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First Impression of America

First Impression of America

by George Gorodnitski

Originally published in American Lutherie #25, 1991 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three, 2004

You can’t understand if I don’t tell you my last impression in USSR. My country was on the edge of civil war; bitter people, interruptions in food, nationality problems, economic chaos. Imagine — early morning, 6am, I leave to go to the airport. In my pocket a ticket to Chicago. At the subway station I see my train approaching. Doors open, the crowd falls out, and two men from this train began to smash each other’s faces. From the silence of the platform, to frenzy, to blood, and nobody paid attention! Soon they scatter, and I stand there and think, ‘‘My Lord! What have they done to these good Russian people, to this land that was once one of the richest countries on earth?! I hate this Power who spoils my people and my country. I think it is irreversible. Seventy-three years of blood and hunger, a whole country intimidated, like a big jail. How long can people bear it?” I can never forget this episode.

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