STATUE OF LIBERTY

The Statue of Liberty has been in view the past few days. The Barclays Golf Tournament was played in New Jersey directly across the river from New York. Many of the television shots of the players had the Statue of Liberty in the background.

Imposing!

I visited the Statue of Liberty twice.

The first time was when I was 4 or 5 years old. My father took me. I remember the mob of people, the elevator, the long walk up a spiral staircase, the heat, and finally reaching the crown. The arm and torch were closed off.

My father had to lift me so I could look out of one of the small windows surrounding the crown.

A memorable occasion for a young boy. Here I am more than 70 years later and can still remember as if it were yesterday.

The second time was when I was a father. I took my four children to visit the Statue of Liberty. They were early grammar school age at the time. Unfortunately, all we could do was take the boat ride over and walk around the island. The entire Statue was off limits to visitors. I cannot recall why. I believe my children never the less were impressed with the majesty of the Statue.

Visited the Chart Room last night. JJ, Sheila and Frankie at the bar.

JJ asked me about Le Grand Bleu. I mentioned Le Grand Bleu in one of my blogs while on the Greek isle Amorgos. A French movie, part of which was filmed on Amrogos. JJ had come across it and recalled my having mentioned it. Today on Amorogos there is a restaurant by the name. Every wednesday evening, the restaurant plays the movie for free outdoors to induce persons to patronize the restaurant.

A family of three came in. The father was a big man. Like 6’6″. Big chested, also. A dark black beard. Big black eyes. His wife was very short. Around 5’2”. Pudgy and wore round steel rimmed glasses. The third person was their son. A teenager.

Just prior to the family arriving, two men came in. One was with the U.S. Navy and stationed in Key West. I believe he was an officer.

The big guy father of the family announced in a booming voice…..We are Russian!

We were all immediately interested in the family.

They were vacationing in Key West.

The Navy man said he once had a beer with a Russian in Korea. The father immediately came back with…..North Korea? The Navy man said no, my recollection is South Korea. Pusan.

With that, the mother said….Let’s go. And away they went saying their good byes as they left the Chart Room. It was a quick exit.

I pondered. How many Russians have I actually met? Few, when I thought of it. I know some from the former Soviet states. I have a close friend from the Ukraine. However as to real Russians, maybe only this family and one other.

The one other was Alexander Kerensky. He was Russian born and taught me Russian history for one year at Manhattan College. He was a most interesting professor. Especially as concerned the Russian revolution. He had been part and parcel of the revolution.

Kerensky was the second Prime Minister of free Russia. The Russia that existed after the Czar had been deposed. He was the boss.

Following the Revolution, the Russians were divided into two groups. The Whites and the Reds. Kerensky was a White. The two groups were not of the same thinking. Civil war began.

Eventually, the Reds took over. They were also known as Bolsheviks. The Reds were led by Vladimir Lenin.

Kerensky had to flee Russia. His life was in danger. He eventually made his way to Germany. When the Nazis gained power, he left Germany for England. Then he made it to the United States.

I took Kerensky’s course in 1956. Kerensky was teaching at Columbia University. He would take the subway to Manhattan College twice a week to teach the course.

Tomorrow is Tuesday. Tuesday means Tuesday Talk With Key West Lou. Nine in the evening on the internet. A fast moving interesting one half hour show. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

One of tomorrow’s topics involves Bruce Manning and transgenders. There is much that most people are unaware of regarding transgender persons. The discussion promises to be an eye opener.

Enjoy your day! It looks like a rainy one in Key West.

One comment on “STATUE OF LIBERTY

  1. “The father was a big man. Like 6’6″. Big chested, also. A dark black beard. Big black eyes.”

    A description of Hagrid from Harry Potter.

    Russians are interesting, proud and honorable people. I was in Russia on a US/Soviet college exchange trip during Christmas in 1981. Brezhnev was the Premier. We stayed in Москва in the Hotel Rossiya..the largest hotel in the world at the time and on Red Square near St. Basil’s Cathedral. It was also thoroughly bugged.

    I recall trading blue jeans for Red Army belts and Aeroflot rabbit fur hats in furtive exchanges with locals (still have the belts and hat). It snowed, of course, and we college kids had a great snowball fight in Red Square (after curfew) right in front of Lenin’s Tomb. When one of our snowballs hit the mausoleum with a thud the guard who had been standing still at attention turned to confront us. We thought we were all dead, or at least on a train ride out west to Siberia.

    Nope, the young guards (KGB Home Guards btw..uniformed) came over, placed the AK-47s by their sides and…laughed. Then they asked for “smokes” in Russian which several of our party spoke. To say I was relieved was the understatement of my life as I about you know what my pants. We apologized for the snowball and the guards laughed….they didn’t give a rat;’s as about Lenin. They were from Georgia (the Republic not State) and hated Lenin.

    What I recall is how beautiful the Russian women were all decking lovely fur hats and boots. They made you happy I’m sure.

    I also learned to say “Могу ли я считать свою фотографию пожалуйста.” A crucial phrase indeed.

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