In 1921, Iparhos Perdikis came to the United States with his parents, Alexandros and Efthalia (Arone) Perdikis, aboard the Themistocles. The family settled in New York City where Iparhos, who was 16 years upon arrival, went to school and later studied music and dance. As a young dancer, he was part of a team known as "Perzade and Jetan" and performed in vaudeville theatres and nightclubs throughout the country.
Despite holding onto traditional items from Cyprus, Iparhos Perdikis, who changed his name to Harold Perris in America, was also drawn to the promises of his newly adopted country. He looked to the lights of New York City and the opportunities available there. As he noted, "From that beautiful city … I got my dreams."
Did You Know?
Although most immigrants processed at Ellis Island stayed between three and five hours, about 20% stayed overnight in dormitory rooms until their cases could be cleared. Many immigrants found these accommodations a big improvement over the severe conditions of traveling to America in "steerage".