In mid-June, Margaret and Galen (how did he get to be the lucky one?) traveled to Moscow and St. Petersburg to watch Margaret’s father Art receive the Russian Global Energy Prize, touted as the “Russian Nobel Prize in Energy.” It will be all down hill from here for us, as we were treated like royalty – ferried every where it black Mercedes, wearing tuxes and ball gowns, and trying to avoid all the vodka that went along with the interminable toasts!
It made Margaret burst with pride to see how revered her father is, and how engaging, gracious and witty he was even when in the presence of President Medvedev, who himself bestowed the prizes. The most tender moment was when Art was giving his acceptance speech in front of all the hoi polloi of Russian energy. At one point, fumbling with his notes, a sheet fell to the ground. President Medvedev (a spry 45 year old) leapt to his feet, ran over, picked up the page and handed it back to Art, whereupon Art exclaimed, “President to the rescue!” and the whole crowed erupted in laughter.
Galen was a fantastic traveling companion, always up for another adventure, enthusiastic, mature, flexible, and a professional-level navigator of the Moscow subway, never mind the Cyrillic! He also seems to know how to pick his (girl)friends… And we had an incredible time with Art’s assistant Steve exploring the canals and streets of St. Petersburg and watching the 10,000 people out on the streets at 2 am because of the “White Nights.” It’s so cold and dark the rest of the year that they definitely take advantage of the long summer days, even if it’s raining and 60 degrees!
For more info an Art’s Global Energy Prize award, see