Morning for Sokroshera Chapter Six

By Timothy Smith, 2020

Morning for Sokroshera Chapter 6

Tim’s novel of Russian America (Kodiak Island area)

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Wednesday, August 28, 1963: Sokroshera Cove. Jay-Jay accidentally figures out a very old secret after dinner at the Rezoffs’ house.


Judson moved aside as Will pulled out another record. “Look at this, Norm.” He handed him the disc, and Norm read the title. Will described what he knew about the record. “It’s from about 1912. Look, it’s the most worn of all the records.” Will pointed out the graying grooves. His guest was looking at the title “I can see why they played it so much,” said Norm, nodding. Will hopped up, opened the lid of his phonograph, spun the crank a few times, then came back for the old record. Soon a gravelly sound filled the room, followed shortly afterward by a few tinny-sounding brass instruments and at last a tenor, his words nearly buried by years of being ground away by a steel needle. “Jesus, Saviour, pilot me, Over life’s tempestuous sea, Unknown waves before me roll...” Deep in thought, Judson could almost imagine the sailors from innumerable voyages crying out in peril as they journeyed through the famously treacherous waters of the northern Gulf of Alaska. Judson’s thoughts were interrupted by young Barbara’s request, “Daddy, play Grandma’s favorite song!” She fairly skipped to the couch, grabbed one of the pillows, plopped down on it, facing the phonograph, and became suddenly still. Barbara’s famous concentration, thought Judson.

Will Rezoff carefully removed a disc from the folder of delicate 78s and placed it on the turntable, and after selecting a fresh steel needle, cranked the machine again. A man’s familiar voice, soon joined by a group of men and women, sang with no other accompaniment. Judson felt the room begin to spin around him, and he tried not to move, gripping the sides of his chair. “Wrong, it can’t be wrong to kiss, knowing I feel like this; It can’t be wrong to try...” With great effort, Judson sat through the song. He suddenly recognized the printing on the note, and the conclusion descended like with the force of a cartoon anvil on his mind. But the effect was not humorous, but shocking. He had connected the dots, and the knowledge was nearly doing him in.

He felt an overpowering need to get out of there. Almost rudely once the song had ended, he called to Herman. “Let’s... let’s go to the spruce trees and ride the swings.” Try as he might, his face had registered shock at the song, and it had been noticed. Norm Smith looked intently at Judson, and the young man got the feeling the minister had somehow figured out what the trouble was. Jeffrey Hansen called to his son, “Jud, you ok?” Judson struggled to reply, trying to sound as normal as he could. “I’m just full I guess. I need to go get some air.” Herman had seen Judson get claustrophobia in the depths of the fort, and had seen him get seasick, too, so he seemed to shrug it off, and headed toward the door. “Honestly!” said Norm, quietly, and shaking his head. He didn’t elaborate, and no one noticed. Norm’s eyes never left the young man as Judson quietly excused himself and followed Herman out the door.



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