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Commodore’s trip to the capital

or State award of the President of Russia: view from behind the scenes

The Commodores of Carabela...

The Commodores of Carabela...

25 March 2014, when fencing tournament started in the squadron, Vladimir Putin handed over the award of the President of the Russian Federation in the field of literature and art for works for children and youth. The award was established in December last year and was given for the first time. One of its first laureates became ‘founding father of the «Carabela» squadron Vladislav Krapivin. The award was given with the formulation «For contribution into development of patriotic children literature, and patriotic fosterage of younger generation».

The pressroom of the «Carabela» squadron is publishing travel notes by commodore Larisa Krapivina, who accompanied Vladislav Krapivin during the award ceremony in Moscow.

In early February I was called by a squadron graduate and concurrently a president of a big Moscow Media Holding Aleksandr Shkornik and he told me that commodore Vladislav Krapivin was nominated for the first award of the President of the Russian Federation in the field of literature for children and youth. So it was necessary quickly to prepare and to come to Moscow at the end of March. Actually, this fantastic and adventure story started with this fateful call from Sasha.

Primarily, the best seamstresses of the city, who created a suit were involved. Secondarily, magnificent set of documents, which confirmed the identity and achievements rewarded, was collected and transferred to Moscow. In the third, and it was the most difficult: a transport was selected — commodore categorically refused to fly by plane, so we had to find a convenient train.

«Literature Express» is waiting for its «literature» characters

«Literature Express» is waiting for its «literature» characters

On March 23, 2014 we got on the train «Khanty-Man. — Moscow» and went in the direction of the main city of the country. The chain of dramatic occasions which’ happily and nice to remember now, looking back, is hidden for this quite usual phrase. The first shock came upon us at once at the station when father Slava with interest asked me and Maxim Ilinykh and Pets Krapivin: «Where is the suit?» The answer was a silent scene in the style of Gogol.

At the station in Moscow the Commodore was met by Michael and Irina Khankhasaevs, Alexander Shkolnik ...

At the station in Moscow the Commodore was met by Michael and Irina Khankhasaevs, Alexander Shkolnik ...

New suit (three-piece suit) packed in a case and not folded in the luggage so as not to «mash» was foully left at home in the clutter of picking. And because we hadn’t other decent clothes, in which the laureate could appear at the reception in front of the President, commodore immediately suggested «to refuse from the trip and just go home and then change tickets, fuss with the President’s administration, but he would not fly by an airplane in any case, because they fell down, as toys from a Christmas tree, disappeared in the oceans, exploded while on landing, and so on and so forth».

Of course we didn’t agree with this scenario, moreover we had time though not much. Speedy Maxim rushed for the suit and we three were left to wait at the station with the luggage. Thanks to the efficiency of Irina Vasilyevna Krapivina, Max managed to bring the apparel and almost at the last moment to throw it into the carriage.

Alexander Shkolnik and the Commodore Krapivin wearing a «pioneer» necktie

Alexander Shkolnik and the Commodore Krapivin wearing a «pioneer» necktie

During this quite nervous waiting Anya Myasnikova called us. She said that she was already on the platform, standing against the train, but in a doubt if we were really going to leave. Suspecting something wrong, I asked her «What special is with this train?». «You’ve got a very special carriage…» – she answered and disconnected.

When we got to the platform a new shocking experience was already waiting for us. All the wagons of our train looked really fresh, coloured in shining grey, whereas our wagon was old and green. Moreover, it was the only one with an unequivocal inscription saying «Literature express», so it was impossible to make a mistake. With all its outside gloss, the wagon turned out to be an old second class type proudly called «luxe». It is possible to say that we felt like Hogwarts students leaving from the platform 9¾. Of course, in this situation we had no other choice but to joke and laugh.

Alexander Shkolnik and Larisa Krapivina before the award ceremony

Alexander Shkolnik and Larisa Krapivina before the award ceremony

In fact, we didn’t have time to entangle fate’s regularities or find providence as the signal for leaving had already been made. At last Maxim appeared with the long-awaited costume and we… set off. The commander told me afterwards that he had had a dream on the train as if we’d left and the costume had been flying after our train, like an invisible man, grievously swishing with its sleeves and trousers, trying to catch up with us.

On March 24 Alexander Shkolnik, Irina and Michail Khankhasaevy, Jury Vedernikov and Timur Ibatulin met us at Jaroslavsky Railway Station, along with two VIP-class cars and their drivers. Irina had been a member of the squad since her childhood in the 1960th and started the Carabela’ with the commodore. Nowadays, Irma and Michail live in the USA with their big and friendly family. Jury worked as an instructor for the Carabela’ in the same time. Sasha was a member of the squad in the 1970th. And Timur is currently working as a literature agent for V. Krapyvin in Moscow.

... The city of Moscow and the river are looking like something very special, colorful and attractive!

... The city of Moscow and the river are looking like something very special, colorful and attractive!

The meeting was joyful, and then life rapidly picked up and dashed with an incredibly wild speed. Accommodation in luxurious apartments at the President hotel, lunch, discussion over our action plan, evening meetings, contracts, interaction with hotel’s security system when unexpected guests vigorously tried to come in, understanding tomorrow’s schedule, etc. We had to get up early in the morning. Breakfast and then we had to get over barber’s visit. We had also discussed with Sasha that it was necessary to change the tie for the suit because I didn’t like the variant offered by stylists at all. Sasha promised to find something «pioneered» in his reserves.

Honestly, when Nika and Phillip Kutsyllo arrived in the evening, we were completely exhausted with all this metropolitan fuss. But we would remember that Moscow and the river looked particularly colourful and attractive from the l4 floor.

Larisa Krapivina, Commadore of the Caravela squadron

Photo: Larisa Krapivina, Commadore of the Caravela squadron

Translated from Russian by Tatiana Tuktamysheva, Elena Maltseva (2nd year journalism students)

To be continued…


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