‘He was very much alive’

Amidst all the reading for graduate school, I have missed reading biography. Here is a paragraph from one about Yuri Gagarin that is particularly delightful:

Unfortunately, he did not shine at music. ‘He participated in all the armature talent activities. The instruments for the orchestra were from the collective farm. Yura played the trumpet. He was always proudly walking the front.’ The Gagarin family had to survive, rather than enjoy, these atonal outbursts, as Zoya remembers. ‘He brought his trumpet home and started to practice. Father got fed up. It was a sunny spring day, and Father sent him outside, saying he had a headache because of the noise. So he practiced outside. We had a cow, and she started to moo. It was a concert for free. Everyone laughing.’ Zoya fondly recalls her younger brother as ‘a real live wire. He was always leading games, the instigator rather than the follower. He was very much alive.’

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