

Some of his cousins are still living in his grandfather’s village of Archaer on Crete, he said.

Even though he only knows a few Greek words, he does love Greek foods.

“Oh god, everybody loves Greek cooking,” Perros said.

In other front-page news from 1929, a story announced that the upcoming Danville High School graduation would include 43 students — 19 boys and 23 girls. University of Kentucky Dean W.S. Taylor was to deliver the commencement address. A member of the graduating class was a former mayor of Danville, Roy Arnold.