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Friday, March 12, 2004

Back in the U.S.S.R.

Rustem and Vladimir
Vladimir Sukhorykov and Mike Rollins watched the historic concert given by Paul McCartney on Red Square in the same way--on television. Mike was in Abilene, Texas, U.S.A. and Vladimir in Stavropal, Russia. The event was a culmination of the music that shaped their lives half a world apart. The two sat at our kitchen table last night, talking of the music and the times, while Rustem Ganibaev visited by telephone with an old friend who left Russia 12 years ago and now lives in Colorado. It was the kind of night in which memories are made and friendships formed.

Vladimir and Rustem apologize for their limited English. Mike and I assure them it's far greater than our non-existent Russian! They tolerated our menagerie, even Bugsy the flamboyant dog. Vladimir asked what kind of dog he is, and I answered, "Mutt." He mulled that over a while then, with the explanation it meant all the breeds, he came up with a yard-long word for it in Russian.

We'll continue to visit until they and the others in the Productivity Enhancement Program go back home to Russia on the 21st. Perhaps we'll meet again after that. Mike and I, though, are quite sure we don't want to visit Rustem at his home in Kazan during the winter months. We struggled with the conversion of Fahrenheit and Celsius, but we do know temperatures about 20 below zero Celsius are way too cold for us! (It's -4 Fahrenheit. Yes, way too cold!)

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