Bringing Back Russian Hats - Part 3

But as usual, my guardian angel was with me that night. We left and walked in the dark back to the train station. We were way the heck from anyplace and my guys were pretty mad at me.

“Henry why’d you bring us all the way out here for nothing?”  They’d wanted to trade and all they did was stand watch in the dark. It had taken us over an hour to get there in the first place. 
We really didn’t know where we were. But as we’re walking along I see lights on in one small fur store. I knocked on the door, and wouldn’t you know it, a Polish Jew, Mr. Silverman opens the door. He’d survived the war, and we’d survived the war too, so we had good talk. So we begin to talk business and we show him our ‘garments.’ 

He took us in the back of the store, he opens this trap door in the floor and goes down and brings up cash. He offered us 10 rubles for each garment (we’d only paid 4-5 in Poland) and bought all our garments. I had 50 – so now we left with about 500 Russian rubles each, and happily carried our empty suitcases back to the train. 

The next day we went shopping at the GUM, a big shopping, market place. I think I bought two TV’s and 3 good Russian hats myself, not counting what my guys bought on the trip. On the way back to Poland, we had taken one train coming in, but took 1 and a half trains going back. And sure enough at the Polish border we had to stop and unload/reload all our stuff back onto the Polish trains. – Henry Zguda

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