Only a handful of people sat through the night in a cafe in this mountain village that calls itself Michael Dukakis' hometown, listening to news of the Democratic candidate's defeat.
Huddled in overcoats around a wood-burning stove in the "Nukterida" cafe, they drowned their disappointment in glasses of ouzo and cognac as the radio broadcast results.Around dawn, when it became clear the Massachusetts governor had lost his bid for the U.S. presidency, they decided to go home. A Dukakis victory, the villagers believed, would have brought them prosperity.
"I feel pretty gloomy," said Haralambos Maniatoglou.
The 700-odd villagers, mostly sheep and goat breeders who make around $1,500 a year, had pinned their hopes on a Dukakis presidency to develop tourism in Pelopi.
"We're disappointed, we thought Michalis would make it. But I hope (President-elect George) Bush doesn't take a grudge against Greece for backing him," said Michalis Kamiris, vice president of the village council.
Dukakis' grandfather was born in Pelopi, on the northeastern Aegean island of Mytilene, also known as Lesvos. The Democratic candidate has been Michalis to the villagers ever since he visited for an afternoon in 1976.
In Mytilene town, three second cousins who are Dukakis' closest Greek relatives said they were disappointed but still proud.
"Michalis did everything he could. We're sorry he didn't win but he still did well," said Patra Stefanidou, whose grandfather in 1913 arranged for Panos Dukakis, the governor's father, to emigrate to the United States. "We'll have to be glad he got as far as he did."