'Non-Stop Parking and Other Remembrances', Closing 
  Comments by Richard Lynch; illo by Joe Mayhew
October 31, 1997 (Warsaw, Poland). It's All Hallow's Eve here in Eastern Europe, but there's nary a witch nor goblin to be seen. About the scariest thing I've seen are all the closed money changer kiosks, as I was desperate to change some dollars into zloties so I could buy a train ticket to Gdansk for early tomorrow morning. I thought I'd have a horrific time purchasing the ticket, late as it was on a Friday night, but it really wasn't a problem. I'd already written down the departure time I wanted, and when I got to the ticket window at the train station, I told the sales lady in my best Polish enunciation, "Jeden bileta Gdansk, drugi klassa, prosze." ("One second-class ticket to Gdansk, please.") It worked! In fact, it worked so well that the guy behind me said something to me (in English) that I would never have expected to hear: "Your Polish is pretty good!" Now hearing that was scary!

# # # #

 I don't think I've ever written much in Mimosa about what I do in the 'real' world. I'm employed by an agency of the United States Government, and for the past several years I've been working on an international trade promotion initiative. The goal is to find the project opportunities that all the multinational corporations consider too small and then match them up with smaller project developer companies who are thirsty for those kinds of opportunities, but don't have the resources to be all over the world finding them. It's a fairly proactive program without much in the way of resources to work with, and whenever there's a success, you get the feeling you can actually make a difference in the world.

 Eastern Europe is where this initiative seems to work best (I won't bore you with the technical details why that's so), and I've traveled there many times in the past decade. It's a fascinating part of the world to visit, and each time I've been there I've come away with a greater understanding of the region and the people who live there.

 And, yes, I've had my share of misadventures, quite often involving a language barrier, on some of these trips. There are a lot of languages spoken in Europe, and learning more than just a few survival words and phrases in any of them is very difficult for me. Fortunately, even though language barriers can be a big problem in Eastern Europe, it was fairly easy enough to get along when I was alone, surviving on English. In fact, English-language words are rapidly invading the region -- many signs and storefronts often use English-language words, such as 'stop', 'hot-dog', 'computer', 'druggist', and, inevitably, 'sale'. There are also some English-language phrases in use there we don't use in North America, a prime example being 'non-stop', which seems to be the preferred way of saying 'open 24 hours'. Examples of its use include 'Non-Stop Snack Bar', 'Non-Stop Gasoline', and, most amusing of all, 'Non-Stop Parking'.

# # # #

November 3, 1997 (Sanok, Poland). The hotel situation in Eastern Europe seems to have improved considerably in the past year or so. There wasn't really even a single hotel I stayed in this trip that I'd object to returning to on a future trip. On the other hand, I didn't have to stay at a couple of the places I endured last year. The lowest of the low was probably the Hotel Warsaw, which had nothing wrong with it that a complete gutting wouldn't cure. My most lasting memory of that place, however, was the calling cards I found under my door listing phone numbers I should dial if I was wanting a little female companionship. When I showed one of them to my Polish host, he laughed and said, "Ah, you are staying at a full service hotel!"

# # # #

 It probably wouldn't be incorrect to claim that for many decades, the 'language' of fandom, the primary form of fan communication, has been the written word, by letter or fanzine. This was especially true for Chuck Harris, who became famous in the 1950s both as a fan writer and a fan editor (he was probably as much responsible for the success of the legendary fanzine Hyphen as the equally legendary Walt Willis). That Chuck was also stone deaf and did not attend many fan gatherings perhaps emphasizes the importance of the written word to fandom back then.

 Besides his work with Willis on Hyphen, Chuck also published his own fanzine, Quinzy (or just Q, as it became better known). Even though I'd heard about it, I had never run across a copy of Q before 1990; no real surprise, since the largest copy count for any issue previous to that one was only 25. That larger-circulation issue of Q was actually a trip report by Chuck of his visit to North America, the result of a special fan fund to bring him there. Here's how I reviewed the issue for another fanzine:

This is a voyage of discovery and along the way, Chuck shares his surprise about things like: strawberries being served as garnishes rather than only as a dessert; that you can travel on a train for a night and a day, and still be only half way between Minneapolis and Seattle; that tumbleweeds exist not only in the movies; that jalapeño peppers are hot! The skillful blending of sense-of-wonder into the events of the trip makes for fascinating reading.

