Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 42. A guitar

How much since my secondary school years I'd wanted to learn to play the guitar! And to sing! I liked it when in a company someone played a guitar. There were listeners crowded around and the guitar player was singing in a sincere manner love songs. And the songs had to be only the love once, that kind of idea I had. "In a long forgotten pile of letters, I accidentally found one, in which a line of beads like handwriting ran on the paper into a lilac stain...". My parents refused to buy me a guitar. The matter was that before the guitar I had become keen on a button accordion. All I had wanted was the button accordion. I had promised to attend a music school, just "give me a button accordion, golden buttons". Well, what my parents could do, if their son wanted the button accordion that much and promised to study? (And what was the button accordion for in another case?). I was bought a button accordion; its brand name was "Rostov-Don". They said it was a good button accordion. So I went to the music school at the Kedrovskiy opencast mine to learn to play the button accordion. My class mate Vadik Smolenko and a boy from a parallel grade Volodya Dus' went there at the same time with me. And there our competition started. I remember that after the scales I learned to play the song "A Lonely Accordion" and performed it at the examination for the first grade. I passed the exam. But Vadik and Volodya were already fluently playing a waltz from Lermontov's drama "Masquerade", and they were playing fine. I lost any interest to the study and the button accordion in general. So I decided to find the way out... Batya (father) asked me why I did not attend the classes and did not do my music home assignments? And my answer was that the button accordion had been broken. My batya could play the button accordion too; he new the repertoire of the parties of those days. He checked the button accordion, and saw that that was true. At the nearest weekend he went to Rudnik (a district of Kemerovo) to a repair shop. In a week the button accordion was ready. What could I do? I again opened it and tore half of sealing disks off the buttons. And again my batya took it to Rudnik. When they were repairing the button accordion for the second time, they asked my batya: "Do you have a son?" Batya said: "Yes." - "Does he attend a music school?" - "He attended it when the button accordion was fine". - "If you want the button accordion not to be out of order any more, do not make your son go to the music school."
And after all that I asked my parents to buy me a guitar, and a seven-stringed one. Seven-stringed guitars were hard-to-get things. Guitars with six strings were available everywhere, but the seven-stringed ones were not to be found anywhere.
Generally speaking my batya was kind, he loved me and used to say that to learn whether one liked something or not he should try that. If the guitars were available, one might be bought for me, but that was not the case. So in my second year at the institute my dream came true; my group gave me the guitar for my birthday. I was happy. At that time the procedure (greeting me with my birthday) was directed by Petya Kozlov.

Петя Козлов

Petya Kozlov

Everyone remembers the store "Melody", which was at 40 Years of October street, near the Sanitary-Hygiene building. So Peter, he was a womanizer and used to go to the store quite often, got acquainted with the ladies-sales-clerks. He charmed them and asked to get a seven-stringed guitar to give it to me. During the socialism that was done in an easy and simple way. The guitars were not possible to find in stores, but they were available at a warehouse. The sales-clerks asked their director to get a guitar as if for themselves. And they were given it. So on 26 September, 1967 Pet'ka took all of us to the "Melody", the sales-clerks gave him the guitar from under the counter (it had already been paid for by him), and he said happy birthday to me and presented me the guitar; everybody was cheering together with the sale-clerks. I was thrilled and even shed a few tears. Everyone was making fun of me, but in a kind and not offensive way. Pet'ka had tuned the guitar up in the morning, long before presenting it to me. I invited everybody to a canteen at Leonova street; they cooked well there, the prices were rather moderate, and in a refreshment bar they sold "Rymnikskoie" wine, pink and white, which our group liked very much.

On the way from "Melody" to the canteen we were walking all together along the alley, which was in the center of the 40 years of October street, and singing out loud Vysotskiy's songs, who had just released a series of war songs, for instance: "I will never forget this battle..." After the canteen, where we sang to Peotr's playing the guitar, our whole crowd went to the birch grove, which was across the street from the canteen. There we sang to the guitar, but much louder. It was warm; generally speaking, the birthday party was a success.

Petya Kozlov took me under his patronage and was teaching me to play the guitar; and I could already strike three chords and sing hoarsely: "Yellow lights are in my dream and I am wheezing in my sleep...". To all parties where our group was invited I brought the guitar and was singing in a hoarse voice about a dream which was like yellow lights, and afterwards the guitar was taken from me and given to Pet'ka. So two or three month later, but before the New Year,
Pet'ka and I were walking home from somebody's birthday, do not remember whose one. It was quite late at night. We were walking along the very alley, and at the Kirovskiy district entertainment center, where there were portraits of "The Best People of the District", three drunks molested us with the usual "Got a cigarette?", and that was rather aggressive. When I was doing sambo (a kind of wrestling), our coach Krava (Vladimir Kravtchenko) taught us that it was better to be the first to start in order to control the initiative. So at that moment I remembered his words, and without thinking for a long time conked the most impudent on his head with my guitar (my coach taught me that as well - to conk the leader off, the rest would run away). Everything happened exactly that way: the bully whacked down on the snow, and the other two ran away. For you not to call us chatterboxes, I will not conceal that we kicked the bully a little bit while explaining to him that one could not bother decent guys. Then we went home; I used to live at Leonova, 1, and Pet'ka and Sasha Sal'mayer - at Leonova, 6 or 8, next to me, in other words.
In the morning I came to the institute. I passed the area where we had the fight the night before, but did not notice anything. And at the institute everybody was expressing his or her condolences to me because of the loss of the guitar and greeted me with the victory over the three hooligans. It turned out that Petya had come to the institute earlier than me, and had placed an announcement at an unfilled place of the "The Best People of the District" board, which said: "Yesterday at the very place Oleg Syedyshev broke his favorite guitar on a hooligan's head". Of course, not many students read the announcement in the morning, but Pet'ka diligently visited everyone he knew and told them about the fight, and after the classes many stopped there on their way specifically to read Pet'ka's scribble.
And since then I have not had any musical instruments, and I doubt whether I will ever have one.

august, 13 2011

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #21204250873

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content