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: Once again my mother writes what I have a lot of trouble writing: an account of my great-aunt's funeral.

As she says, I was a pallbearer. The VFW men did a twenty-one gun salute, played taps, folded up the flag and gave it to LeJeune's son. David Oman had brought a small flag, the kind that goes on a little stick except he'd removed it from the stick. He showed LeJeune's granddaughter how to fold the flag, then gave it to her. The pallbearers all got flowers for our suits and put them on the coffin at the end. Lots of ceremony.

Another thing I didn't know about LeJeune: she invented a synthetic substance called Swistraw for use in crafts.

Tiny Review: The Commissariat Of Enlightenment: a novel about a Russian filmmaker who ends up running the Soviet propaganda department. One of those novels where famous people show up for no reason but to let you say "Oh, the author has brought a famous person into the story." Not as bad as The Difference Engine in this respect. Great ending, and a funny set piece near the end where an attempt to film an assault on the tsarist Kremlin turns into an actual assault on the Soviet Kremlin. But the story consists almost entirely of foreshadowing, which gets boring. Makes the Lenin/Stalin relationship out to be like The Lockhorns, where Lenin burns the dinner and Stalin comes home drunk and crashes the car into the garage door. It was better than It's Hard To Be A Russian Spy, which I guess is an accomplishment because IHTBARS is by a Russian and TCOE is by an American.


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