 In short, this is the type of trip report where you can't wait to turn the page to see what happens next. It's an enjoyable look at the American way of life from someone who's a good enough writer to point out the differences in an amusing manner. I hope reader response to the issue will convince Chuck to keep this issue's copy count next time he publishes, if for nothing else so we indigent fanzine fans in the States can see what real fanzine writing is.

 It was my misfortune, surely, not to have crossed paths with Chuck Harris very often, either in person or in print. Looking through all our back issues, I see that we published only two pieces by him in Mimosa -- a letter of comment and an article co-written with Vince Clarke, both in issue 12. The first time I met him in person was at the Corflu fanzine fans convention of 1989, where he had the status of an unofficial Guest of Honor; it was his first trip to North America, and he had so many people surrounding him it was impossible to do more than just say hello. The only other time I really got to 'talk' to him (via a shared laptop computer) was at the 1992 Worldcon, Magicon, where there were enough other things going on that he was much more accessible.

 Chuck passed away on July 5th, peacefully, reportedly while resting in his favorite chair. We sometimes learn more of a person from the eulogies and obituaries that are written after his passing, and I think that could be true for Chuck Harris. Jerry Kaufman described him as an "original voice in fannish writing: bawdy, roguish, impassioned and humane." Patrick Nielsen Hayden remembered him as much for his unique personality as his talent as a writer: "Chuck loved the things he loved -- his family, his friends, fandom -- and was so grounded in these things that he often seemed completely fearless about everything else. He would say anything, and frequently did. To be around Chuck in public was to constantly alternate between being mortified and nearly dying of laughter. He knew what was really important." And Rob Hansen remembered Chuck, along with Vince Clarke and Arthur Thomson, as one of the great influences on British fandom: "They were my personal trinity of fannish elders, those three, warm, witty, wonderful guys who epitomised what fandom can be and what it should be, and I feel privileged to have been their friend. Now, with Chuck's death, they're all gone, an era has passed, and I feel diminished." So do we all.

# # # #

October 29, 1997 (Budapest, Hungary). It's been a trying day. Business meetings did not go all that well today, and this afternoon I almost had my briefcase stolen. It happened while I was looking over some artwork at an outdoor kiosk. The print I wanted seemed a bit overpriced at 3000 Florints (about $16) so I offered 2400 instead. When the dealer seemed a bit stubborn, I set my briefcase on the pavement while I checked my wallet to see if I had enough money in case he wouldn't budge. It wasn't five seconds later that someone tried to snatch the briefcase; if I hadn't deliberately leaned it against my leg I would have lost it. When I felt it go, my reaction was automatic, fueled by adrenaline. I grabbed a handful of the jacket of the culprit (it was a woman), spun her around facing me, carefully removed the briefcase from her grasp, and gave her a hard shove that almost knocked her down. She staggered away. One deep breath later, I turned back to see the art dealer staring at me, open-jawed. After about five seconds he found his voice: "OK, I think I can do 2400." Silver linings appear in unusual ways, I guess.

# # # #

 My friend George "Lan" Laskowski also died in July. He'd been ill for quite some time with pancreatic cancer so it wasn't really unexpected, but any loss of a friend is still a shock to the system. Unlike Chuck Harris, I crossed paths with George many times in the two decades plus that I'd known him. I have a pretty vivid memory, in fact, of the first time I met him. It was at a mid-south convention in the late 1970s, back before the time of Mimosa when we were still publishing the Chattanooga clubzine Chat. He stood out in a crowd because of the raccoon hat he wore, which I guess he considered as kind of a fannish trademark of sorts.

 Like Nicki and me, George was a fanzine publisher, as most of you are no doubt aware. His general interest fanzine, Lan's Lantern, began publication not long before we first "pubbed our ish" and even though LL had much more visibility and diverse readership than Chat, he treated us as his equal. And several years later, at the 1986 Worldcon when we were disenchanted by all the nastiness endemic to our local fandom at that time and considering dropping out of fandom to get away from it all, he made a point of pleading with us not to, and to publish a second issue of Mimosa instead. (And we did, early the next year -- five years after the first issue had appeared.) A couple years later we moved north to Maryland and didn't see him too often after that, usually only at Worldcons and Midwestcons. But we still kept in touch through the mail, and we kept on each others fanzine mailing lists.

