September 01, 2020

Where in the World?



Where in the World?
James Richardson, Sr.

At a time when international travel has come to a screeching halt, I can think of little better service our magazine can provide than to take readers to far-flung places. And so, in this issue’s feature stories, we travel to the Far North and the Far East of Russia, to the Mari El Republic, to one of our favorite villages, and to Antarctica (which gave us a great excuse to put penguins on the Table of Contents page).

In terms of the things I miss most in these pandemic times, limitations on travel come in a strong second behind limitations on real, un-face-masked interpersonal interactions.

This is particularly keenly felt now, because, as this issue is going to press, my father, Jim, is celebrating his 90th birthday. And, because of worries about COVID, our widely dispersed clan was unable to travel to visit and celebrate with him as planned. So we, like the rest of the world, will sit back and wait patiently for a vaccine (and make do with a less than satisfactory Zoom call).

I mention my father here not just because he is celebrating an important milestone, but because he was a key instigator in the unusual twist of events that got me over to Russia in 1989, to work in one of the first Western-Soviet joint ventures. This kicked off the series of unexpected events that led to the founding of our company, and to the acquisition, six years later, of Russian Life.

Dad has been a keen supporter of the magazine and all our publication efforts over the years, and he also bears a significant measure of blame (in a good way) for genetically and behaviorally instilling in me an inclination toward entrepreneurship. He has also modeled the dogged determination that must fuel that life choice – that thing that helps you keep going when the times are tough.

There have been plenty of tough times covering Russia over the past 30 years. And we thank you for standing with us, particularly through this current one, when so many businesses and individuals are struggling.

Hopefully, Dad will forgive me this rather public recognition of his birthday, but I felt that Russian Life readers would be interested to celebrate one of the hidden forces behind bringing this magazine into the world.

Thanks, Dad. (And happy 90th!)

Enjoy the issue, be safe out there, and we can’t wait to see you all again on the other side of this malicious virus.

 


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