• Uncategorized

    Greetings from Afar

    Playmate   All children, or almost all of them, go through a stage in which they invent imaginary playmates. Russian children are no different from any others in that respect. Viktor and Katya Boikia’s little girl, Vika was no different. When Vika was about five years old, she was constantly talking to her parents about her friend “Natasha”. Of course, her parents didn’t pay much attention to her. They thought that it was funny, and sort of amusing… except for one thing… “Natasha” was always hungry… Vika was always going to the kitchen and raiding the refrigerator, cookie jar, or bread bin for food… “for Natasha”. Now, Vika, unfortunately, takes…

  • Uncategorized

    Greetings from Afar

    Music of the Night   If Russia has an “national” musical instrument, it is the accordion, or “gormusha”. Almost every home has one, and almost everyone can play at least one tune on the instrument, especially the older generation, those born before, or during the “Great Patriotic War”. It is a lovely instrument that produces beautiful music. Like the people who play them, they vary in size and shape, and range from elaborate hand enameled antiques to modern, state of the art pieces. They are everywhere, pedestrians stop on the street and listen as some pensioner or invalid sits on the corner and plays, people strolling in the park are…

  • Uncategorized

    Greetings from Afar

    The Evil That Men Do Author’s Note: Due to the Public Image and celebrity status of the person in question, the name of the “American” has been withheld at his request. The man was gaunt, almost skeletal. His height, well over six feet, made his appearance even more severe. He was balding, with a drooping mustache and a scraggly beard clinging beneath his lower lip and  to the base of his chin. He was dressed like a “bombzh”, a homeless man in an old army greatcoat, military trousers and worn jackboots. A visored cap rested on the bench next to him has he sat calmly and fed the pigeons in…

  • Uncategorized

    Greetings from Afar

    The Teddybear on My Desk You never saw him while you were here. You’d have laughed just like the rest. You’d have thought it was ‘quaint’ or ‘funny’, Or ‘a little bit nuts’ at best. You’d have thought he was old and ‘dated’. You’d have thought it some kind of jest. So when you came to call, I hid him from you — The Teddybear on my desk. He’s right back where he belongs now. Right where he’s always been. Back where he smiles at everyone And they smile back at him. Among the clutter and photos, Ledgers and books and the rest He sits and stares and smiles at…

  • Uncategorized

    Greetings from Afar

    Home is Where the Heart Is Allow me to introduce myself. I am a “baby boomer” – a “child of the fifties”. I am part of that generation whose fathers came home from winning a great war, and then had us. Officially, we are those who were born between the years 1946 and 1959 although there are a few of us on either side of those years. We grew up during the stability and prosperity of the “Eisenhower Years” then looked forward with hope and anticipation to the promised glories of John F. Kennedy’s “Camelot.” I am part of that generation that came to my maturity in a time before…

  • Uncategorized

    Greetings from Afar

    Home is Where the Heart Is Allow me to introduce myself. I am a “baby boomer” – a “child of the fifties”. I am part of that generation whose fathers came home from winning a great war, and then had us. Officially, we are those who were born between the years 1946 and 1959 although there are a few of us on either side of those years. We grew up during the stability and prosperity of the “Eisenhower Years” then looked forward with hope and anticipation to the promised glories of John F. Kennedy’s “Camelot.” I am part of that generation that came to my maturity in a time before…

  • Uncategorized

    Greetings from Afar

    Home is Where the Heart is Allow me to introduce myself. I am a “baby boomer” – a “child of the fifties”. I am part of that generation whose fathers came home from winning a great war, and then had us. Officially, we are those who were born between the years 1946 and 1959 although there are a few of us on either side of those years. We grew up during the stability and prosperity of the “Eisenhower Years” then looked forward with hope and anticipation to the promised glories of John F. Kennedy’s “Camelot.” I am part of that generation that came to my maturity in a time before…

  • Uncategorized

    Greetings from Afar

    The Old Soviet Man First of all, let me say that I am an American, living in Moscow. I am an executive with a major U.S./Multinational company, dealing with imaging technology. I hold a PhD in European History, and am a decorated veteran (officer), and active in my religion. I have lived in the Russian Federation for over ten years, and have lived in my current appartment for that entire time. I am married, and have four children, one of whom is currently “at home”. My wife is Russian, as are our two youngest kids. I say this to establish the fact that I am not prone to exageration, or…

  • Uncategorized

    Greetings from Afar

    The Face in the Window Tatyana Andrevna is not a beautiful woman… she does not have the “face that launched a thousand ships”… in fact, it is safe to say, that on the “traditional” one to ten scale, that is crassly used, worldwide, to rate beauty in women and good looks in men, she would rate about a one. Getting a zero rating is impossible… Tatyans’s looks are legendary in Mamontovka… As a child, she was burned horribly when a kerosene heater in her parent’s flat exploded and showered her with the burning liquid. Ever after, she was undeniably the most recognizable person in the village. Her scars didn’t matter……

  • Uncategorized

    Greetings from Afar

    Sverdlov’s Ghost My first paranormal experience in Russia began, literally, the first day I arrived. This story is not about a ghost that I have seen, but rather, one that I very much want to see. I shared a suite with him the first week that I was in Moscow, but he stayed to himself that week, and I never saw him. I’m still trying… When I first came to Russia, in the fall of 1987, I was with a major international company which had decided to take advantage of the newly “open” Russian Market. I was one of three foreigners to come over in the “first” wave and open…