Chapter 4 Galya
My narrative is not just about my relatives, but goes to much broader boundaries: to the people of our generation. As clear as it was today I see my first meeting with the classmates of Nina Nikolaevna Ledneva’s fist graduates in 1954. I met them thanks to my first published book “To the Horizon and Beyond” which I had sent as a gift to Valentina Leonidovna Troshina, an English teacher of the Bryansl School # 29. She brought this book to the local newspaper “Uchitelskaya Gazette” and the editor-in-chief covered a good story about this book and the author. Rimma Levchenko, my former classmate, read this story and phoned to the staff of that school, introduced herself to Valentina Leonidovna and requested the telephone of “The Russian-Canadian Lady who wrote the book”. They exchanged the telephones. Valentina passed the Rimma’s telephone to me. I phoned to Rimma while visiting Bryansk. That’s the way how we met with my classmates. It was Rimma who invited those who could to come to Klava’s Museum where she was a director for many long years.
It was in 2007 when I came by trolley bus to Klava’s Museum. Two ladies were standing and waiting for me. “Do you recognize us?” asked one of them. “Of course, not.” I answered frankly. “I’m Galya Kalinina”. said one, and the other :”I’m Lara Biryukova”.
“Can we help you to carry your stuff?”. “Oh, yes.” I answered, passing my books of verses-gifts for all of them, and a big cake. A very pleasant gesture! To help each other! This is a photo of us Galya and Valya at the meeting.
I signed my books, we had a tea with cake and all in all spent a wonderful time together. There were many girls who later did not join our meetings. We organized so called “International Badek Club” and kept on our meetings on Skype. Many times Zoya hosted the get-togethers,many times-Emma, sometimes-Valya, or Rimma.
Once Galya did not come to our meetings. Rimma told us that Galya was seriously sick, hospitalised and died of heart attack. Galya was a dentist by profession, lost her husband early, and raised her only daughter Irina and grandson Konstantin by herself.
On the photo below Galya Kalinina and Lara Biryukova – the long time friends from their childhood.
One October Sunday, 2017 Emma, Rimma, Klava, Zoya< Valya met each other at the
Bryansk cemetery near the Monument to Partisans to visit the graves of our teachers: Nina Nikolaevna Ledneva, Lyudmila Borisovna, and our classmate Galya Kalinina,who was all life long friend of Lara Biryukova. There were lit the candles RIP, remembered them with a kind word, and then Valya Popkova-Ivashutina invited them to her home for her apple tart specially baked for this occasion.
We will never forget you, Galya!
(to be continued)