It was around 1990. My customer, Anatole, came into the music store to buy an amplifier. He wanted a Crown MicroTech 1200. Great amp, by the way. Rock solid amp….at least that is what my rep Alan Theile taught me. Anatole belonged to a Russian church. And he wanted MicroTech, which he pronounced Micro TESH. As in John Tesh. MicroTesh. Teshnology. Crown Teshnology.
One day I made the mistake of calling Anatole “Ukrainian.” He got upset with me. He told me that Ukrainians were idiots and that he was Russian. I pressed him on this. I asked him if their language was stupid. He said that most spoke Russian, so nope. I asked him what the difference was and he looked at me for a minute and said, “I guess nothing, but they are still idiots.”
Sacramento has a large population of eastern European and Russian folks. Like a whole bunch. These folks are my friends and have the craziest stories of all time. They are all here because they wanted to escape exactly what is going on now. They did not come to America and try to turn it into Russia like all the Californians are turning Texas into California. They came here to be free…and eventually, their stupid biases regarding their neighboring countries have dissipated. They came here and worked their butts off at car washes and fast food joints. They built churches and put down roots.
I talk about my friend, Gennady. He is literally my hero. He came to the U.S. with essentially no work experience other than in the Soviet Army. He had a passion for music and audio and decided to make that his career. He started with NOTHING. He bought equipment from local shops and installed it in the new eastern European churches that were springing up from all of the immigrants. He eventually started his own shop and has done installations all over the globe.
Gennady is Ukrainian. Gennady has a beautiful family with way too many children. I explained to him where kids come from as I suspected they don’t teach that in Ukraine. I also explained to him that he did not have to stock so much inventory of mine. I would not cut off his dealerships. He is my friend and I don’t want to “load him up.”
He tells me, “John it is not a problem. I can sell it all.” And he does. Over and over. He is the embodiment of the American Dream and he is my hero. So I don’t know a ton of Ukrainian folks. I don’t need to. Gennady has taught me all I need to know about these people. He is my hero.
I just thought I would share.
If you know someone that came here and made a better life for themselves please be proud of them and be proud of where you live. I am.