The Good Old Days

Vintage Map Soviet Union

I bought this map at an antique store. It helped me remember why I’m a little weak on my eastern hemisphere geography. When I was a kid, many answers to quiz questions were swallowed up by the good old Soviet Union. Many fewer countries to memorize back then.

Did I just say that? Holy cow! This big bad blob of (usually) red country was disturbingly larger than the United States (our teacher said that much of that was flat map distortion, but that didn’t help much) and was a convenient plot device for any spy show that needed a lurking enemy. A lurking and permanent enemy.

I remember blowing off a World War I quiz because the Arch Duke of blah, blah, blah was killed by a Serbian.

“What’s a Serbian?” I asked.

“Someone from Serbia.”

“What’s Serbia?”

“A piece of land that’s now part of the Soviet Union.”

Okay! No need to remember that. I tossed it in the mental bin of useless outdated information with other names like Siam and French Indochina.

All those stories and more washed over me. I laid down my 45 bucks with a plan on where to hang this in my house and what I was going to tell my wife.

“It’s an historical artifact.” I’ll say.

She’ll say, “You just bought it because you wanted to have it.”

What can I say? She knows me.