The Soul Worker

Eleni Petraki used to be a dancer. There’s not a bit of regret in her voice when she talks about bowing out of the profession. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Eleni’s a former dancer. For it was the physicality of movement that led her to the mind-body connection that transformed her life by leaps and bounds. The excitement her legs in flight once brought her now blazes in her eyes. Their windows are neon blue and oceans deep. Eleni, who grew up in Athens, Greece, saw dance in general and ballet in particular as a way to break …

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The Caterer to the Stars

The snow-white truck is shiny new so Jonathan Forgash has to show it off. The star of his three-vehicle catering fleet, it has a double set of windows, industrial ovens, a slew of work stations and a built-in grill. He runs his hand along the kitchen’s stainless steel counter and smiles at his reflection. Never in his wildest dreams did he think he would get to take this dream machine along for the ride of his life, serving celebrities and crews on TV and film sets. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Jonathan, the owner of Starstruck Catering. It reminds …

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The Guy With Smoke in His Eyes

It is while peering through the smoke that Ibrahim Amer sees things clearly. His cigar, resting in an ashtray like a sunbather in a lounge chair, is smoldering when he picks it up for a puff. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Ebi is the owner …

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The Forgotten Hero

When Nick Pavlou shakes hands, he offers his right one. But he can’t let it let go of his cane, so the most he can manage is a feeble three-finger touch. For nearly two decades, his left arm has hung, useless, at his side. If you don’t recognize his face — there’s a wicked scar that runs from his left eyebrow and over his forehead to the back of his head — you may recall his name. Nick is the guy who made headlines as the Hard-Hat Hero in October 1996 when he risked his life to save a woman&…

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