Down Memory Lane with Jerry Aagaard

I thought I would share some of the emails from Jerry Aagaard, the man who was issued his passport in Moscow the same day as Dad- April 29, 1941. (Another Living Survivor of the 1941 Trans-Siberian Railway Found)

Jerry has continued to write to me as he has recalled events as an American boy who spent time in the Soviet Union. We have even chatted on the phone.

One day, I received an email from Jerry: Karen, you’ve got me unable to quit thinking back to those days. Would you like a few more interesting happenings?  Naturally, I pounced on the opportunity to learn more about what he had to say. He calls these recent emails to me “Memory Lane.”

That day, I received the following from Jerry:

 Ok I’ll try to keep them in order. This would be mid to early ’41. My Dad and I, being Norskies, we used to go cross country on skies around the area in Yaroslav, which was on the banks of the Volga River. One day he said, “Let’s try the other side of the river.” We see people always north of us walking across all the time. Since the Volga was frozen across by us also, that would be ideal.

Well about3/4 the way, I said to dad that there was water running across the tops of my skies (not the tips but about an inch across the flat part). He said, “Don’t stop, and stay away from me. We don’t need both our weights in one spot.” Well we made it across ok. I have to admit I was scared. 

This memory occurred shortly before Jerry returned to the United States.  My father had a photo of himself skiing somewhere near Leningrad. Apparently, Jerry used to go skiing with his father several time.

I am so fortunate that Jerry has been excited to share his recollections of that time with me.


About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
This entry was posted in Living in the USSR and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Down Memory Lane with Jerry Aagaard

  1. jerry aagaard says:

    where did you go, did I say something wrong?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s