“I couldn’t join the Pioneers, or the Komsomols, none of the youth organisations. You can imagine how that hurt.
When the Komsomols in the class had a meeting, me, Pogarskiy, I had to leave the room.
When the class went picking medicinal herbs, “Pogarskiy, you’re not coming”.
When the class went cleaning the street, “Pogarskiy, you stay here. Only the Komsomols are to come.”
You know, that makes you hurt deep inside.
My father used to say, I remember his words, “My boy, while you can, study. Every door is closed to us. While you can, study.”