 George only had two contributions in Mimosa, a letter of comment in issue 12 and a short piece of fluffy fan fiction in our second issue. Even though he often wrote fanzine articles for other fan publishers, I really don't think George will be remembered as a fan writer. For many years he was so prolific as a fan publisher and LL so popular a forum for his readers, that may well be how he'll be recognized in future fan history books.

 In his remembrance of George, Arthur Hlavaty remarked that Lan's Lantern was "a big, friendly place that encouraged maximum participation, rather than a unified, tightly organized display of editorial control." Laurie Mann agreed, adding that: "I felt he was one of the people who was uniquely a fan. Lan's Lantern had the diary, the reviews, the trip reports, the loads of fan art, lengthy letters, and frequent nattering. He was almost always a joy to be around at cons, with his natural enthusiasm for life." Leah Zeldes Smith was one of the people who acquainted him with fanzines back in the 1970s, and one of her memories of George was a note from him, after he won his first 'Best Fanzine' Hugo, "thanking me for introducing him to fanzine fandom," and went on to say: "We hadn't been in touch in a while, and George was older than I am, but I think, now, I have just a dim inkling of what a parent feels when a child dies." And Janice Gelb recalled, "I remember sitting at the Hugo Awards rehearsal with him at Intersection, giggling away at all the chaos. I think all of fandom remembers his graciousness after the snafu at Magicon where Spider Robinson mistakenly announced that his fanzine, Lan's Lantern, had won the Fanzine Hugo when it had actually been won by Mimosa."

illo by Joe Mayhew  Nicki and I will always be entangled in that surreal bit of fan history with him, at Magicon, the only time a Hugo Award has been mistakenly awarded. George did win two 'Best Fanzine' Hugos for LL, one at the 1986 Confederation (in spite of the campaign for 'No Award' that year) and the other at Chicon V in 1991. When he won at ConFederation, Nicki and I made a point of telling him how happy we were for him, and even how proud we felt for him. After what must have been a big disappointment at having to relinquish the 1992 Fanzine Hugo, he made a point of coming to us and apologizing for something that wasn't even his fault, and telling us how proud he was of us. His hat was a raccoon, but his memory was of an elephant.

# # # #

April 8, 1998 (Prague, Czech Republic). Prague is an easy city to get around in, and perhaps the best way to do that is with the city's subway system (which seems to be the only "gift" of the communist era anyone there is thankful for). It goes almost everywhere, and it's easy to use -- once you get past buying a ticket from the self-service machines. I thought it would be simple -- just push the button for the type of pass you wanted, feed in the coins and wait for the ticket to pop out. But when I tried it, I couldn't get the machine accept the coins; they wouldn't go in the slot. So I had to wait, loitering near the machine and trying to act nonchalant, hoping someone would come and buy a ticket so I could see how it was done. Finally, a young lady on the way home from school showed me how it worked -- you had to also push a second button to finalize the selection before the machine would accept any money. I'm glad nobody asked me what I did for a living -- I would have been embarrassed to admit I was a trained engineer!

# # # #

 I don't know if it's possible to be 'trained' as a correspondent, but if it were, there's at least one fan who would qualify for an advanced degree. Robert "Buck" Coulson, who died in February, was probably fandom's most prolific letterhack this side of Harry Warner. He wrote interesting, somewhat rambling letters that blended together comments on the fanzine he had received and relevant things that were happening in real life, and it was usually pretty easy to find a paragraph or two to excerpt into the letters column. In Mimosa alone there are eighteen Buck Coulson LoCs in the 23 previous issues. He also wrote one article for Mimosa, about some of the early Midwestcons, which appeared in the 13th issue; he had come into fandom in the early 1950s and was an excellent source of fanhistorica.

