Tuesday, July 31, 2018


From the last 365:

177/365 A Third George
A Russian kept alive by the Germans to translate between guards and prisoners, he came to the states a refugee and started over at a Pennsylvania college. Having lost his academic credentials, he began as janitor and student, but soon became a beloved professor.

I have a book called This I Remember: from War to Peace, by George. It was published by a small religious press about ten years after I had spent hours with him, typing (on a real typewriter) as he recalled memory after memory, starting each one with “I remember . . .” The book is sectioned chronologically: his Russian childhood, his career, his army and imprisonment, his years as a displaced person after World War II, his landing at the college and his eventual rise to professor. It is a simple book, in a way, short, fascinating, and I need to reread it. I remember those many hours sitting with him, typing his stories, the clack of the keys.

George shared the first joke he ever understood in English. I’ve never forgotten it: Two ladies were talking. One asked the other, “Do you like Kipling?” The other replied, “Honestly, dear, I don’t know how to kipple.”


  1. I love the sweet joke.

    I wish I knew a better word than coincidence—one with richer meaning. Anyway, here's this: Last night my granddaughter, who is 27, asked if I had a copy of an essay she wrote years ago. I haven't found it so far, but I discovered something she wrote when she was 10. It was titled "I Remember," and every one of its seven long lines began with "I remember . . ."

  2. Ok that's a pretty good little joke

  3. I'd like to read that. His sounds a fascinating life.

  4. That sounds like something my husband would like.