Inspiring People – an Ode to my Soviet Grandfather

Sometimes the most inspiring people are not acclaimed authors, artists, and athletes, but actually those closest to us. I was recently flicking through some old family albums when I came across my grandfather’s photographs from his youth. Not only was he a wonderful human being I always looked up to, but he also had quite a remarkable life. Whilst I cannot sum up his personality in just five points, I have attempted to pick out the five key things about him that inspire me the most.

  1. He was a sailor in the army, and travelled around the world. He sailed across the Pacific and the Atlantic, and was in a ship headed to Cuba during the 1963 Cuban Missile Crisis.

2. Despite having a difficult childhood, as he was born a year before World War II and lost his father to the war, he was one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever met. He loved animals as he did people and always made time for the people he loved.

3. He worked as a space engineer-inventor, and helped the USSR send all kinds of sputniks and satellites up to space. He even won medals for his achievements in work. He also loved his job so much he never planned to retire.

4. He had amazing personal style and always managed to stand out from the crowd despite living in the USSR, where trend-setting was risky and fashionable items were hard to get.

5. He had lots of interesting hobbies, like fishing (even in the winter, through the ice), taking some of the most aesthetically pleasing photographs I have ever seen, and reading crime novels.

One of my favourite things to do is to look at old photographs. They capture fleeting moments, like youth, and make them timeless.

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