Learning The American Way

Young George Trofimoff had been at the Sunset Farm home in West Hartford only a few days when Uncle Paul came to his room and announced, “We must go shopping for ‘necessities.'” George did not know the term “necessities” but followed Uncle Paul dutifully, all the while wondering what necessities were.

As they made it from store to store, Uncle Paul stated that George needed work clothing, followed by normal day-to-day wear, underwear, socks, a holiday suit, ties, handkerchiefs, work shirts, festive shirts. It was overwhelming. George had no idea one needed so much in America.

George followed Uncle Paul to a drug store where he proceeded to buy all kinds of toilet articles, which he declared a young man needed for daily use. George had never had much more than a change of clothes and had never thought in terms of so many categories of clothing. He began to feel unworthy and embarrassed as the shopping spree continued.

When Uncle Paul insisted he needed a “going-out” dark suit with several snow-white shirts and a couple of silk ties, tears began to well up in George’s eyes. He was not sure why. It just didn’t seem possible this was happening, and George was pretty sure he was not deserving of the bounty he was receiving. How could his new family be so generous? How could his new country, though technically he was still a man without a country, have so much?

I write of George’s life in my book:  “Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranked military officer convicted of spying”.

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