Jul 24, 2018
The Boys of Torzhok
This photo on Bygone Boys states:Football team “Novotorzhskaya sports mug” the Russian Empire. Torzhok, 1913.
It's interesting to look at the faces of men and boys from the past, try to imagine who they were, what they were doing when this moment of their lives was frozen, and what happened after.
Back in 1913, Torzhok was a small town, a backwater on the Tvertsa River (a tributary of the Volga), and football (soccer) was a relatively new sport in the Russian Empire. In the late 19th century, British workers living in St. Petersburg began forming their own leagues. Russians began following their model, forming leagues at first in St. Petersburg, and by the 1900s, in other cities of the Empire. The Russian Premier League was founded in 1910.
These guys were groundbreakers.
The end of the Russian Empire and the beginning of the Soviet Union.
World War II
The Cold War
The first cosmonauts.
Maybe, in their old age, perestroika and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The World Harmony Run, a global relay race through 100 countries promoting international friendship, passed through Torzhok in 2006. This torchbearer may be the grandson or great-grandson of one of the Torzhok footballers.
Or two or three.
West Town in Chicago, near the gay neighborhood of Boystown, gained the nickname Little Russia.
West Hollywood also drew a large Russian community.
I always did have a thing for Russian guys, after all.
See also: My First Gay Rights March.