illo by Joe Mayhew  Buck Coulson and his wife Juanita became known in fandom back then from their own fanzine, Yandro, which they published monthly through much of the 1950s and 1960s. Yandro was a balance of fannish and sercon material that seemed to have something for everyone. It became popular enough that it was nominated for a Hugo Award ten years in a row, winning in 1965. However, the worldcon was in London that year, and Buck and Juanita couldn't attend. Buck later wrote (in a letter of comment to Mimosa) that by the time they received the actual, physical Hugo Award in the mail some nine months afterwards, "the rocket looked a bit like it had spent all that time knocking around the asteroid belt in the hands of an incompetent pilot. Pitted, in other words. Nobody had blown a hole through the drive section or anything, but it did look like a hard-working ship. Well, the Hugo Awards had started having a primary and final ballot in 1959, and Yandro had been on it every year until we won in 1965, and for three more years afterwards. So we started calling Yandro 'the world's best second-rate fanzine'. Had to quit that after we won, but we decided that a second-rate Hugo for a second-rate fanzine was quite appropriate. We found it was very useful for holding 3-inch rolls of tape in our previous dwelling, but here it's on top of the piano with the other trophies and an inconvenient location for tape. Pity; there never used to be any cries of 'Where the hell's the masking tape?' It was right there in plain sight."

 In the 1960s, Buck partially transitioned into prodom, coauthoring two Man From U.N.C.L.E. novels, and then in the 1970s, two short mystery novels, Now You See It/Him/Them and Charles Fort Never Mentioned Wombats, the latter two each set in the midst of a science fiction convention. Bob Tucker thought that those two books "revealed to some extent just what he thought of fans and fandom, what he saw as our assets and our foibles," and described the latter one as "an account of fans gathering for the Australian worldcon of l975. Those fans foil an alien invasion and save the world by disbelieving in aliens and their UFOs. It was a splendid tongue-in-cheek tale filled with the recognizable fans and pros of 1975-77." They are indeed entertaining to read, and Nicki and I own a copy of each of them, but I was dismayed to see that I'd never gotten Buck to sign them for us. Way back then, when we bought the books, I was still little more than a neo, and I may have been too intimidated by Buck's reputation as a curmudgeon to ask.

 Buck was often referred to as a 'curmudgeon', a description that he seemed to encourage. Gene DeWeese, who collaborated with him on all four novels, remembered that, "He long had the reputation -- often purposely cultivated -- of being the ultimate fannish curmudgeon. It started, I suspect, because he was simply the most honest person I've ever known and didn't suffer fools easily. And he didn't hesitate to let you know, as I found out on a couple of occasions when he thought, quite rightly, that I'd slipped into that category." Bob Tucker recalled that, "More than once in print and in person he was described as a curmudgeon and he appeared to glory in that appellation, but he was not the dictionary description of a curmudgeon -- not a grasping or churlish fellow. To many of us he was a kindly curmudgeon, a lovable iconoclast who would quickly disagree with one word used in this sentence. He was a Fredric Brown Character." Dave Rowe agreed, adding, "His knowledge was gargantuan but he never pontificated. Forget the curmudgeon image, Buck was a great guy to just sit down and talk with."

 There were a lot of people who were close to Buck Coulson. Bob Tucker, for instance, related that, "Our friendship was so close that I put him into two of my books and he gloried in it. In To the Tombaugh Station (1960) he is the captain of a spaceship named Yandro, and he plays a part near the end in trying to save the dumb hero from crashing on Pluto. In Resurrection Days (1981) he is the pastor of the hero's church (which was a double-barreled in-joke for fans in the know)." Buck also often went out of his way to do kindnesses for people; Sheryl Birkhead recalled that, "Yandro was one of the first fanzines to publish my artwork, and later on, when I needed a mimeograph, he made sure that I got one." And Carolyn Doyle had this to offer about how entertaining Buck Coulson could be: "Getting letters from Buck was a trip. He had a wonderful variety of postage stamps that he might plaster the envelope with, and the stationery might be anything from watermarked paper with a letterhead for 'Crusader Service' (Armour Cleaned! Lances Sharpened!) to cut-up sections of old blueprints from work."

 As for me, unfortunately, I don't think I ever really got to know Buck all that well, or at least as well as I might have. I never really did get many opportunities to sit down and talk with him. He didn't go to many conventions the last few decades of his life, and the ones he that did attend were usually ones that I didn't. What's left is all the correspondence from him we received in the mail; I'm going to miss all those thoughtful letters and insights into fan history. Nicki and I always looked forward to hearing from him. He was our friend.

