The man who took us to the future
Some people are ships,
And the rest of us are their passengers.
The fate of most people does not depend on them. But only a few shape their own destiny and crystallize their example of historical signs of the whole country.
In a gigantic society meetings of people often take place according to the laws of intense Brownian motion in a “one-touch” microcosm, where in chaotic contacts, countless cataclysms everything moves, “bombarded”, disintegrates and disappears without a trace in soulless transformations into nothingness.
In periods incomprehensible to man, matter transforms into planetary systems, stars, galaxies. Just as unpredictably people with a unique chromosome set appear among us, very close to us, only a few times in the course of our whole life. They don’t line up in “molecular rows. They shape the world around them. They influence it. They impress it with their uniqueness, in which everything is as simple as it is unfathomable! And when they leave physical life, everything created by them still lives for a long time according to their laws, the laws of these already “immortal souls”.
In many thousands of my human encounters VASILY MAKSIMOVICH GRISHANOV was that rare impressive charming personality, who came to my fate as a joy and remained as a father, a friend, a patriarch of the primordial formula of honor of a soldier-admiral-politician.
In our mature years it is more difficult for us to be impressed, to get along with people, to make new friends. A “worm” sits in us, which compares everything, finds flaws, notices “repetitions” even in the original, and blurs the initial impression. Communicating with Vasily Maksimovich was always a pleasure as a unique kaleidoscope of charm, sympathy, style in everything (from gait to facial expressions), an undying interest in the future and even the distant, no longer ours. Wisdom, ingenuity, musicality and lyricism, momentary concentration, principality, involvement and responsibility for one’s own and others’ “yesterday-today-tomorrow”, gallantry, tact with an opponent and a like-minded person, love for life in all its manifestations and for everything that never stops to please: neither at presidium meetings, nor in home cozy beautiful feasts constituted the essence of his personality. His image is a kaleidoscope of positive emotional radiation of warm colors and major life-affirming acoustic sound.
I am willing to respond with a concrete example for every figurative word written above, separated by a comma.
It seems to me that the Guinness Book of World Records could rightly have the fact that three great admirals (a father and his two sons) existed in the same family at the same time.
It is impossible without awe, shudder, and touching to realize the act of a father-admiral, who forbade himself to send his own son-officer ashore from a warship that was leaving for the nuclear apocalypse. Today’s Admiral, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Navy Valery Grishanov was transferred from one ship to another the day before. Knowing that the ship was preparing to leave for the area of the Caribbean crisis, Vasily Maksimovich did not express his anxiety even to his son. The nuclear catastrophe did not happen… But to his father’s heart it was drunk to the bone.
Recently, in an interview with a TV reporter, the prime minister of Japan suggested that a statesman who has devoted himself to politics puts service to the people above any self-interest.
Only a few people known to history have been able to put this formula into practice at a critical moment. Among them is Vasily Maximovich Grishanov.
Perestroika in our country has divided society into its supporters and opponents. It was greeted most conservatively in the highest circles of the army. It was a good tone for “experience-wise” politicians and “preachers” of obsolete dogmas to blaspheme entrepreneurs.
We spent long hours, step by step, with keenness and interest, delving into the details until the admiral’s perception was exhaustive. This, an almost uncensored word in the ideological past, was blessed by Vasily Maksimovich for a righteous future and I, as someone he trusted completely, was quite happy with his father’s undisguised approval. His complimentarity was always thoughtful, sincere, and respectful. It was inspiring and spurring.
His conclusions were never influenced by existing traditional interpretations. He was for the truth and never betrayed it.
After the Vancouver “summit” meeting between J. Bush and M. Gorbachev, the U.S. Congress appropriated money to the U.S. Department of Defense for the destruction of excessive amounts of both American and Russian nuclear warheads, ballistic missiles, submarines and other strategic weapons. I, as an industrialist and entrepreneur, was approached by my partner and friend, one of the U.S. federal arms attorneys, J. Cominers, with a proposal to organize industrial-state structures to implement the plans and ideas of U.S. Senators Nana and Luger. Vasily Maksimovich, already retired, had undertaken consultations to promote these sensible ideas in the interests of the state, and was very upset when bureaucratic confusion and overreaction stalled an important matter.
It was a great pleasure to follow the details discussed by a Russian admiral, one of the founders of the Russian nuclear naval fleet, with a seasoned American professional who had been on every U.S. naval vessel and had once formed the U.S. Army naval aviation procurement.
Professionals are always visible from afar. They parted as friends. And a panelist, Colorado Vice-Governor Bee Seller, then head of the state Department of International Relations and Foreign Trade, at every opportunity in any country would return to memories of an admiral who was not only a military professional – a legend of the Russian Navy – but also a great singer, knowledge of world culture, easy-going and progressive thinker.
His funeral was not a formal admiral’s funeral. It was a requiem for a person who embodied the fusion of the country’s power and its best traditions in honor of its faithful sons who had dropped out of the ranks.
His wake was like a bright southern starry sky. I had never seen so many stars on the epaulettes of the first magnitude at one memorial table. Stargazers would have been confused.
Not being able to prolong my narration about observations of this inexhaustible storehouse of wisdom and humanity, I take upon myself the role of his executor and, like flowers on his grave, lay a low bow to his family – the glorious Galina Vladimirovna – his wife and companion, who extended the long life of the enormous personality, his sons – Admiral Valery Vasilievich and Vladimir Vasilievich Grishanov.