Giorgos Kypritidis: The novel life of Super Goofy of Mykonos
When he received by telegram the invitation for a wedding in Asteras Vouliagmenis, even in his wildest dreams he could not imagine that summer of 1976 would change his life forever. Three days in Mykonos were enough to make the decision to stay there forever. After forty-five years, a marriage, two children and countless stories, Giorgos Kypritidis shows us some of his super nuts and reveals the most important aspects of his life.
“Goofy has the best and freshest nuts in Mykonos”. “Goofy is a very smart and very sensitive man who is known not only to people of Mykonos, but also to Greek celebrities who have a home on the island.” “Well, try the nuts from Goofy and then you will not want to buy elsewhere”. These are just a few of the things I have heard and continue to hear all these years visiting Mykonos. But really, who is this Goofy? What is his real name? Does it really have superpowers? What is its fascinating story? A life story that began in Patras, in the distant 1954. The city where he was born, not Goofy, but Giorgos Kypritidis.
“The image of Mykonos, with its white houses, blue and red windows, but also with its churches, seemed to my eyes like a child’s painting”
“As soon as I walked in Chora, I was mesmerized”
Everyone has their own story. In this case, the story of Giorgos Kypritidis, includes many and important milestones in his life, with first and foremost Patras, the place where he was born. Peristeri followed, where he spent his childhood and Thessaloniki, where he spent an intense student life, being a student of the Department of Economics, Law and Political Science of the Aristotle University. In the fourth year of the school and shortly before the summer exams begin, he receives an invitation by telegram to attend a friend’s wedding in Athens. “It was June 6, 1976, when I received a telegram to attend a friend’s wedding in Athens. The reception took place at Asteras Vouliagmenis. There, I met a friend, who after two or three vodkas, talked me into going on vacation to Mykonos. The very next day, we sailed. As soon as our boat went to the port, I was socked. At first glance, I was impressed by the island. The image of Mykonos, with its white houses, blue and red windows, but also with its churches, seemed to my eyes like a child’s painting. As soon as I walked in Chora, I was mesmerized. Of course, in 1976, there were few shops. They were only a handful. Nevertheless, I was fascinated. “I stayed in Mykonos for three days and returned half-hearted to Thessaloniki for the exams”, he describes in the Mykonos Post.
“Litsa Diamanti suggested to take me to the shop as a waiter, but also to do the accounting for her, since I was a university graduate”
“It was a divine gift for me”
His need to visit Mykonos again is so great that as soon as he finishes the exams, he prepares his suitcases and with the impatience of a small child, he looking forward to seeing this children’s painting. “The truth is that a rich fellow student impressed by the way I described to him Mykonos and offered to pay my tickets and go together. We met some tourists on the ship and long story short, he got angry because the one he liked wanted me. Although we had a fight, I was lucky, because as soon as I got off at the port, I met a friend of mine, Giorgos, who suggested that I work at a restaurant in Mykonos. It was a divine gift for me. I worked at all the posts. Dishwashing, service, I picked the dishes. Ι earned pocket money and found a small room to live in. I worked in this restaurant in July and August, earning two hundred drachmas a day and my food. As soon as the restaurant closes, an important event happens on the island. Businessman Babis Pasaoglou wants to leave Mykonos and sells the Veggera bar and a military jeep to Takis Theodoropoulos, for the amount – from what I remember – of 300,000 drachmas. Takis Theodoropoulos works at Litsa Diamanti’s bar called Markiz, which is located near Little Venice. A youthful and at the same time gay friendly shop. So then, Litsa Diamanti suggested to take me to the shop as a waiter, but also to do the accounting for her, since I was a university graduate. So, I found myself in the company of Litsa Diamanti and I stayed on the island until October”, he explains.
“The bride arrived at the church on a donkey and the funny thing is that at the time of our wedding the passengers had just disembarked from two huge cruise ships, with the result that around 5000 people took pictures of us outside the town hall”
“My wife liked Mykonos very much and she wanted us to stay here”
In this intense summer of 1976 he meets a Frenchwoman in Mykonos and as soon as the Markiz closes, where he works, he makes his first trip to Paris, in order to meet her. In March 1977 he returned to the island, as there is a desire on both sides to continue his cooperation with Litsa Diamanti. “Until 1983, I lived for six months in Paris and the other six in Mykonos”, he added. In 1988 he met a beautiful Swiss woman, Giselle, who would become the woman of his life and the mother of his children. “In May 1995, I married Giselle, who is Swiss, at Mykonos Town Hall. The bride arrived at the church on a donkey and the funny thing is that at the time of our wedding the passengers had just disembarked from two huge cruise ships, with the result that around 5000 people took pictures of us outside the town hall. “It was something unique, especially in their own eyes”, he says laughing. A few months after their marriage and specifically on February 14, 1996, their first child is born. A child out of love born on Valentine’s Day in a maternity hospital in Switzerland. On September 3, 1997, their second boy, Stefanos, was born. “My wife liked Mykonos very much and she wanted us to stay here. At some point, an opportunity was found – let’s say – and we bought a house in Aleomandra, where we live to this day. My children lived here, they went to school in Mykonos. They were both excellent students. The older one went to university and continued his studies in Switzerland. He has been working at Zurich airport for three years. The younger one passed fourth in the Greek university and he is an excellent student”, he says with pride.
