Easter Weekend - 1974

by B. N. Sullivan

Recently we've been reminiscing here about the Marathon Diving Club, the organization that first trained me as a diver so many years ago. Last week I wrote about the kinds of adventures members of that club enjoyed together. Here's another in the Marathon Diving Club (MDC) series.

The photos below belong to my friend Lorna, who was kind enough to let me use them for this story. They document a trip made by several MDC members and their children over the Easter holiday in 1974. The destination was Paros, a Greek island in the central part of the Aegean Sea. [Click on the photos to enlarge.]

Paros ferry dockThe group traveled by car ferry from the Greek mainland to Paros. In addition to the usual assortment of dive equipment, they took along an inflatable boat that was owned by Lorraine and Leonard, two MDC members. The group posed for the above photo at the Paros ferry dock. You can see the inflatable boat on the roof of the car behind them.

Divers and inflatable boatHere are the divers on the beach, preparing for the day's activities. In the foreground of the photo are MDC divers Big Jer (standing), with Lorraine, Frank and Leonard (left to right) seated on the boat. The inflatable boat belonged to Lorraine and Leonard. The woman in the blue bathing suit, in the background, is Lorna.

Diver consulting nautical chartHere's Big Jer consulting a nautical chart, and briefing the others on what he thinks will be the best spot for the next dive.

Fisherman with his catchFast forward to: Big Jer with his catch of the day -- a grouper that's big enough to feed the whole MDC team, and their families.

Dining at a tavernaBefore returning to Athens, the group formed up at an outdoor taverna in the port area for drinks and food and chat. These 'taverna debriefing sessions' were a standard part of every MDC excursion.

Thanks very much to Lorna for unearthing the above photos and sending them to me. Considering that they were all scanned from snapshots that are thirty-four years old, they still look pretty good!

By the way, not all of the MDC members went on that particular trip to Paros. Some of us stayed behind in Athens that weekend, and -- just for the record -- here is what the rest of us did.

We got together at the home of MDC member Phyllis, for food, drinks, and a group sing-along. (Those were the days!) Here we are on Easter, 1974, on the veranda at Phyllis and Jim's house in Kifissia, Greece. That's Phyllis on the left.

I feel very fortunate to have met all of these wonderful people way back when. I feel even more fortunate that so many of us have remained in touch all these years. We became the best of friends, and the adventures we had during our times together have been unmatched. It's no wonder that we are willing to travel thousands of miles for our periodic reunions.

Happy Easter to everyone. And to all the MDC members, thank you so much for the memories -- and for your enduring friendship.


  1. You are very fortunate to have met such good friends and found adventure with them, thanks for the story it has been amazing !

  2. It seems that you are living life to the full hte story wasvey nice

  3. I have had so much fun reading over this segment. Since I was just getting over Mono, I was huddled near the adults while on the boat. They started the very early morning off with a large cooler of bloody Mary's. So spicy it clogged the spigot. Plus the car was loaded down that only the driver had just enough room to maneuver in the driver seat. You could barely move the stick shift. The bumpers were nearly on the ground. The Greeks really knew we were crazy. What a wonderful time in my young life. Thanks for the memories,
    One of the kids

  4. @ Bernie - Yes, fortunate indeed. The MDC members I'm still in touch with remain as some of the best friends I have, or could ever hope to have.

    @ MsCarla - Glad you enjoyed the story.

    @ Anonymous "One of the kids" - Thanks for adding your two cents. It's hard to believe that you are now older than your parents were at the time those pictures were taken. Jerry and I noticed that in those photos, your Mom looks a lot like you do now! (or, maybe it's that you now look like your Mom did then...)


  5. You forgot all the prep we did. We had to book the car for the ferry boat. First Jerry's car had a broken transmission and our car had the license plates taken because of a parking violation of some sort. The Greek government dismissed all charges as an Easter gift and we were allowed to drive. All of us only took one carry on because of lack of space in the car and we even brought groceries for meals we cooked together.

    Leonard had a real scare as the new life vest accidentally inflated on a night dive. He dropped his light leaving me at 70 feet wondering were he was. Jerry saw the light drifting down without Leonard attached and located me and we did an immediate assent. Leonard found us on the way up as he saw our lights. It was as black as ink without lights down there. The rest of that dive was a decompression dive as we did not know how far he traveled. Fortunately he only wound up with a headache.

  6. @ "Anonymous" - See, Lorraine, I should have had you write this article, since I didn't go along on that trip. Thanks for adding all these details to flesh out the tale, to go along with Lorna's great photos.

    That must have been some night dive. I loved your line about "the light drifting down without Leonard attached."

    Keep those stories coming...


  7. I really enjoyed your stories about the MDC and how you began your love affair with the ocean. How wonderful that on your way to discovering your lifelong passion you discovered good friends too.

    Sounds like there might be some second generation divers from MDC!


  8. Hi Cynematic -- Yes, there are some second generation divers among our kids.

    Thanks for visiting. We're glad you liked the stories. There are more to come.

    Bobbie & Jerry

  9. Gotta love old school photos! Thanks for sharing!

    Keep diving!


  10. This is a very good post.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece with your readers.


We welcome your comments and invite your questions. Dialogue is a good thing!

Bobbie & Jerry