Most people in both countries probably forgot about them. Looking at the picture, I remember how it all started, continued and ended… The adventures of the painting itself make a fascinating story.
Bob Walsh, who was President of the Organizing Committee of Goodwill Games 1990, got it from Bart Forbes, the artist. It is print 15/750. I got it from Bob several years ago when he was downsizing his life after a divorce from an umpteenth Russian wife of his. I was helping him to move out from his beautiful Lake Washington home, and the poor guy had literally no room to hang the picture in. 🙁
The picture stayed in my Lynnwood home until recently, even after my divorce from my American wife. Mariya (unofficial Goddaughter of Bob?) who spent most of this summer in Camp Killoqua near Seattle, brought the print to Florida, and yesterday we framed it with a beautiful 36”-24” Poster Frame from Target.
Despite all the recent changes in Russo-American relations, it would be very interesting to find the remaining 749 people in possession of the painting. What was their life like after the Games in 1990?
I know my life was good and interesting. Very interesting and very good! The biggest lesson I learnt since moving to the US is pretty pathetic though. It can be best illustrated by an example of my daughter’s dog who is sitting with me on the balcony and panting. It is hot and humid in South Florida. I feel sorry for the poor dog, take her inside and lead her to the water dish filled with fresh cold water. She looks up at me… and ignores the offer. Bitch!
Twenty-two years ago today an SAS flight from Copenhagen landed in SEA-TAC airport, and I stepped into the land of Marlboro and blue jeans. I was a guest of the Port of Seattle who invited me for a month and a half to visit the Goodwill Games and who paid all the expenses. Which was good because I spent nearly all the money I had in my pocket when I left USSR ($314.00) on broads in Tivoli night clubs during an overnight stopover.
When I decided to overstay my welcome in the land of opportunity, I put an ad in the local newspaper. It was bold, naive and honest.
The response was overwhelming, more than 50 ladies responded, but on closer look it seemed that Americans didn’t know how to read. Half of the ‘girls’ who contacted me were older than myself. I started meeting and interviewing the other half and ‘stumbled’ on #13 – a cute blonde professor of chemistry from UW. After meeting her, I dumped the remaining candidates without even checking them out. Which, when I look back, was silly but that’s the way I am… In any case, today I might as well put the same ad in Florida newspapers – with very few but IMPORTANT modifications.
I no longer drink or smoke, I am NOT interested in marriage and the last time I weighed 140″ was after radiation treatment for my tonsil cancer. More than anything, I now LOVE my privacy. In addition to British rock, I spend a lot of time listening to an American band: Dream Theater. It feeds my passion for daydreaming and alleviates my guilt of not going to theaters. Seriously, I am nearly as obsessed with DT as my daughter with Arctic Monkeys or poodles. If you plan on being my friend or guest you better like them (and that kind of music in general).
P.S. Don’t believe Paula Abdul with her “Opposites attract”, it is BS. I made this conclusion after nearly twenty years of marriage to a nice American woman.