“I am the only Greek who attended classes at a French gemology school”
Leaving the part of his personal life, we return to the professional part, with Giorgos describing in a brilliant way how he came to become the Super Goofy of Mykonos. “I worked with Litsa Diamanti for three years. At some point, however, I got tired of the night work, cigarettes and drinks. With this in mind, I stopped working at night and entered the field of goldsmithing. I worked for about five years in goldsmithing. At the same time, while living in Paris, I enrolled in a school of gemology. Gemology is a specialty that deals with the analysis and certification of the authenticity of a gemstone. It was quite interesting and was something very rare at that time for the Greek data. I am the only Greek who attended classes at a French gemology school”, he states. In the mid-1980s, he decided to start trading nuts. “I rented a small shop in Mykonos, took out a counter outside with baskets and started selling nuts. I had a friend in Athens who triumphed in selling nuts and from him I actually got the idea to do it in Mykonos. I stayed in this store for twenty whole years. Of course, from one point on, I had enriched the merchandise. I was not only selling nuts, but also pareos and various clever things. In 2005 I was evicted, I left the store and until today, from the sunset until 2 in the morning and as long as my feet can stand, I am in Chora, Little Venice and Matogiannia. In 2007 I got a shop near Aroma and named it Café Swiss. It went very well, we had nice food, salads and ice cream”. Giorgos kept this store until 2015. Although he had two shops on the island, he would always go out at night wearing the little apron that established him: The apron with the trademark of Super Goofy and valuable allies his smile and good mood and he would mix with the people in the alleys of the island to offer them delicious and hot nuts.
“Until today, from the sunset until 2 in the morning and as long as my feet can stand, I am in Chora, Little Venice and Matogiannia”
“Petros Kostopoulos was pretentious not at all cordial”
Everyone knows him as Goofy and I wonder how he was inspired by the name that belongs to one of the heroes of the famous Mickey Mouse. “I read Mickey Mouse when I was a kid and I really liked Goofy. He was good, kind, sweet, but as soon as he ate the nut in his hat, he became Super Goofy. So, I really liked him. On the other hand, the peanut I sell is so good that it takes people off. It’s great!” he says with adolescent vivacity. Goofy, Giorgos, our friend, is a man who has now written his own story on the island. A story that counts 45 years and continues. I wonder if he had friendly relations with some of the people who connected their name with the island, such as Petros Kostopoulos, Lakis Gavalas and Makis Tselios. “Of course I have made many friends during all these years I am in Mykonos. Since you mentioned him to me, I want to tell you that Petros Kostopoulos was pretentious not at all cordial. I’m sorry to say, but I think he had a big idea of himself. However, I have a very good relationship with politicians, businessmen and shipowners, such as Andreas Kanellopoulos of Halyvourgiki, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Nikos Tsavliris. For them, I was always their friend, Goofy, the man who brought them the best nuts. In addition, I speak fluent English and French, which impressed everyone and at the same time made them wonder what kind of wanderer is he?”, he says laughing.
“The people of Mykonos have changed. The children of Mykonos are arrogant as regards money. The new generation has nothing to do with the previous one”
“Mykonos lacks in various issues, such as infrastructure and health”
After 45 years in Mykonos, he has seen with his own eyes all the changes that the island has undergone from the 1970s until today. “The island has kept a nice look. On the other hand, because all these years I traveled to Europe, France and Switzerland, I was given the opportunity to have a measure of comparison with other international and popular destinations. What I can tell you is that Mykonos lacks in various issues, such as infrastructure and health. In the early 1980s, I told some of my friends that Mykonos will become a city and infrastructures will be built everywhere. Then everyone was saying to me “What are you saying, it is impossible for such a thing to happen”. In the end, I was absolutely right and I was prophetic, because Mykonos was indeed built everywhere. Now, foreign tourists see our island as a large traditional shopping center. Like a big mall”, he says honestly. At the beginning of our conversation, he compared the image of Mykonos that he first saw in 1976 as a children’s painting. Does he still have this beautiful image in his eyes, in terms of the appearance of today’s Mykonos? “Yes, even today, when I arrive at the port, I still have this image in my eyes. Of course, the people of Mykonos have changed. The children of Mykonos are arrogant as regards money. The new generation has nothing to do with the previous one. As for me, I am still kind to people, whether they have money or not. I intend to remain the same person, that every afternoon just before sunset, I will take my basket and sell nuts to people”.
George Kypritidis intervenes in his own way and talks about the good and the bad of the island, through the videos and mini interviews of Petros Nazos on Mykonos Live Tv.