School graduation day
On the wave of your memory. The publication of the material "Expedition to the Ancestors" was liked by many readers, including those who are directly involved in the work of the site. So our artist A. Sheps, who is well known for his drawings of military equipment both on our website and in many magazines, wanted to share his memories. They seemed to me very, very interesting, and I think that the VO readership will also consider them as such. And just today we will get acquainted with his first story about the past ...
After leaving school, every young person faces the question of where to go to study further. I studied well at school, the average score of the certificate was 4,75. For admission to the university, this was more than enough, subject to the successful passing of the entrance exams. There were three institutions of higher education in my hometown of Velikie Luki. Agricultural Institute, Institute of Physical Education. Lesgaft and a branch of the Leningrad Institute of Railway Engineers. Considering that in agriculture I am “not boom-boom”, the athlete is also not so hot, LIIZhT was the best option. Firstly, the first year I studied at "home grubs" in my hometown. Further 4 years of study took place in Leningrad. Secondly, the institute absolutely provided students with a hostel, while my classmates, who entered the universities of Moscow and Leningrad, were forced to rent apartments for the first year. Thirdly, the level of knowledge given by the teachers of the institute was highly valued. Textbooks on theoretical mechanics, strength of materials and building materials, and other disciplines written by LIIZhTA teachers were used in many other universities of the country. And fourthly, engineers with a diploma from a railway institute received distribution to fairly large cities where the relevant organizations and enterprises of the Ministry of Railways were stationed. In addition, the salary of a specialist in the Ministry of Railways was higher than that of a corresponding specialist in city organizations. There were other perks, which I will discuss later.
The building of secondary school No. 3 - now the Gymnasium. Sofia Kovalevskaya
Now about the choice of specialty. After eight years, I transferred to secondary school No. 3 in our city. It was considered elite, the children of city officials studied there. The teaching staff was strong. Numbers tell about the level of training. Of the 25 people in our class, I think 18 people entered the university. And two of them went to the Leningrad State University for a mekhmat. My friend's mother was a math teacher. She put in a good word for us, and we ended up in a class that had the best mathematics and physics teachers in the city. In addition to studying, we also studied optional in these subjects. I also loved to draw and for several years I went to study at the art studio at the House of Culture of the Lenin Komsomol.
The choice of specialty was quite simple. Mathematics, physics, drawing - well, of course, PGS (industrial and civil engineering, architecture department). In early July, I submitted documents and signed up for paid preparatory courses. Not because he doubted his abilities, but to get to know the teachers and understand the requirements for the exams. Which, by the way, helped to successfully pass the exams. I took physics to the teacher who taught our courses. I got an A in physics. I wrote the essay for four. Knowing his weakness in punctuation marks, he wrote in short chopped phrases. I got a B in math writing. At home I double-checked everything - everything is done correctly. The next day I went to the admissions office. They promised to figure it out and give an answer at the oral exam. Which also passed on a four. The math teacher told me:Young man, do not be discouraged - you have already entered. We had a big dropout in your specialty in the first two exams. We lowered the grades in the last exams so that the average passing score was acceptable". Of course, I did not believe him very much, but a few days later I found myself on the list of applicants.
The building of the PGUPS branch (LIIZhTA)
There were 308 people in the PGS-25 group. 10 guys and 15 girls. And on the first of September, we together went to the collective farm for 1 month in the Loknyansky district of the Pskov region, the May 1 collective farm. 60 km from Velikiye Luki to Lokni, 15 km to the central estate and another 5 km to the village where we were supposed to live. The girls were settled by 5 people to retired grandmothers. And we all went to the building of the former collective farm administration, in which a family of a husband, wife, two children of primary school age and a grandfather lived. The room consisted of a vestibule and two large rooms separated by a Russian stove. The owners were sleeping behind the stove, children and children were on the stove. Well, we are on mattresses stuffed with straw on the floor. And then an incident happened to me. I was not warned that in addition to the sheets, pillowcases and blankets, you need to take a mattress topper. Thank God, there was an old sofa 1,5 m long in the room - I slept on it. True, his springs stuck out so that he had to be pressed in between them. I put the pillow on the bench in front of the sofa. The girls were assigned to harvest potatoes behind the harvester. We were sent to rake straw into stacks after grain harvesters. We were given a horse with a cart, well in the group was Vitya Fedorov, who knew how to harness a horse. The rest of the group just watched the process. The horse turned out to be with character.
