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Well, as you may recall Antanas, with the help of the US Embassy official, got permission to leave the Soviet Union and finally return to the United States after 30 years or so.



..................not so fast!

Now, questions started. My father asked Antanas what he did in the last year or so since his release.

Antanas went back to Moscow to get his exit documents, his passport and directives from the US Embassy and finally completed all that Red tape.

Did you ever wonder why it's called Red tape. The Russians invented that too.

Arrangements had to be made for his return, airline tickets etc.

But wait just a minute. Antanas was not going to fly back, not just yet. No way!  He was away from home for over 30 years. He never saw Europe. What an opportunity.

So. Antanas toured Germany, Italy, France, Spain and England. Then he made  arrangements to cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary or the Queen Elizabeth (I can't remember which).

Remember, Antanas was an engineer. He did earn some money, saved it; and that's how he got some money for his travels. The State Department also helped.  

Antanas figured he was under so much stress for all those year, that he was going to  unwind on his way home and not go through any jet lag. Remember when Antanas  first came to Lithuania there were no jets built yet.

He arrived in New York harbor without any fanfare. Met by his parents with hugs and kisses. What an emotional moment for all. His parents thought that he was dead for  over 20 years.

One of the first things Antanas did upon arrival at his parents home was to ask for a map of New York City. Every day he would walk and walk and walk. He got to know Manhattan and all the boroughs quite well.

Then he asked about Kazys (my father). His parents told him that they thought he lived in the Boston area. So Antanas went for another walk, bought himself a street map of the Boston area. Called information looking for a Kazys Balta. There was only one Balta in the entire greater Boston area. Next, he bought a Greyhound Bus ticket to Boston. 

Now you know how Antanas caught up with my Father. Antanas stayed with us for a week. Old friends came over to visits. Neighbors were overwhelmed to hear Antanas's experiences first hand.

The State Department hired Antanas and debriefed him for several years.

  After all that happened he was very grateful to be...........



- Not quite


- A new beginning

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Raymond Balta,
Milton, Massachusetts 02186
© copyright Raymond Balta