Here he is, Andrey Mironov who sings for us: “My Friends of Yesterday”

The favorite artist of our young days performs brilliantly in the movie “The Straw Hat”. He’s light, sparkling with talent, unrepeatable Mironov.

“Do you remember Andrey Mironov?”, I asked Lusya Kuznetsova, one of my classmates of yesterday, who was known for her love for movies. We remember how our first teacher Nina Nikolaevna found always her at the cinema when the girl was missing her lessons at school.

“Sure. Who does not?”, answered Lusya.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Nellya

“And what about “The Straw Hat”?, continued me.

“Yes, yes, my friends of yesterday Lizetta, Kozetts etc.”, sang along she.

I told to her that the only thing is different: this song I dedicate to you, my friends of yesterday, my classmates of 50s who warm up my heart as Summer Sun in June.

“How is your life treating you, Lusya?” I asked in joy and excitement on that special occasion of my b-day meeting with friends at Emma’s apartment by Skype; Emma and Rimma’s b-days on March 11th joined. Happy Birthday to Emma and Rimma and all the best wishes to you from me as well.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Lara

We are three Pisces surrounded by girls are having a feast.

Meanwhile Lusya kept on:

“I have two grandboys: Tema and Senya. My son and grandson are called the same name Zenya. I have a stepdaughter Alesya by name and a granddaughter Ksysha. In the summer I like to work on dacha growing vegetables and fruits. In the winter I like to knit. Look at me: this is my creation-a jacket I am wearing on.”

“Lusya, get up, please, show yourself better by the camera. Oh, how good-looking you are in this outfit of yours! What is it made of?” I gave her a big compliment, praising her work.                                                                              Galya

“half of wool and half of acryl.” smiled me Lusya back.

To the right one can see the picture of Lusya as she was photographed in 50s in the classroom together with her 34 classmates at Bryansk All Girls School #1.

Next Nellya showed up at the microphone, trying to speak loudly and distinctly.

“Nellechka, please lift your head up to see you better”, I asked my long-term loyal friend. “What are you doing at the present time?”

“Do you know what, Valyushka, I am reading the books in such amounts as I never did it before in my whole life. Radio-books by Astafiev, Rasputin etc. etc.                                                                         Rimma

Do you see my white hair?” all of a sudden she changed the subject. I saw an embarrassment in her face. I wanted to encourage her immediately.

“So what?” I retorted. “We’re all gray and white. Just some of us like to dye our hair, some don’t, preferring the natural color of their hair. You look awesome, my friend, with the hair-cut of yours, fluffy and beautiful white!”

Nellya congratulated me warmly. I thanked her and thought to myself: “Why radio-books?” and then recollected: Nellya had bad sight always and with the years her vision was deteriorating, now she is half-blind, and my heart sank to the bottom of compassion and pity. Her photo is to the right as a classmate.

Lara took a floor:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Zoya

“I would like to share with you, Valyusha. I live in a 3-bedroom apartment, eight of us, among us my daughter Svetlana, handicapped. The other daughter Tatiana is married, I have two grandchildren. It’s hard, believe me.”

“Yes, Lara, I understand, it is really hard under one roof three generations, including one invalid person.” and she could not continue any longer the conversation, her eyes were fuul of tears, so were mine. Again my heart squeezed of compassion and grief.

One minute later Galya, having been a professional dentist all her life,  joined in:

“I wish you to take good care of Janko. I know how is difficult to live alone without the husband. I lost my husband 20 years ago, he was a good man, supportive. Now it’s not easy for me.”                            Emma

“Yes”, I said:”I know that. Do you have any children, grandchildren?”

“Yes. One daughter Irina and one grandson Konstantin.” she told.

The photo of Lara as my classmate is to the right.

The conversation with Rimma and Zoya was holding in unison. Rimma, our great class poetess-“our Marina Tsvetaeva” as Valya Popkova put it in her own words, does not have time to write poetry, but instead, wastes her time for the political news, sharing her hobby with Zoya.

“Rimma, don’t you know that politicians are prostitutes, one cannot believe  a single word they are saying and you waste your valuable family time.” that was my comment in this regards. I noticed that Rimma was a little                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Valya

bit shocked by my words and I heard Zoya came to her help as if behind her back, saying:

“So what you command us to go to bed as early as at 10-30 p.m. in the evening without discussing the news?”

“As you like, but knit, please, do embroidery and many other things you are talented for. What’s the use of politics? None.” concluded me.

The photos of Rimma and Zoya are to the right.

Valya, the same name as me, came up with her life story. I showed her a small oil painting made by us, me and Janko, copy of Renoirs’s “Dance in Bougevalle” , 1883. Valya told me:”I wish you and Janko dance as a couple  in Bougevalle, for long-long time to come”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Filippok(me)

“Do you remember, Valya, who came up with my nickname as “filippok” when I was at Grade 1 or 2?” I asked.

“Yes, I do. Our teacher Nina Nikolaevna. After reading Leo Tolstoy’s short story “Filippok” in class about a little boy whose older brother went to village school and he was left alone at home

Photo of Valya and of “filippok” are to the right and our reproduction of Renoir’s “Dance in Bougevalle”,1883.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        because of his too young age, but nevertheless he made his way to school and still was rejected, his little boy’s sufferings around it, Nina Nikolaevna said: “We have our “filippok”, originated from your last name “Filina”-“filippok”. Do you remember, don’t you?” she explained.

Thanks a lot to all my friends of yesterday for warm and sincere talks and nice birthday wishes.

Thinking of the past of our school days, we cannot but remember with huge gratitude and respect about our wonderful pedagogical school staff: the principal of the school Nadezda Ivanova, our class leader and mathematician Nina Nikolaevna Ledneva, our English teachers Doba Mikhailovna and Valentina Vladimirovna Ivanova, our geography teacher Ludmila Borisovna, our teachers Larisa Afanasyevna and Nina Dance in Bougevalle (after Renoire, 1883)Grigorievna and many others who helped us to get our education and become the true good human beings, always ready to come to help to other people. This is the main quality of the people’s character: be always ready to mutual help.

Hurry up to create the good for people. Tick-tock, tick-tock, time is moving on.

Hurry up, my dear friend. Life is too short, believe me.

Memories are like the sunset, the glories of  passed time fading and in the night sky the stars are ever so distant as our memories remain with us.

Listen to:

Barbra Streisand, “MEMORIES”

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