She walked slowly - and there was no way to make her run faster. Bread was brought to the village once a week. Tea, sugar and other delights in a shop on the central estate 5 km from the village. A calf was slaughtered for us, a field with potatoes was allocated - dig as much as you like, and every day we took a 25-liter can of milk from the farm. If the grannies spoiled the girls with differences, then our hostess prepared 2 large cast irons. Thinner meat potatoes are the first, and thicker ones are the second. Milk for dessert. True, she made sour cream from milk for the first. After two weeks, this monotonous diet began to bother me. The headman of the group rented fishing rods from a local grandfather, dug up worms. We went to the big lake to fish. But they caught two scavengers, and that's it. Grandfather said:Try it on a small lake". But there the approaches are painfully bad - a swamp. We went together with Kostya Ovchinnikov after work. They found a fallen thick tree, somehow crawled onto it. And then it began. The roach grabbed an almost bare hook. How many they missed, they did not count, but in an hour and a half they dragged more than three dozen large roaches. The ear turned out to be rich. When the calf was eaten, the next was the ram. We never mastered the potato field, although we tried very hard.
Another adventure. The collective farm herd in our village was grazed by two shepherds. I drank one from my paycheck. The foreman came and said:Comrade students, we need to allocate a person for a couple of days, replace the shepherd until he comes out of a corkscrew". They cast lots - this share did not pass me by. The Jewish shepherd is cool. The process is quite interesting. The meadows are divided into sections by fences made of concrete poles and steel wire. There are passages between them. During the day cows are driven from one area to the next. Until they get fed up. After dinner, the cows lie down to rest and chew their cud. There were three bulls in the herd. Red melancholy, but the main one. He allowed himself to be stroked, scratched behind the ear and did not mind my presence. The second black, healthy, tried to stay away from the first. He didn’t like me very much, and only my grandfather’s whip did not allow him to lift me up on his horns. I tried to stay away from him. When the herd went to rest, my grandfather and I sat on a boulder and talked about life. On the second day, cars began to take potatoes from our village to the central farm, and the cows were grazing right on the site next to the road. Grandfather asked me to drive them away from the road so that they would not foolishly fall under the wheels. I drove them away, but lost my vigilance. I just turned around - a black bull was rushing at me. How I jumped over the wire partitions, I don't know. Make me repeat it later - it would hardly work. The bull overcame one such fence, but got confused in the next, and even his grandfather whipped him with a whip. The next day, an assistant came out, and my saga ended there. But when, on the second day of grazing, the cows were slowly driven to the farm for milking, they witnessed a rodeo. From another village, a herd of bulls, about fifty, were brought from a calf barn. They had to be driven into the calf and tied in the stalls. This task was assigned to the students. And so, when most of them were tied up, a freedom-loving bull was caught. Escaped from the paddock and rushed into the meadows. The guys behind him - he is from them. After 40 minutes of running around, he finally gave up, and they kicked him into the calf. But both the bull and the students had a pink tie behind their shoulders. One day I worked with Vitya Fedorov in Lokna on a flax threshing machine. Our collective farm threshed its flax for seeds. Dusty work is about it. Just washed off. Dust in ears, nose, teeth, everywhere.
We washed on weekends in a bathhouse that was heated in black. Water had to be drawn from the well. The owner heated the bath. The main thing when washing is not to touch the walls. The village had several abandoned plots with gardens. So we had apples and plums for dessert. Of all the charms of civilization in the village, there was electricity in the houses and one pole with a 40 W lantern in the central square. And another dispatching telephone from the foreman. Conveniences, of course, in the yard in the form of a play closet. After two and a half weeks, the girls were taken to another village to harvest potatoes in the fields around. We agreed with the foreman that the day before departure they would be brought to our village, and we would celebrate the completion of the work. There were three guys in the group after serving in the army, they went to the store and brought, in my opinion, a box of some kind of wine. The hostess organized a meal. The village carpenter played the harmonica, they poured him and the owner and the hostess. The most interesting thing is that on the mattresses on the floor, where every morning the guys swore “for tightness”, 2 times more people slept - and nothing, it’s normal.
The day before the end of our “quest”, the collective farm bus had an accident. Therefore, early in the morning we were loaded onto an onboard car and taken with a breeze to Velikiye Luki. Those who did not get enough sleep at night slept in the car.
The study began, but more on that next time.
To be continued ...