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I
In the beginning there was a stew. more precisely — in the beginning there was the Second World War, blockade hometown and a great famine, which claimed more lives, than all the bombs, shells and bullets together. By the end of the blockade was an American beef stew canned. firm “Swift”, to my mind, though I can not vouch. I was four years, when I tried it.
It certainly was the first for a long time meat. its taste, but, It proved less memorable, rather than the banks themselves. high, quadrangular, and attached to the side of the key, they proclaimed on other principles of mechanics, otherwise general outlook. key, winding the thin metal strip at opening, It was a revelation to a Russian child: we know there was only a knife. The country is still living with nails, hammers, nuts and bolts — to them she kept; she had to survive in such a big part of our lives. So nobody could really explain to me, how are sealed cans. I still do not fully understand, How does this happen. And then — then I, not looking, I gaped, Mom separates the key from banks, bends the metal tab, it is passed through the eye of the key and turn the key several times around its axis.
Years later, after, their content has been absorbed by the cloaca, the banks themselves — high, rounded — like a movie screen — angles, burgundy or dark brown, foreign letters on the sides, continued to exist in many families on the shelves and on the window sills -otchasti reasons purely decorative, partly as a convenient receptacle for pencils, screwdriver, fotoplenky, nails, etc.. Yet they are often used as flower pots.
Then we have these cans are no longer seen — nor their gelatinous contents, or unusual shape. Over the years, grew their value — at least, They are becoming more desirable in barter teenager. On this bank could barter German bayonet, naval buckle or a magnifying glass. Many fingers has been cut on their sharp edges. Still, in the third grade, I was the proud owner of two of these cans.
II
If anyone had benefited from the war, this we — her kids. Besides, that we survived, we have gained a wealth of material for romantic fantasies. In addition to the usual children's diet, consisting of Dumas and Jules Verne, at our disposal to provide all possible military bronzuletka — which is always very popular with the boys. In this case, success was all the more great, that our country won the war.
It is interesting in this case, that we are more interested in military goods of enemy, than our victorious Red Army. Names of German planes — “yunkyers”, “thing”, “messerşmitt”, “Focke-Wulf” — I was constantly on our lips. As machines “şmaysser”, tanks “tiger” and substitute products. Guns did Krupp, a bomb kindly supplied “I.G.Farbenindustri”. Children's ear is always sensitive to the strange, unusual harmonies. I think, what speakers, rather than a sense of real danger, It drew our language and mind to these names. Despite the base excess, available to the us, to hate the Germans, and despite the constant spells on this account domestic propaganda, we usually call them “Fritz”, but not “Nazis” or “Nazis”. Потому, apparently, to know them, Luckily, only as a POW — and in any other.
Besides, German technology we have seen in abundance in the military museums, which opened throughout the late forties. These were the most interesting attacks — much better, than to the circus or the movies, especially if we were taken to our demobilized fathers (those of us, i.e, whose fathers were). Surprisingly, they did not willingly, but responded in great detail to our inquiries about the firepower of a German machine gun and about the number and type of explosives that a bomb. This reluctance was generated not by a desire to protect a gentle mind the horrors of war and the desire to get away from the memories of dead friends and the feeling of guilt for, that you yourself alive. Not, they just guess, that we are driven by idle curiosity, and did not approve of this.
III
Each of them — I mean our living fathers — I kept, of course, some small change in the memory of the war. for example, binoculars (“Zeiss”!), German cap diver with appropriate signs or differences inlaid nacre accordion, silver cigarette case, gramophone or camera. When I was twelve years old, father, to my delight, suddenly pulled to light shortwave receiver. The receiver was called “Phillips” and could take the radio all over the world — from Copenhagen to Surabaya. Anyway, This is suggested by the names of cities on his yellow scale.
By the standards of that time “Phillips” This was quite portable — cozy brown thing 25x35 cm, with the aforementioned yellow scale and like a cat, absolutely mesmerizing green eye tuning indicator. It therein, If I remember it right, six lamps, and an antenna wire simple enough semimeter. But there was a hitch and. For sentry antenna sticking out of the window would mean only one thing. To connect the receiver to a common antenna on the building has been the specialist help is needed, and a specialist, in turn, He has shown an unnecessary concern to your receiver. Keep foreign receivers are not supposed to house — and point. The exit was in the cobweb on the ceiling construction, and what I did. Of course, with such an antenna, I could not catch Bratislava or especially Delhi. On the other hand, I still do not know any Czech, no hindi. Program as Bi-bi-si, “voice of America” and radio “freedom” in Russian is still jammed. However, it was possible to catch a transfer to English, German, Polish, Hungarian, French, Swedish. Not one of them I did not know. But on “VOA” you can listen to the program “Time for Jazz”, He waged the most luxurious in the world bass-baritone voice, Willis Conover.
this brown, losnyaschemusya, like an old shoe, “Filips” I owe my first knowledge of English and familiarity with the pantheon of jazz. By the age of twelve German names in our conversations we began to disappear from our lips, gradually being replaced by the names of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Эllы Fitsdzheralyd, Klifforda Brauna, Sydney was, Django Reinhardt and Charlie Parker. It began to change, I remember, even our gait: our joints are extremely frigid Russian shells began to absorb the swing. apparently, I'm not the only one among my peers could find useful application of a simple meter wire.
Six symmetric openings in the rear wall of the receiver, shimmering in the dim light of tubes, in a maze of contacts, resistors and cathodes, equally incomprehensible, as well as languages, they generated, I, it seemed, He distinguishes Europe. Receiver insides always reminded night city, with here and there scattered through neon lights. And when at thirty-two years I've really landed in Vienna, I immediately felt, to a certain extent, I know her. I can only, what, falling asleep in his first Viennese night, I clearly felt, that I was off some invisible hand — somewhere in Russia.
It was a rugged device. when once, in paroxysmal anger, caused by my endless wanderings over the airwaves, father threw him to the floor, plastic box cracked, receiver but he continued to work. Not daring to take it to the radio workshop, I've tried, how could, fix this similar to the Oder line — Neuss crack with glue and rubber ribbons. From now on, but, it existed as two almost independent from each other brittle halves. End it came, began to fail when the lamp. Once or twice I managed to find, through friends and acquaintances, some analogues, but even when he finally speechless, He remained in the family — as long as there was a family. At the end of the sixties we bought all Latvian “spidolu” with its telescopic antenna and all sorts of transistors inside. Of course, the reception was in her best, and it was portable. But one day in the studio I saw her without a back cover. the most positive, I could say about its internal, that's what they looked like a map (highway, railways, river, tributary). they did not look like any specific area. even Riga.

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