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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/15/2014 at 2:25 AM, Eric Carmen said:

Both of my Grandfathers were born in Russia.

 
Eric,
 
This is a very great pride and honor for Russia to have such descendants like YOU!
Though I live not in Russia but in neighbour Ukraine (and was born in Kazakhstan), after the collapse of the Soviet Union it’s hard for me to consider the post-Soviet republics as different countries, even though it's happening now...
 
I would want to know in what city or region of Russia your grandparents lived.
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One characteristic about Russia, Ukraine etc. and their people that I love is that they seem to possess a depth, seriousness and passion that is more profound than you find in most other places.  I really love Russian history.  I'm drawn to it and I'm not sure why, but I am.

The music is majestic, and so is a lot of the literature.  A few years ago I remember reading "Brothers Karamazov" by Dostoyevsky.  While some of it dragged on

terribly, some of it was as deep and insightful as anything I've ever read.  Genius.

And Boris Yeltsin standing on that tank in 1991 (one could argue)  represented an event that was the greatest achievement/ miracle of the 20th century.

But most importantly, it doesn't get much better than Russian chicks!... (...though most of them have the ability to beat me up if I get out of line..) 

:)

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On 3/2/2014 at 4:42 PM, Larisa Pokotilenko said:

Though I live not in Russia but in neighbour Ukraine (and was born in Kazakhstan), after the collapse of the Soviet Union it’s hard for me to consider the post-Soviet republics as different countries, even though it's happening now...

Hi Larisa,

I'm confused why you "think"this way.

I will assure you that Lithuania and I'm sure most all of the other satellite countries PROUDLY with MUCH bloodshed broke from the "occupiers" called the USSR, are completely different countries.

I am PROUD to be of Lithuanian descent with a totally different culture than Russia. I embrace the culture of the country that my grandparents fled from with fear (because of the Soviets) so they could make a better life, here, for their descendants.

However they kept their "homeland" in their hearts along with their culture that they passed on to us---their children and grandchildren...and we are passing on...and it was not a Russian homeland nor a Russian culture that lives on, but a Lithuanian one.

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Hi Wendy-Ann,

I agree with you completely. Lithuania is a different culture and a nation. Its accession to the Soviet Union was a big mistake.

While Russia, Ukraine (and Belarus too) is a common nation with a common culture, history, very similar languages.

I think it's better to move this discussion to a more suitable for this thread  :) 

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Hi Larissa,
 
Thanks for your reply. Just because countries have things in common doesn't mean they are not a separate country. Look at Poland and Lithuania, or Latvia and Lithuania. And truth be told there is a difference between an accession and a military occupation.
 
I'll be happy to take this discussion to another thread, but I'm not sure what we're discussing. I was just explaining my thoughts that the former occupied countries of the USSR are separate and why. I did so because of what you stated, in hopes that with my reply it could help you understand they are indeed their own countries and should be respected as such.

Thanks for taking the time in responding to my reply and I do appreciate our exchange. :)

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Panamanians have a lot in common with Cubans, but the last thing Panamanians want is to be under Cuba's thumb. 

Austrians (in the 1930s) were basically one in the same with the people of Germany but the last thing (correct thinking) Austrians wanted  was to be part of what was then Germany.

Even today on a lighter level, Canadians and Americans are very very similar.  We are close brothers in effect.  But the Canadians do not want to be part of the U.S., and they are correct to want to keep their independence,

IMHO.

James

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Wendy-Ann,

I'm sorry to hear that you had such problems with Lithuania's accession to the Union. School history textbooks say sometimes only half the facts. The rest of them remains a secret for us. The Soviet Union was not sinless.

But I am Soviet child and it's impossible to change. So we were taught in school and family.

Collapse of Soviet Union was very hard for us. We found ourselves with all our friends and relatives on different sides of the border suddenly. It was absurd.

I respect your position and your choice about self-determination of your country.

I also think that there is nothing to discuss, and should not continue.

All I wanted to do is ask Eric about his grandfathers' homeland. I did it because it was really warm and nice to read his mention of Russia. And I tried to explain why Russia is native for me, even though I live in another country. ;) 

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Larisa,

I responded over in Cartoon World.  You likely won't like me after you read my response. :)

Please know I think you  are great (from your posts here)  and I think you are a great great addition to the Ec.com community.  I'm a Larisa fan!