# # # #

illo by Joe Mayhew May, 1991 (Helsinki, Finland). I was surprised that so many Finns (in Helsinki, at least) have a pretty good command of English. Turns out that English is the unofficial third language of Finland, right behind the two official ones, Finnish and Swedish. There's been only one instance where I had trouble conversing with a Helsinkian -- while boarding a tram, I accidentally stepped on the toe of a surly-looking old lady who was leaving it. I immediately apologized, but she either didn't understand English or was having none of it, because she let loose an extended verbal barrage in Finnish that turned the air blue. I could hear her yelling at me until the tram turned the corner at the end of the block. I started hoping a hole would open in the tram floor that I could crawl into; people sitting near me seemed to be having trouble keeping a straight face. I guess you could say that even though that grouchy old lady wasn't able to converse with me in my language, she sure didn't have any trouble communicating with me in hers.

# # # #

 There's an old saying that "deaths come in threes." It's been much worse than that lately. Gary Louie, a Los Angeles area fan, died in February of a heart attack. He was seven years younger than I am. Gary was very active in convention-running fandom; he helped put together the Exhibits area at the 1996 L.A.Con III, and I understand that he usually helped out in some way for practically every convention that he attended. I can't say that I was a good friend of his, but we did know each other. Back in 1991, when I was in the midst of editing a new hardcover edition of Harry Warner, Jr.'s 1950s fan history, A Wealth of Fable, Gary provided everything from useful advice to sympathetic words several times when the project had gotten bogged down. I remember that he even offered to help work on the book's rather comprehensive index, a mostly thankless but necessary part of the editing process. The only reason I didn't take him up on the offer was that it needed to be done by just one person for reasons of continuity and style. I imagine there will be a rather big hole to fill in many convention committees and operations staffs now that he's gone.

 Los Angeles fandom has been hit hard this year. Marjii Ellers, who had been active in the 'Regency Dance' and costuming aspects of fandom, passed away just four days ago as I write this, on July 26th. One of the problems in being a continent-width away from Southern California is that it's hard to get to know many of the fans there very well, and I regret that I didn't cross paths with her very often. I think I originally met Marjii in the late 1970s or perhaps the early 1980s, when I was in Los Angeles on a business trip and stopped by a LASFS meeting while I was there. What made me talk to her at all was that she was wearing clothes that featured scenes from one of the Star Wars movies. They were really a marvel, and when I naively asked her where she'd purchased them and for how much, she told me that she'd designed and sewn them herself; the material had come from a child's bedsheet set. From the various remembrances I've read about her on the Internet since she died, the overwhelming theme is that she was competent in everything she ever did, and went out of her way to be helpful, especially to those who really needed the help. At one of the earlier worldcons in the 1990s, Forry Ackerman had recognized her as a recipient of the annual 'Big Heart' Award. It's obvious that it couldn't have gone to a nicer, more giving person.

# # # #

December 9, 1998 (Bucharest, Romania). I've changed only about US$50 into Romanian Lei since I arrived two days ago, and I'm not nearly going to spend it all. This is a very inexpensive country -- I bought a soft pretzel from a street vendor this afternoon for the princely sum of 500 Lei, which works out to slightly less than five cents. Anyway, I saw there was a symphony performance tonight, and it looked like an opportunity to use up most of my remaining Lei. Or so I thought. When I arrived at the symphony hall, I was surprised to find that there wasn't a box office there. I tried to explain to the person at the door that I needed to purchase a ticket for the performance, but he had even less English than I had Romanian, and pointed me toward the coat check area. I thought I was doing a little better with the lady there, especially when she motioned me toward a staircase up to the next level, but when I got to the top, a door opened into the back of the concert hall. One last try, with the lady usher there: "Excuse me, I need to purchase ticket for this performance. Can you help?" She pointed me toward a vacant seat at the back of the hall. At that point, I gave in, realizing that it was my karma not to be able to spend any money in Romania.

# # # #

 Here's a question for you -- what might the following all have in common: Babe Ruth's 713th home run, the 30th day of December, the Apollo 16 mission to the moon, and this 24th issue of Mimosa? Answer: they are all next-to-last. It's been our karma (as well as our pleasure) to publish what we hope is an entertaining fanzine that's also educational from an historical perspective. But it's very possible that we won't be doing it for too much longer.

 We don't mean to alarm or disappoint our readers. The decision isn't even final yet, and we're leaving open the possibility of changing our minds. The only reason I'm mentioning this at all is that we've heard some speculation (seen it in print, actually) that Mimosa will soon cease publication; not saying any thing would only feed the rumor mills.

