College at Memphis State University and classes in Eastern European culture and Language
Personal perspective – When I was growing up in Memphis and started started college, I was really fascinated by geo politics. When I was accepted in to colege, I recall scouring my first catalog at Memphis State University and findng all kinds of classes on international poIitics, economics, and classes on the history of Russia and E Europe, as well as language classes. I signed up for several every semester, and took as many as I could. (Do not follow my example. The result of taking too many language and culture classes was prolonging graduation a very long time.)
One of my favorite teachers there was Dr Tamara Miller. Dr Miller was born in 1923 in Kyiv, Ukraine, the bread basket of Europe. Her memories were relayed to us in stories she told during our language and culture classes, or after class. She told us about her childhood and of being nearly starved as Russian communists under Stalin took their grain and left them nothing to live on. She told us how Russians basically outlawed being Ukranian. Her family’s life was very tough. She understood the reality of real oppression and living under ruthless dictatorship. From what I recall , as WWII was coming to an end she left with an American Army pilot she married, made her way to Memphis to eventually teach at Memphis State University, now University of Memphis.
Eastern European Community in Memphis TN
There was a community of Russians and Ukrainians in the Memphis area that I got more familliar with taking classes at Memphis State. A few Memphis landmarks associated with that community were the Tea Room, on Monroe, and the now long gone “Russian” Deli by Memphis state just off Park Ave on Echols. They were all very kind to students practicing even very poor in my case, language skills. I have not kept up with current trends in Memphis in regards to the Eastern European community. If you read this blog, and have any details about this community now, the restaurants, tea rooms, or other gathering places of the community email me contact me to let me know.
Traveling in Eastern Europe and visiting Czech Republic
One of the best memories Anne and I have traveling is when we visited Czech Republic, the neighbors to Ukraine. What a beautiful part of the world and what wonderfully kind, and smart people. They and their children, like us enjoy freedom. They sadly have not been free for long though. Our friends the Ukrainians, ike many in Eastern Europe, know what it’s like to NOT BE FREE. Ukraine has only been separated free from the former Soviet Union since 1991. They declared their independence August 24 1991, and later in the year voted for independnence December 1 1991.
Every day they hold off Putin and Russia is another day the world may wake up and stop Russia. Putin is attacking civilians and is a war criminal. He must be stopped – QUICKLY!
Stand with Ukraine, Syria, as well as others under attack and oppressed by war!
Resources for getting aid and assistance to those in Ukraine and in the region