Please, click on the picture to fully enjoy it's Russianesque roots
Judy Дорогая моя,
I found my old spiral notebook from Russian class when I was cleaning out my closet today. Gospadee Boza Moi! Isn’t that what we used to say? It’s been over thirty years and I’ve forgotten so much of what I learned. That notebook had a Peter Max design on the cover. I’d forgotten how much I loved him when we were in college. Remember the poster of his we put up when we were freshmen, and what that gross boy down on the second floor wrote on it? I’m so sure he’s either incarcerated or else working for the prison system now.
Of course these days, nobody even thinks twice when somebody says something like that.
I loved our Russian teacher, Anya. Do you remember how much fun she was? And her little girl, Annychka? Holy Moses, Annychka must be almost 40 now! She used to have so much fun drawing all over the back of my old greenbar printouts. Do you remember when I took her down to the computer lab and showed her how to use the keypunch machine? She loved those IBM punch cards! I bet she’s working at Facebook or Sun now.
Bernadette, she was so awful, always made fun of Anya’s clothes and hair style. I don’t think there was anybody else at the university who dyed their hair in those days, and Anya’s was that brilliant, shiny coppery-red that just glittered in the sun.
It’s so funny to think now, how we were all into those seventies ultra-natural styles, and there was Anya, freshly arrived from the Soviet Union and feeling fine with herself. All the women students were wearing earth shoes (remember those God-awful things?), earth colors, and those boring skirts that hung down almost to our ankles and were shaped like feed sacks. Next to us, Anya, in her sixties era neon polka-dotted mini dresses, with her hair shingled like Mary Quant, looked like a psychedelic flower.
Secretly,I loved her clothes because they were straight out of a Peter Max graphic. But I never had the nerve to stand up to Bernadette and tell her so. At the time, I thought that maybe Anya hadn’t had access to modern clothes in the Soviet Union during the actual sixties, and that she was determined to make up for it when she managed to get out and come to the U.S. Now I think she just liked her pretty, brightly colored clothes. Being a little older myself these days, I wear what I like now. And no, I don’t have any earth shoes or feed-sack skirts in my closet.
I wonder what Bernadette is doing now? She was always telling me to eat my alfalfa sprouts, because they were full of protein. I still hear her voice in my head when I tell the guy at the sandwich shop to leave the hay off my turkey and rye. What do bossy people like that end up doing? I suppose they develop nuclear power plant security systems, teach or get m.b.a.’s Remember that really, really rude phrase that the gross boy on the second floor made up to fit the m.b.a. acronym? OK, that really was funny.
The other person that my notebook reminded me of was Piotr. He wasn’t that good at learning the Cyrillic alphabet but he was a hot musician. He was such a nut with that balalika at the Russian store in San Francisco, when we went up there on that fieldtrip to the orthodox church, the one with the gold onion dome. I wish I had a recording of him playing it with me when I sang Katyusha for our Modern Languages-Department End of Term Talent Show. Расцветали яблони и груши!
I certainly hope Piotr didn’t end up developing nuclear power plant security systems. I bet he’s a crocodile wrangler or maybe a rodeo clown.
Anyway…. What I really wrote to tell you about was that my parents gave me a gift card for Period Pilots! I’ve been saving it for a really special trip. When I found that notebook I was thinking about dropping back in on Russian class, just to say privet to Anya. But then I remembered Bernadette. Still, that book’s got me in a Russian mood, so I’m thinking I’ll be heading off in the general direction of Krashnaya Ploshitts.
I’ll write again soon and let you know how that trip turns out. Желаю всего хорошего!