Published on Dec. 4, 1962 12 This adventurous young man traveled to Moscow on a sight-seeing trip during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the cold war and the space-race between the United states and the Soviet Union. Jack Briggs interviewed him on his return. A Pasco youth who marched incognito in a throng of Russians within 100 feet of Kruschev in Moscow's Red Square is back in Pasco.
Henry Kidwell, 19-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Herschel Kidwell, 190 S. 10th Ave., Pasco, was a two-week visitor to Russia.
His $3,000 trip coincided with the "victory parade" through Moscow to commemorate the orbiting of two Russian cosmonauts this summer.
"It was more like a funeral march," said Kidwell. The eight Americans in his party had been given what their Russian guide said was one of the best locations from which to watch the parade.
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It proved to be a block away from Red Square and, said Kidwell, was like being outside Yankee Stadium during a World Series game.
On the way back to the hotel Kidwell gave his group the slip and joined the parade.
"As long as I didn't open my mouth, they didn't know I was a foreigner," said Kidwell, who was very disappointed by the drabness of the parade.
The Russian trip was the highlight of a 3-month European tour, on part of which Kidwell was accompanied by another Pasco youth, 21-year-old Ralph Gaedeke, son of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Gaedeke, 1818 Sacajawea Drive, who was returning to visit his German birthplace.
With Gaedeke along for part of the trip, Kidwell visited Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, France, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden.
Kidwell had opportunities to meet the Russian man-in-the-street. His party was not allowed to walk about in the countryside without an escort, and was forbidden to visit farms. But in the towns they visited they had virtually a free rein.
"I expected to find the Russian with a full head and an empty stomach," said Kidwell.
He said in his short stay he thought the reverse was true. The average Russian seemed confused, said Kidwell of the few he met.
"They find Americans aren't the horrible monsters who portray capitalists in Russian theater movie cartoon," he said.
Kidwell found evidence of Russian backwardness.
At most hotels he visited the floors sagged, the plumbing was primitive and the service was nonexistent.
The hot water would come in at one end of the bathtub and the cold at the other. The Russians' attitude was, "Why worry as long as the water gets in there?"
Biggest surprise of a surprise-packed trip was when Kidwell went to get a drink from what looked like a typical Coke machine. But instead of the disposable paper cup there was a drinking glass sitting on top of the machine. Each person who wished a drink took the glass down, inverted it over a swirling bush onto which water was shooting, and then used it.
Then the glass went back on top of the machine for the next person.
Wages, said Kidwell, are relatively low in Russia - the average being $100 a month. Food was priced about the same as in American stores, though variety was lacking.
Random impressions,: The smallness of Russian soldiers ("the average I saw were squirts").. border guards who hammed up their toughness to the point of ridiculousness ..subways like temples ..hotel towels yellowed by incorrect washing ..and filthy hotels.
The three-month trip thinned Kidwell's pocket wallet, and his figure.
But the loss of 10 pounds was not due to insufficient food. It was caused by running up and down hotel stairs. The elevators were locked while the Russian operators watched TV all day.