• Behind The Iron Curtain: Katya’s Doves

    In 1986 the Iron Curtain was starting to lift and the Soviet and American people got their first glimpses of each other. That year Katya Lycheva traveled to the United States with the mission of peace and even met with the President Reagan.
    Few days ago I saw this article from some Russian publication of that time and translated it for the blog. It’s funny how even as late as 1986 the article had to include a mandatory “evil Americans” paragraph (highlighted).

    Katya’s Doves:

    This photograph shows Katya Lycheva. She is talking about the trip to the USA she took last spring with the delegation of the Soviet Committee for Peace.

    Katya was welcomed with warmth and hospitality. Children and teachers were waiting for her in schools. They decorated their classrooms, painted greeting banners and made souvenirs for her.

    From city to city a welcoming wave of warmth and hospitality was rolling with an increasing power. Chicago, New York, Washington D.C…. Children wanted to find out what Katya likes, learn her favorite songs.

    When during the first days of the trip in one of the schools in Brooklyn Katya started singing “Solnechny Krug” (Sun Circle) no one knew the song and could not join in. But days later in Los Angeles the whole audience was singing with Katya “May there always be sunshine”!

    However, today’s America showed Katya its hostile, slanderous, malicious underside. The enemies of peace and disarmament tried their best to harm Katya’s mission. They asked sneaky questions at press-conferences. They tried to catch her off-guard to take embarrassing pictures. They threatened her over the phone and tried to intimidate her.

    Despite all these efforts, she showed up at all scheduled meeting happy, smiling and calm like the day before and again the children tried to reach out to her together with those adults, who want peaceful, wonderful life for everyone on this planet.

    Katya came home, but in the hearts of hundreds of American children remained the feeling of gratitude to her, for the first time they got to learn the truth about our country. They also cherished white paper doves with the addresses of the Soviet boys and girls written on their wings – addresses of friendship.

    Katya Lycheva honorably carried out the mission started by her little American counterpart Samantha Smith.

    The sky’s bright blue.
    The sun is up high—
    This is the little boy’s picture
    He drew it for you
    and then wrote there for you.
    Just to make clear what he drew.
    May there always be sunshine,
    May there always be blue skies,
    May there always be my mama,
    May there always be me!

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  • Not That There is Anything Wrong With That!

    So TKC turned out to be thin-skinned (I don’t mean literally though, because he isn’t). He even referred to one of the commenters on my blog, and I am not sure when did she ever ask for and insulting write-up about her. While skimming through the long opus the following comment caught my eye:

    EXTREMELY THE GHEY TO GO AROUND RATING THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF OTHER MEN . . . At least without amending your remarks with “no homo.” Natch.

    For many reasons I don’t feel like I should be saying “no homo” every time there is a potential threat to my manliness.

    When I was growing up© there was an old joke:

    An American comes to the USSR and while walking on the street falls into an unmarked open manhole (should it be “no homo” here?).
    He climbs out and starts screaming: “Why wasn’t this manhole marked, where were the warning and caution signs, markings, red flags?”
    An old Russian looks at him in amazement and says: ” Did you see a huge red flag when you were crossing the border?”
    American replied: “Sure”
    “That was your warning, dumb-ass”

    And the point of this story besides that jokes don’t translate very well, is that this whole blog is “no homo”, but even if I was one I’d still be a better-looking homo than TKC.

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  • Chinese Food For Christmas

    Today is the busiest day for the Chinese restaurants in this country. Of course you may go to some gourmet Chinese restaurant and pretend that you like their overpriced food or (much better choice) you can go to Red Dragon on the 8th street and enjoy some All-American Chinese food which the real Chinese people disowned many years ago. With the prices starting at $5.50 for a deluxe lunch special, you will have plenty of money left to go to the movies.

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  • Behind The Iron Curtain: Stalin’s Corpse Moves Out Of The Tomb

    When Stalin died in 1953, his body was placed into the Tomb where he played Felix Unger to Lenin’s Oscar Madison for the next 8 years.

    They spruced up the front with Stalin’s name:

    May Day Celebrations in Moscow.1961. The front of the tomb still has both names.
    © Time Inc. James Whitmore

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  • Old Photos: Even More of 1938 Kansas City

    Starting with this post and continuing here, I promise this is the last one using the set of photos from 1938 Kansas City. There are many reasons why I do this, but the main two are: I enjoy it and I feel like somewhat of an explorer, possibly drawing attention to the photos that haven’t been seen for many years if ever. Any old photos of this quality are fun to browse through but I especially enjoy finding the ones related to this area or to my previous life in the USSR. You may find all my previous photo-posts here.

    Just like the previous batch, this one ends with some vintage NSFW, not that I am trying to compete with TKC, but the fact that a Life Magazine photographer even submitted these in the end of the 1930’s is in itself amusing. Interestingly enough, this is not a unique occurrence in the Life Photo Archives, I had few more shared in my post about the Persephone.

    All the photos are linked to the larger images, feel free to click and look at the detail.

    © Time Inc. William Vandivert

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