A trip of a lifetime
Russia has tugged at me for a long time.
As a boy in a house with a Bible and an Edmonton Journal subscription, I followed the acts of a small number of characters in the bigger world: the Apostles, the NHL stars, and Russian and American politicians. My young imagination was peopled by, basically, St. Paul, Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr and Ken Dryden, with room for Nixon, Ford, Brehznev, Gromyko, Chernenko, and, later, Reagan, Andropov, and Gorby.
Boris Spassky playing Bobby Fischer in chess made its way to me in northeast Edmonton. I had a stamp collection and there was a Pushkin stamp.
We studied the Russian Revolution in social studies. Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky. Ice pick. Mexico. We drank Black Russians. Vodka and coffee liqueur, if I remember right. Purges. Five year plans. Collectivized farms.
|It's all over and I'm standing pretty|
|Karenia, as I kinda picture her|
Somehow I got a lapel pin from the Moscow Olympics.
Snowden, of course, ended up in a Russian airport.
|Pushkin, above; Shelagh, below, right|
|Shelagh on Tverskaya|
|With bicycle riders in Moscow|
One song played in my head as we pedalled.
And we go rounded merrily in the cold. Whirrrrr!
It wasn't that I was home. It was precisely not home. But I did meet a lot of myself there.