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Gribkov, Denis
Written by   
, 04 2011
Age 30, from Moscow, Russia
Denis was born on July 28th, 1972. Hischildhood was spent in the green, wide-open spaces of Bibirevo, where there is room for boys to ‘maneuver’. Onsummer days, Denis and his with friends would ‘disappear’ out in the yard, but my maternal ‘long-range voice’, which his classmates loved to mimic, could find him no matter what corner he was hiding in: “Denis, don’t leave the yard!” Denis did not like this, since he was trying to be independent, but by 11at night he was always home. “My ‘Dinya’ (Denny),” his mother affectionately named him.
Excelling in every subject, Denis would be very upset if he received a ‘4’ (a ‘B’). Atparent-teacher conferences, the class leader had little to say: “smart boy” and that was all. Hismother, however, never let up, just to be safe.
Although he was a ‘four-eyes’, and in his school pictures he was always in the front row, he still had a lot of friends. Theother boys often came over to our place. “Mom, we’re here!” Denis would report. Hewould call them to the table and joke (from an old Soviet comedy film): “Tea, coffee, drugs, weapons?” The games would begin, as well as the racket, and, if it was a weekend or in the evening, these games often involved his father. Inthe evening he often played chess with his father, while on the weekend the whole family went to the movies.
Books never sat on the shelf Denis ‘'swallowed’ classics, pop science literature, and history books.
His mother often worked Saturdays, but if she happened to be home on the weekend, father and son never allowed housework to ‘sour’ her mood: “We’ll do it all!”
Denis taught himself to draw (more than anything he loved pencil sketching) and do embroidery. Hewas fond of aquariums and wood burning art. Oneof these he dedicated to his mother on March 8th (International Woman’s Day). Itwas a large piece of wood, a meter square, and he made it in secret so that she would not see it before the holiday. Whenwinter came, Denis would get up on his skis and skates. Whenhe got bigger, he learned to play the guitar. Athome were heard not just Vladimir Vysotsky, ‘Mashina Vremeni’, Yuri Loza and other chansons, but classical music as well.
His happy family was not always able to spend vacations together. Denis went to the sea at Anapa with his mother as her ‘bodyguard’, and there he learned to swim, but during the summer the family more often went into the woods in the Kalinin region with a tent.
Denis was the ‘heart of the party’ at school and out in the yard, but did not like summer camps. “Mom, take me home!” he would already ask after a week. Helasted only a day at summer school: “Better just to lock me up at home!”
It so happened that during his last years of school, his father and mother left to work in Mongolia. Denis at the time lived with his grandmother, and had to make his important decisions in life on his own. Heentered college and studied energy. Withhis new, remarkable college friends he became interested in skiing and ‘spelunking’. ‘Dinya’ now became ‘Petrovich’. Hegot into the glass-blowing business, and worked for a company called Argon out in Medvedkovo. Oneday he brought home glass tulips that he made himself.
Despite his severe myopia (8 diopters), Denis wanted to serve in the army. Heeven had eye surgery at the Fyodorov clinic. Oneeye began to see a lot better, but Denis still received a ‘white card’ (disqualified from military service), and was very upset.
Denis was a close acquaintance of (murdered journalist) Vladislav Listyev. Heand Vlad had many a conversation, and more than one case of beer was divided fraternally. OnceVlad, knowing of Denis’s love of music, gave him a stereo. Vlad’s death was a great personal grief for Denis.
When the putsch took place in August 1991, Denis was eager to go defend the Russian White House (Parliament), but his mother laid herself down in front of the door: “I won’t let you go!”
Denis has died, but fond memories of him will live forever in the hearts of his family and friends!
Writtem byhis mother Rauza Gribkova.


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