Tuesday, July 28, 2020

My Life in 50 Objects, 7: Lenin, with Accessories

Lenin’s bust is something else I took from Grandpa Sam’s apartment after he died. I never knew he had this, so never asked him when he got it and what he thought about Lenin. I wonder if it belonged to his second wife, Gussie Linn, who was much more of a Communist than he was. After they returned from their trip to the U.S.S.R. in 1972, he told us about flying to Riga to visit Gussie’s relatives. He mentioned that the flight was a bit over a couple of hours and the passengers were only given some candy. Gussie immediately protested that the flight wasn’t that long. Sam replied mildly, “I’m not criticizing the Soviet Union.”
            The hat and the boa had nothing to do with Sam. The hat was part of a gift for my 50th birthday party from Meredith Bernstein, a literary agent and college friend of Ricki Levitt, who was a student of my old friend Gerald when he was TA’ing at the University of Rochester in the 1960s. The boa? This was from some recent party, I think—events in the past 10-15 years are, oddly, less sharp in my memory. 
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  1. Wow, so interesting! You had me at the title - "Lenin, with Accessories" haha. Thanks for sharing.

  2. What joyful additions you have given to Lenin! What a fascinating treasure from the past. Certainly tells us that we need to leave details on what things mean - though there is great potential for fun fiction when we get to make up our own!

  3. What a nice memory of your family. This is an interesting keepsake and one that would become a family joke in my husband's family (like the enormous crystal trifle bowl that was gifted to us. We hid it in my sister-in-law's garage and waited for them to mention it. After 6 months they finally did and we couldn't stop laughing so we were caught!)

  4. As we spend more time at home, I have begun to more carefully consider the things that surround me as well, their provenance, their continued place in my home, and perhaps, their future. Lenin's bust reminds me of a random bust my aunt had on her mantel. So heavy and so curious.