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    From Russia to Chicago With Music

    Did I happen to mention to you guys that a family member bought me a new computer for Hanukkah this year? Well, I used to give all my business to Fulton Computer here in Gloversville, NY. But I couldn’t help it, it was a gift. And let me just tell you how fast this computer seems to work.

    Just to get technical, it’s a 2.13 GHz processor with 40 GB hard drive and both a DVD player and a CD burner. See how easy that alphabet soup flows for me? I have to say that the sound system is totally awesome. It has a 50watt speaker system with a bass woofer that makes it seem much bigger than it is.

    Now, when we were in Chicago over Thanksgiving visiting with my sister, we happened to be in a cab and heard this great jazz station. We also heard that it was available on line. The website is www.wnua.com and I highly recommend it. What’s really weird is hearing the Chicago weather forecast and updates. They are also an hour behind us, so when they do time and temperature, I’m always surprised at how early it is.

    I’m not usually a jazz fan, classical music is my choice. But once I heard the station I was sold. When I first heard the station, we were in a cab coming from the airport. Our driver was from Russia. And I kept asking him questions as to why his family moved here.

    His English wasn’t the greatest, but from what I understood, he wanted his children educated in the states and felt they would have a lot more opportunities here. Although he worked long hours as a cab driver, and found the city of Chicago strange as a native of Belarus in Russia, he used a map and found our destination with no problem and seemed glad to be here.

    Evidently, there’s a lot more opportunity here than back in Russia. He talked about waiting in long lines at the market and when you finally got to the counter there were few choices. It’s interesting to hear about our own country from a foreigner’s perspective. I guess sometimes we don’t know how good we’ve got it here.

    Think about all the space we have even in our own homes. He was talking about having three families living in one apartment back in Russia.

    So my trip to Chicago gave me new perspectives on my homeland as well as my musical venue.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"