In July 1985 our family traveled to the Soviet Union, Leningrad and Moscow. This was our first exposure to Soviet life and, while we had not intended this, it provided a baseline against which to judge our later experiences. These … Continue reading Russia, The Prelude: Moscow and Leningrad, 1985
Rose Revolution Square is still under re-construction. It had two anchors, The Hotel Iveria and the reviewing stand for Mayday parades. One is gone and the other utterly transformed. In 2004 I wrote: “Georgia has some of the screwiest modern Socialist Realism on the planet, including a massive, several story high multi arched reviewing stand for May Day parades that looks like what Le Cobisier would build if he had a commission from McDonald’s. Locals playfully call it ‘Andropov’s Ears.’ Andropov’s Ears is where President Saakashvili reviewed the troops last week and made his saber rattling speech on Adjara.” Andropov’s … Continue reading Rose Revolution Square, A Transformation.
This is a paragraph from a 2004 letter. The markets no longer have Stalin icons. I have not found Stalin Vodka in recent visits and the Stalin statue in Gori was torn down after the war with Russia, although I … Continue reading Stalin
In June 1995 we were working on a radio project in Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East for a month. Our friends from Vladivostok were able to visit us in Khabarovsk and we were able to return a visit to them. This is the part of the weekly letter from June 20 that deals with that visit. June 20, 1995 Khabarovsk Russian Far East Dear Friends, Over the weekend we went to Vladivostok to visit friends and see the city after almost four years. We rode from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok on the final leg of the Trans-Siberian Railroad train, … Continue reading Russia, Vladivostok, 1995
In 1991 Suzi and I kept up our contacts with the Russian Far East. This is an excerpt from an end of the year letter I sent to my family in October 1991. We have continued to maintain contact with the folks who hosted us in Vladivostok. Brian’s “Russian sister” lives in Alaska now, with her mother. 1991 is the 250th anniversary of the Bering-Cherikov voyages of exploration from Siberia to Alaska. 1990 ended with a trip by all four of us to Vladivostok in the Soviet Union. In April some of the people we stayed with in Vladivostok … Continue reading Russia, Vladivostok, 1991
In November of 1990 we got a call from a friend in Juneau. Juneau was trying to put together the first US citizen delegation to visit Vladivostok in more than 50 years. They wanted kids who could spend a week in a Vladivostok English language school and adults who could accompany them to discuss business relations. Were we interested? Suzi immediately committed the two of us but said she would have to ask the kids. Our friend, Terry, said “You can commit Rich but not your sons?” What she didn’t know was that, after our visit to Prague for … Continue reading Russia, Vladivostok 1990