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February 12, 1988 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-02-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I

I 0
. fly

S4:aw,

The Great
Cover-Up

20.50 % OFF

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FREE
VALANCES*
with

mpourrechvaesr t i i
coat

blinds
'Previous orders ercluded

exp. 3-31-88

The Great Cover-Up

851-1125

— CUSTOM ORDER

WALLPAPER



Everyday Discounts
Up To 40% OFF

TIFFANY PLAZA
32855 NORTHWESTERH HWY.
(South of 14 Mile Road)

Professional Measure and In-Home Design
Consulting At No Obligation

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18

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1988

FRONTLINES I

TAILORING SPECIALS

EXPIRES 2-29-88
—NARROW LAPELS

$30.00

—NARROW TIES
4.00
—TAPER LEGS
8.00
—PANTS WAIST IN OR OUT . 5.00
—PANTS SHORTENED
5.00
(LINED SLACKS $2.00 EXTRA)
—SPECIAL APPLIES TO ITEMS
LISTED ABOVE ONLY
—FIRST ALTERATION REG. PRICE
—SECOND ALTERATION 1/2 PRICE

SPECIAL VALID WITH MENTION OF THIS
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Continued from preceding page

is what he likes most about
living in the States. "There's
an enormous amount of op-
portunity — to win or lose, to
succeed or fail. It's a nice feel-
ing to be able to do that."
However, despite this new-
found freedom, Smirnoff is
still having problems
adjusting.
The hardest thing, he says,
is "being able to say whatever
you want. It's very hard" get-
ting used to that. Coming
from a society where the
citizens are under constant
scrutiny-of the Soviet govern-
ment through the KGB —
secret service — Smirnoff still
has feelings that he is under
surveillance. While reading a
book at a U.S. beach one day,
Smirnoff became frightened
when the shadow of a passer-
by fell over the book.
Smirnoff, who does not con-
sider himself a refusenik, left
the Soviet Union when he
saw how much fun his Soviet
cruise ship audiences — com-
posed of travelers from free
nations — were having. "They
enjoyed life," the comedian
remarks. "They didn't look
around before they laughed."
He also was inspired by
friends who had left Russia
and told him how nice life was
abroad.
Prior to coming to the U.S.,
Smirnoff entertained the
Soviet military for two years.
Later, he performed in varie-
ty shows and did comedy on
the Soviet cruise ship — he
calls it the Love Barge. His
first American job was as a
bartender at Grossinger's
resort. It was at Grossinger's
that he got his first U.S. op-
portunity to do stand-up com-
edy. From there he got more
club dates, followed by movie
roles, and he became a U.S.
citizen in 1986.
Smirnoff calls his Jewish
upbringing limited. He didn't
learn that he was Jewish un-
til he was 16. His family
didn't observe the holidays or
traditions, and the govern-
ment had a lot to do with his
lack of religious affiliation.
"The Soviet government
discourages any religion.
They take that out of you. You
have to swear not to believe in
God." He says children are
"shamed" if they show any
religious leanings. To avoid
that, synagogues are shunn-
ed. Yet, he feels no need to
practice Judaism here. "I'm
an American. I don't feel I
need to do anything else. I'm
happy the way I am."
However, he hasn't forgot-
ten his roots. He is active in
fund raising on behalf of the
Soviet Jewry rescue move-
ment, and he feels his connec-
tions to the White House
have helped the cause as well.

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