(This Footnote to History article was printed on page 7 of the April 22, 1943 edition of the Hattiesburg American, and is reprinted word-for-word below.)
Boy’s Court Plea Wins Suit And A New Home
(By Associated Press)
DETROIT. April 22.—The smiles lighting the faces of Mrs. Chrissi Calovas and her four boys today were warming and gay as the spring sunshine itself.
Thanks to the valor of ten-year-old William, the group was leaving a ramshackle, store-building home for a new place provided for them by an anonymous donor.
“Hully gee whiz,” said William,
“tell me again!”
“My Billy boy—he’s wonderful,” exclaimed Mrs. Colovas through tears.
That was their reaction when the news of their sudden change in fortune was brought to them.
It was on account of Billy’s court appearance Tuesday—all by himself —to fight, and win, an eviction suit. The Greek family’s story of how Billy did the cooking and cared for three younger brothers while mother held down an $18 a week laundry job got around town as a result.
Billy’s father is in an infirmary.
Then came the donor. Furthermore, he’s giving Mrs. Colovas a job as a war worker.
“Oh, I shall work hard.” she said. “I shall like that. I have relatives in Greece.”
Hardship had been with the family since February 1942, when their restaurant burned down. Mother Colovas, however. with Billy as next in command, kept the family together despite handicaps.
While his mother worked, Billy went to school and managed the household as well, taking care of brothers Tony, 8; George, 7 and Danny, 4. Then the rent was raised from $20 to $30 a month and an eviction suit begun when Mrs. Colovas protested.
But Billy saved the day, the case being dismissed when the court found that the landlord had failed to register with the office of price administration. And there’s a new home now.