Florida Memory is administered by the Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services, Bureau of Archives and Records Management. The digitized records on Florida Memory come from the collections of the State Archives of Florida and the special collections of the State Library of Florida.
One audio cassette. A Greek accordion player, Gianaros discusses his life, from his birth at sea in 1905, to emigrating to the US to teaching accordion playing. He originally worked on ocean liners as a mechanic, exposing him to America. Once in the US, he worked as a chef, then music teacher. He later played on Greek language radio in the 1930s. recorded at the Sponge Industry Folk Arts festival, festival sounds can be heard throughout. The festival was held June 24-25, 1989 to celebrate Tarpon Springs heritage of sponge diving, a practice that dated back to the 1890s. By 1905, when 500 Greek immigrants answered an ad to be sponge divers, the town acquired a distinctive Greek flavor, as the Greek Americans thrived in the sponge industry. At one point, Florida provided 95% of the nation's sponges. Although today over fishing and synthetic materials have undercut the sponge diving industry, the tradition lives on in Greek families, and through tourism.