a small office on the ground floor and deposit $5 in a polished wooden alms box. We went outside and made polaroid shots of our friend and two other church officials, completely winning them over for life when we presented the pictures to them. From inside the church we could hear the hymns, and they were the familiar hymnal tunes that we hear at home. As we left the young men brought out the best sounding English I have heard since leaving home, a warm “God bless you,” given with a handshake. We fervently replied in kind. x We have just returned from the ballet and are overwhelmed with the experience of sitting in the Kremlin palace and the majesty of the performance. We were on the first row, but the majesty of the orchestra pit put us some distance back. The theme was laid in St. Petersburg of the time of Peter I. The opening choruses were sheer delight to me. The dancers didn’t wear tights and lamp shades, but the dress of the time. I have never seen such stage and lighting effects as we saw tonight, and the dancing was superb. In one scene the hero danced himself into a shipwreck. Blue material on the stage floor moved as ocean waves; parts of a shipwreck floated. across the stage as the orchestra thundered, and the hero was tossed about in the stage sea. He gained a seat in a boat being rowed across stage and turned it back toward the battle.. . . We had gotten our first sight of the Kremlin from across the Moscow River. It is an imposing complex, with a brick wall and periodic towers surrounding it. The bulbous turrets or domes of the various cathedrals are for the most part gilded; one of them is made of zinc. As for the Kremlin hall itself tonight, bear in mind that it seats six thousand. It is an impressive and beautiful hall, marble, glass, and wood. The Central Soviet Congress meets here, and the seats all have little tables that may be pulled out from their enclosed position in the seat arms and revolved so as to make a chair arm surface. True, the surface is only large enough to allow the writing of the word “dab,” but that is all that is needed. x This morning we leave for Budapest, God willing and the “Service” bureau does not foul us up completely, but before we leave the Soviet I should tie up some loose ends. Last Saturday we saw the Chamber of Armament within the Kremlin walls. Why they named this museum the Chamber of Armament is a puzzling question. There is one room devoted to the history of arms from the chain mail and armor-suit period to that of early firearms, but the rest of the spacious building is devoted to . the time of Czarist Russia and is replete with precious handicraft, thrones, crowns, carriages, and the like. Even with the people starving, the Czars thought nothing of presenting fifteen different noblemen silver and gold table services of thousands of pieces. There was one heavy golden plate that Angella said Ivan the Terrible had made for his wife. We saw large smocklike coats of the period, embroidered with precious stones, emeralds, diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. The nobility would spend a fortune on baubles. A thing that surprised me were the trappings that were made up merely to adorn the horses. These breast straps, forehead pieces, saddles, and stirrups were covered with gold and silver and studded with costly gemsI don’t mean rhinestones, but the genuine articles. Huldah remarked that it would be hard for the horses to carry a rider atop all this metal finery. Angella replied that no one rode the horses when they were so fitted out; that they were simply led in the line of parade or exhibited in the ceremony at hand. Talk about a vulgar display of ‘wealth, the Grand Dukes knew the game. Each emperor apparently had a special throne designed for his coronation. Ivan had one of delicately carved ivory; other rulers fancied gold and silver ones, again studded with jewels. There were glass cases upon glass cases filled with objects of art the royal families had ordered. Porcelain and enamel eggs that open to disclose a tiny golden ship, complete in every detail. A spray of porcelain flowers, the petals of which open upon the pressing of a button to show the miniatures of the owner’s family. All of the skill of minutiae were evident here, as well as exquisite filigree work on metal crowns and caps. In a Sunday afternoon chat with Angella, she asked me if our people agreed with the policies of President Johnson. I told her they did as to his domestic policies, but that some of our largest newspapers, such as the New York Times and St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and some intellectuals, do not agree with his foreign policies. I told her that I thought we had no business being in Vietnam, that our country was likely responsible for the violation of the Geneva Agreement that called for elections there in 1954. I knew better than to try and explain to her that the suggestion that the South Vietnamese government invited us in was like saying Charlie McCarthy invited Edgar Bergen to dinner, she would have known nothing of either. But I did tell her that President Johnson found the situation there when he took office, and that from my knowledge of him that he was certainly sincere in seeking an honorable compromise. The difficulty, of course, is in the definition of honorable, as remarked upon in an editorial in the New York Times of the dim distant past when I was in Helsinki \(the last newspaper I have seen excepting a bobtailed edition of about the same date, great elaboration and repetition, I told her the Uncle Remus story of Brer Rabbit and the tar baby, casting President Johnson in the role of a Brer Rabbit who had not struck the first blow, but found himself trying to get aloose. From her, no comment. x Let me leave the Soviet by saying that if the burying of capitalism should be left up to the “Service” bureaus of Intourist we need never fear. If it was already a corpse, they couldn’t direct the funeral so as to insure interment. The gravediggers would be misdirected by “Service” and turn up as a part of the chorus in a rendition of Swan Lake at the Boishoi Theatre, and the mortician would be directed to an observatory instead of the funeral parlors. The hearse would be missent to the Kremlin Palace to pick up tourists who had attended the ballet there. For all that, we did run into a capitalist or so in Moscow. One was the urchin who approached me on Angella’S blind side with a handful of emblems or little porcelain button pieces, saying “Spend? Spend?” Oh, if I had only known his language well enough to day, “Look fellow, I have a trunk full of Yarborough buttons at home now.” The other capitalist, and a far superior one, was a waiter in the Pekin. When I was settling my check, he spied an American dollar bill in my money clip. Pointing to it, he said, “I collect.” To myself, I thought, well, I know a lot of others who do. But, I deposited the dollar on the table, and he gave me a rouble. I made a quick mental calculation, and repeated the exchange. Now, here is what was happening: The official rate of exchange is artificially fixed as $1.10 for one rouble. On the free market, or black if you like, the dollar would easily bring four roubles. What my honest ‘broker was doing was paying me ten cents to tip him three roubles. Not a bad trade for either of us, if Big Brother isn’t watching. It would not take this lad long to own a bank, if he was turned aloose in the U.S.A. On the subject of tipping in the Soviet, save for the guides and others attached to Intourist, it is welcomed, if not expected. My broker would get us in and out of the restaurant twice as fast after I started helping his collection than he did before. At breakfast I gave a tall pleasant waitress 50 kopeks the first morning, and thereafter we needed only to enter the buffet whereit was served, and our regular ,order was prepared and brought out. Don’t ever think that on the cab driverporter-waiter level, it is not realized in the Soviet, in the words of a song of Ramona in the thirties, “Finer things are for the finer folk.” \(Next issue Jones, writing from satellites, concludes his reports on his Russian journey and tells what happened to him September 17, 1965 15 MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each the Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal. no dues. MONDAY LUNCHEON CLUB meets on 3rd floor, .McFarlin Auditorium, S.M.U., Dallas, each Monday at 12:00 noon. Join us if you are in town. WORK PARTIES every Sunday afternoon in Austin, 2:00 p.m., Texas Society to Abolish Capital Punishment, 3014 Washington Square. ITEMS for this feature cost, for the first entry, 7c a word, and for each subsequent entry, 5c a word. We must receive them one week before the date of the issue in which they are to be published.
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