Misty Water-Colored Memories…

Sometime ago I wrote about the city where I grew up. Few more photos found on Flickr posted by a Western tourist prompted this post.

This cannon was taken from the sunken British steam-frigate Tiger. “On the 12th of May (1854) the steam-frigate Tiger, which ran aground in the fog, was fired at by the artillery of Odessa. The vessel was destroyed, the captain mortally wounded an the crew captured.” It was later recovered in installed on a pedestal in 1904 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the attack.

ODESSA-British cannon from Crimean War, 5-1977

British cannon from Crimean War

During the summer these kiosks sold everything from tomatoes to watermelons. This is the same type of kiosk where I was once  stood in line for hours trying to buy mandarins.

ODESSA, Ukraine-Vegetable shop on street, 5-26-1977

Produce Kiosk

This is a typical Soviet kindergarten. Maybe a little upscale, since the foreigners were brought in to meet the kids and take some pictures. Notice the knee socks and dancing shoes “cheshki” that were a part of a uniform. Two years earlier I could’ve been in one of those pictures.

ODESSA, Ukraine-Kindergarten in Odessa, 5-27-1977

Kindergarten in Odessa

All girls wear bows.

Kindergarten, Odessa, Ukraine, 5-27-1977

Kindergarten, Odessa, Ukraine

For some reason, tractors and wheat harvesting seem to be the the main subjects of the kids’ pictures. Notice the absence of Mickey Mice, Barbies and other such things.

ODESSA-Kindergarten drawings, 5-27-1977

Kindergarten drawings

Monument to the Unknown Sailor. High school seniors took turns standing guard.

ODESSA, Ukraine-Tomb of Unknown Sailor, 5-26-1977

Tomb of Unknown Sailor

The next three photos are views of the Potemkin Stairs.

Group of children posing on Potemkin Steps, Odessa-1977

Group of children posing on Potemkin Steps

Odessa port, below, looks a lot different today. In 1977 it was decorated with the promise to fulfill the directives of the XXV Congress of The Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

ODESSA-Looking down Potemkin Steps, 5-25-1977

Looking down Potemkin Steps

The Potemkin Steps-Odessa, Ukraine-1977

The Potemkin Steps

If you have never seen the original Potemkin Stairs scene from the original Eisenstein movie, here is an American remake.

Famous beaches of Odessa; most people tried to spend every available minute tanning and swimming. Tan-less tourists were ridiculed.

ODESSA-Arcadia Sanatarium and Resort, 5-26-1977

Beach

Marriage Palace; somewhere there is a photo of me standing in front of it. The City-wide wall of honor is on the right. Two cars on the right are infamous Zaporozhets. The next one is pretty much a motorized wheelchair with the roof and a lawnmower engine; these were usually distributed to the wounded veterans of war.

ODESSA, Ukraine-Marriage Office, 5-26-1977

Marriage Office

This is the main statue of Lenin in town in front of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party. Thousands of smaller Lenin’s were sprinkled everywhere else.

ODESSA-Lenin Statue, 5-26-1977

Lenin Statue

Russian poet Pushkin is facing away from the City Hall. When the citizens were collecting donations for the monument, the City Government refused to give, so the people of Odessa placed the statue facing the opposite direction.

ODESSA-Pushkin Statue, 5-26-1977

Pushkin Statue

This monument to the uprising on the Battleship Potemkin was since moved and replaced by another sculpture.

ODESSA, Ukraine-Monument to sailors of the 'Potemkin'-5-26-1977

Monument to sailors of the Potemkin

  • I like the tractor drawings. Probably for the children, this was the highest imaginable pinnacle of innovation/industry/power/productivity. Much like the steam locomotive was for Americans a few generations ago. The pictures instantly reminded me of the Belarus tractors, which were imported to the US in the 90s; I had seen a few – they were remarkably heavy and well built. I had understood that in the eastern bloc countries, they had “tracks” (as pictured), rather than rubber tires.

    • It was 1977 so tractors weren’t new or exciting. I am pretty sure I have a similar drawing of a helicopter from my kindergarten years. Probably it was something kids saw on tv and tractors were on tv every day. As far as tracks vs. wheels – they had both but tracks were also good on muddy country roads, but most tractors were the wheel kind.

  • You know, my family used to spend quite a few vacations there, but I don’t remember anything aside of the trams. Oh, and the paper bags with fried shrimp…

    • It was boiled local shrimp. We ate it like sunflower seeds.