I'll stop posting on this thread as I agree with you it would be better to take this over to Cartoon World.

James

 

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BTW, I look exactly like my Mom's father. 

Everyone on my Mom's side of the family are attorneys and successful entrepreneurs. On my Dad's side, it was all professional artists and professional musicians. Everyone used to tell me I looked just like my Mother ( who looked just like her Father ) except for my eyes. My eyes were the same as my Aunt Muriel's, my Dad's sister. She was the first woman George Szell ever hired to play in The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra ( he didn't want "girls" in the orchestra ). During WWII, there was a shortage of great violists, so my aunt switched from violin to viola. Her thinking was, " I have a much better chance of getting hired as a violist than as a violinist  She was a child prodigy on the violin and my musical mentor. We totally "got" each other, and, if not for her, I might have had a much harder time becoming a musician. My Dad's college degree was in accounting, but when I was growing up, I think he realized he'd seen this movie before. When I dropped out of college to become a full-time musician, it was my Dad's sister that had paved the way for me. When my Aunt Muriel retired from The Cleveland Orchestra in 1994, she was the senior member of the orchestra, having played viola with them for 43 years. There is no doubt in my mind that, but for her influence, I would never have accomplished what I have.

During the Raspberries Reunion concerts, I got my family a "Box" at the House Of Blues, just to the right of the stage, with a clear view of everything. After our performance, my Aunt said "I couldn't do what you do. You 'own' the stage, from the moment you walk out. All I do is play the part that Mozart wrote. You arrange, play, sing, produce and have the charisma necessary to be a performer." I was astonished at her statement, but flattered beyond belief.

I used to get to sit on stage while the orchestra rehearsed at Severance Hall ( which is now recognized as being one of the two most perfect acoustic halls in the world, along with the symphony hall in Vienna, Austria ). I was kind of their "mascot." I would play in the balcony, hide in the harpist's case ( That caused one rehearsal to come to a complete stop, because they couldn't find me! Where's Ricky????? ) I must tell you that, at my Aunt Muriel's funeral, a few years ago, I did the eulogy, and, I've got to say, there wasn't a finer string section anywhere, that day. The greatest violinists, violists, cellists, and contra-bassist from The Cleveland Symphony were all there. A fitting tribute to one of the most remarkable people, I have ever known, or ever will know.

Before she had a full-time symphony position, she taught math and science at a Cleveland High School, and graduated from Western Reserve College ( now Case-Western Reserve ) along with my Dad.

She was quite a gal. I miss her a lot.

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Eric,

I would certainly imagine you look like your mother.  I find it fascinating when we look around us and see how we are mirrored by family.  As we get older, it becomes more evident how we might have inherited or purposely taken on some traits of the people who meant so much to us as we grew over time. 

You and your aunt were fortunate to have such a close, loving and understanding relationship. 

Thanks so much for sharing such personal thoughts.  It's one of the many things I love about you. 

M.E.

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Eric...why did your Grandfather choose Cleveland when leaving Connecticut? Was it the large Russian population or something else?

It always amazes me to think about the impact that "movers" have on the world. There was no way he could have foreseen how his decision to move to Cleveland, Ohio was going to impact the lives of his Daughter (Muriel) and his Grandson. Better or worse, music history would be very different had he stayed in Connecticut or chose to settle anywhere else. Cool story.

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Since the loss of my dear friend and boss, Michael, I always think about what was said to me when he passed away. "He may have taken a part of you with him when he died, but he left a part of himself behind."

When we lose one who has been so much a part of our life, (like my late sister and my Daddy were to me) sharing their life with others is how they live on. I often tell my nieces and nephews to please remember me with the fun  and exciting stories I've told them about my life.

It's like that story about the "dash" that is put on a gravestone when someone dies. What did they do during that dash? I mean, we know they once lived, but after one is gone it will be up to others to tell HOW they lived. And that could keep a loved one alive for a very long time.

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Hi Eric,

I have always loved family history. Mine, other peoples too. Love to look at old photos to see family resemblances in the current generations. Thank you for sharing such an interesting part of yours. You spoke about who in your family you looked like. On your video from "Where Are They Now" there is an adorable bit of you with your very young son. At that age he certainly looked like you! He had those great big droopy brown eyes. Just like the photo of "Ricky and the Tooth" from one of your vinyl albums. Such adorable little boys, both!!

~Kathy

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