Captain Guga Iron. Odessa story with Cute ArnautPhoto: Vadim Goloperov

In the glass of the window, which looks out on the Lovely Sea, he carved a small hole, installed a portrait of Lenin with modules and wrote “Help grandpa”


01.04.18 12000

April 1 in Odessa starts humor — the famous festival of weirdos. They lived here always, and not particularly shy reputation. Including therefore, Odessa has always been another city, and so it remains today. Today they are smaller, many of the famous Odessa characters, about whom I knew only local anymore. And when I walk on little Arnaut, always remember one of them — captain Gugu Iron. I remember meeting him for the first time. It was a long time.

A well for collection and storage of rainwater and other water is usually a shallow but wide inside the pit fortified with something impervious to water, clay, cement, or God knows what. The well to collect water on the street little Arnaut, who stumbled in his yard captain Guga, was not yet ex-captain Gogoi, this is a typical example of such a Odessa water works of the mid NINETEENTH century.

I must say that the residents of Odessa have always had some problems with water. More precisely, the people of the area, because even long before Catherine II ordered to found a city with the same name, there lived the Greeks, flourished the Kingdom of Bosporus, wandered the Scythians and Sarmatians, for several centuries was ruled by the East Goths, the Lithuanians, the Turks. And they all brought water with us, dug deep wells, settled near the beams, the bottom of which the streams flowed, because to the river no less than forty kilometers.

Even today the water periodically somehow turn off so many citizens of Odessa is always a bucket of water just in case. However, the former surgeon, who found on-site landfill pit underground reservoir in the form of an amphora, there was about him a completely different, rather strange idea. All this I learned before I met Doc when I to it brought friends.

Say the name of streets Malaya and Bolshaya Arnautskaya given in honor of the millers that they lived in. These millers, I am pretty cool, because a child does not like to eat porridge arnautki — wheat flour. Much later I learned that arnauts is agresivas Albanians… Well, in the sense of those who moved to permanent residence in Greece. And then — to Odessa. After leaving the bus on the street and the cable car, I looked at the wrinkled faces of old people sitting on benches or chairs in front of his dug into the earth with houses with courtyards, and tried to see in them the Greek facial features. Near the house that the address I was waiting for friends.

The sign indicating the street and replacing only one letter, got to the point: instead of “Malaya Arnautskaya” — “Sweet sea”. We organized ducked under the low archway into the inner courtyard. The first thing that caught our eyes in this courtyard, is a large tree, the branches of which were hung at least a dozen old open umbrellas. “So people often looked at the sky,” he told me then Guga. The captain was already waiting for us: it was his old jacket, striped stockings, shoes with buckles and unchanging cocked.

— Oh, come, you anchor below the waterline! Did you forget anything?

My friend showed small, slight pirate bag with a bottle of rubbing alcohol, beer and a kilo of smoked hunting sausages. The captain nodded with satisfaction, threw a careful look at our girls and even more cheered up.

His wife Luda, also a doctor, an unfailing companion “Lulu-you can Cheat Death”, has long rested in the Lord. But women still had an important place in the life of an old pirate. “Follow me!” — he ordered and stepped to the wooden shed near the porch of the house.

It hung a few signs “pirate — like “Tampax” in good time in the right place!” “To struggle and search! Find and perepryatat!”, some children’s toys, chains, rope…

The construction of this “hut” when we began the strangeness of the adult dreamer. Soon we were standing inside the shed, in front of the hole in the ground that was reported with the surface using a rope ladder. For a start we pulled the burlap, captain Guga ordered to repeat after him the words of the pirate oath, because now we were Thick Olaf, Henry Bony, Little johnny, the axe fighter Harry and the like. We took in the pirate club-tavern “Jolly Roger”.

Former district surgeon, bypassed all the oceans, the ship’s doctor, along with his wife worked on contract in Algeria, it was already over 80. A few years before my visit, the DGAC made a beautiful brass plate of the “Iron Guga. 1929-200…” and hung it in the cellar. The first decade of the new century has already passed, but to correct the figures the captain was gone. Unlike his wife, he cheated death. And continued to kink.

In the glass of the window, which looks out on the Lovely Sea, he carved a small hole, installed a portrait of Lenin with modules and wrote “Help grandpa”.

People went and threw a coin. Just as all the guests of the old pirate always kept in the circle of voluntary contributions. What is a pirate without a treasure chest with piastres?

Captain Iron Guga did not play in the pirates, was a pirate. He was quite serious and was only joking to the place. In childhood, father, worker of the Institute, took him in his Maritime expeditions on the Black sea. Thus was born the boys love to travel. Years later, he retained a child’s sense of adventure and naval heroes. It seems that with many he knew personally.

— This is a pirate Tom Is a Bloody hand. When he died his father, also an old pirate, he said to his brother: “I’m going to the hereafter. My ship I give and bequeath the one whose hand first touches his side”. The brothers took to the boats and desperately raked the oars. They were neck and neck, but when the forces began to leave Tom, he cut his hand and threw it into the side of a pirate Corvette. His hand first touched the Board…long time ago I was nobody. And if I’m nobody comes, for whom I did all of that?! For someone took three dump trucks with earth and debris? For whom did all this, arranged the hold and summoned the spirits of the pirates? For whom the recorded Charter, the national anthem? No, I don’t drink, give me the juice, Henry. And almost don’t smoke, I’m a doctor, although no longer holding a scalpel… One day in Algiers, I was cut with a scalpel for the rest of my life. I remember how one evening to the hospital drove the car, she brought eleven people that the bus went off the bridge.

Googie is long gone, but April 1, on the street during Humorina I still see his friends — members of the pirate brotherhood with a Cute Arnaut. Surely they still somewhere are going to sing “When the gates we’re in Portland…” and toasting to the glory of his captain. In short, a nut. What you, at least sometimes, I sincerely wish.

Henry Bony