From the amber coast to the amber waves of grain.
What was it like to watch this from afar? Were you in contact with relatives in Lithuania as events unfolded? Did you find media accounts trustworthy? I can imagine that you knew some people who had lingering fears of a Soviet crackdown. I remember scarcely believing that the liberation of Eastern Europe was possible. And then, what seemed like a trickle turned into a wave. I was excited, but didn't have any particular connection to the events, as my family moved from Germany several generations ago. I am vaguely aware that my paternal grandmother corresponded with relatives still living in Germany. To the best of my knowledge, my father did not. And while I'm sure that there must be distant family living in Germany, I don't really know.
It was strange to watch from afar. I had just moved back to the Midwest after living in South Carolina, and it was the first time in fourteen years that I had a television set. I wasn't working, and I watched CNN all day long. I recorded multiple VHS tapes of the event. I did find the media accounts trustworthy, but then, I was swallowing up whatever they showed.We were not in touch with relatives as the events unfolded. Contact with the LTSR was spotty then: there were no telephone calls, and authorities censored letters. Since then, people told me they were fearful.It seemed to happen so fast and, as you note, it seemed unbelievable. What was most sad for me was that my Dad didn't live to see it; he had died in 1986. Of all my family members, he was the most tied to a sentimental memory of Lithuania. He looked back on his life there as an ideal time. The war shook him badly (I have not written about all of his experiences here), and during the Displaced-Persons years, he kept his memories alive through scouting. I still wonder how long independence will last. History suggests it won't be permanent.
he kept his memories alive through scouting. I got that impression from all the photos of scouting events. I've got a few places that I'm sentimental about. One of them has been lost to redevelopment, and I'm not sure that would like to see that neighborhood in its present state. I always thought I would get to go back. Wish I had taken more photos.
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