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Making a Man of the Mad Monk

Friday, November 25, 2016

Category: History

NOVEMBER 23, 2016 IN A SMALL CEMETERY in the Pico-Union district of Los Angeles, some five miles from the humble two-story Craftsman home in Silver Lake where she had spent the last years of her life, an obscure Russian emigre rests in eternal peace. She had fled Soviet Russia in 1920, at the age of 22, and for the next six decades led the peripatetic, unhappily exotic life of the exile. Her winding road to Los Angeles included stints as a performer in Parisian cabarets, a lion tamer with a traveling circus, and a riveter in a Miami shipyard. At the time of her death in 1977, one could still hear Russian spoken in the streets of Silver Lake on any day of the week -- not just on Sunday mornings near the Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral on Micheltorena.

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