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Shifting Sands by Steve Donahue

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Chapter One

Follow a Compass, Not a Map

I had spent the night studying my map— but uselessly, since I did not know my position.—Antoine de Saint Exupéry, “Prisoner of theSand,” Wind, Sand and Stars

I met Tallis in October of 1976. I had hitchhiked from my home in Toledo to Montreal to board the M/S Aleksandr Pushkin, a Soviet passenger liner, for its last transatlantic I crossing of the season. I was 20; he was 26. Our friendship was sealed on the third night at sea in the ship’s cabaret. We found ourselves screaming into a microphone our rendition of the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There.” It was the only rock-and-roll number the Russian band could play, and a much-anticipated break from the dreary Slavic folk songs that made up its repertoire. ...

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