 So why are we even thinking of stopping? Our interests aren't changing, but they are broadening and starting to impact on available spare time. I'm starting to become more and more involved in the international and cultural communities here in Washington, and there's been some times in the past couple of months when I've had to decide if I should go to some interesting evening event or stay home and work on a fanzine. Nicki, I know, would like to spend a bit more time with her quilting. Even within the boundaries of fandom there are things competing for available time and resources; my 1960s fan history project, for instance, has practically gone into hibernation for the past three years and I'd like to start making some progress on it. Even scheduling business trips and vacations around when we'd like to publish an issue is even starting to become a problem. In short, it's becoming harder and harder to publish two issues per year. When we began Mimosa, we thought that two issues each year seemed to be the acceptable compromise that wouldn't stress our resources while still maintaining continuity with our readers. Anything very much less than that would not be fair to our contributors, our correspondents, or our readers.

 So we wanted to be the ones to tell you this, that each 'next' issue of Mimosa could be the last. We're definitely doing a 25th issue. We might do a 30th issue. We probably won't do anything more than that. We've had a wondrous time these past two decades helping to preserve fan history, and we're pleased that other good fanzines, such as Tom Sadler's The Reluctant Famulus and Guy Lillian's Challenger, are now doing the same. It's time that they got some of the recognition we've enjoyed over the past decade. Thank you all for taking us to the top of the Tower of the Enchanted Duplicator -- the view is very fine from up there.

# # # #

illo by Joe Mayhew November 30, 1998 (Bratislava, Slovakia). There's getting to be a tradition for each of my trips here that on my last night in Slovakia, my friends at the Power Research Institute take me out on a pub crawl. This year's hit list included a fine little restaurant in the middle of Bratislava's Old Town, a nondescript watering hole out on the northwest edge of town, and even a Harley Davidson biker bar (in theme, anyway) in the southern industrial area of the city. One other thing that happened as the night went on (and after our translator went home) was that the language barrier started to drop, especially for me -- the more I drank, the easier it was to pick up on a few Slovak words and phrases. By the time the evening came to a close, we were all half-looped and understanding each other perfectly. Or so it seemed, anyway. Maybe I've discovered a new method of learning languages!

# # # #

 I should mention that the travel diary excerpts in this essay are mostly from a series of "Postcard Diaries of Eastern Europe" that I've written and are available online at the Mimosa web site. I decided to write them because of arcane Government rules and regulations about travel expense repayment that made it difficult to call home with any hope of getting reimbursed. It costs a lot to call North America from Europe, especially from hotels, and I just couldn't afford the cost of all those daily phone calls.

 Instead, I decided to send out a postcard every day, one that was a stand-alone essay, a chapter of an overall larger diary of that trip that would provide a flavor of just what Eastern Europe is all about. The challenge was to be interesting, be entertaining, and above all, be brief! It wasn't easy. There were lots of evenings that I was so tired I just wanted to go to bed instead of finding where I could buy a postcard (not to mention the airmail postage), and then trying to compose something pithy about the day's activities that would fit into however many words I could cram onto the card. I don't think I always succeeded, but most every day I was able to find one or two things interesting enough to build a mini-essay around.

 Even though I've been to Eastern Europe many times, each trip there is always a voyage of discovery as the region undergoes change from year to year. There still is a sense of wonder for me.

# # # #

November 6, 1997. I'm on the overnight train from Warsaw to Prague, and tomorrow morning I catch the ground shuttle out to the airport for the flight home. Perhaps the single most unforgettable moment of the entire trip happened earlier today. I was walking back toward my hotel from the very last business meeting of the trip when I was accosted by an older Polish man who was looking for some directions. After about 30 seconds of him pointing this way and that, and talking to me rapidly in Polish, it dawned on him that I was silently standing there with a blank look on my face. He looked at me expectantly, and I seized the opportunity to point to myself and say, "Amerykanka." A great look of amusement came across his face: "Amerykanka?" I nodded and replied, slowly, "Wash-shing-ton-dee-see." And with a great look of delight he yanked out his wallet, slipped a photograph of a young woman from it and pointed to it, saying "Air-ling-town-vair-gene-ee-yah." Apparently his daughter had come to America and was living right across the Potomac from where I worked. You know, looking at the map, I see that there are about 5,000 miles that separate Eastern Europe from Washington, DC. But in reality, they're a lot closer than that.

All illustrations by Joe Mayhew

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