Recreation al fresco

Despite Mogilevsky’s spies, Marguerite managed to take a weekend sojourn from Moscow to a country dacha with Samuel Hopwood, formerly a manager of the Kodak Company, and his daughters. They stayed with a peasant woman, a widow whose son had been killed in the war, near the Moscow River. Marguerite later recalled that they arrived on a hot Saturday afternoon and Hopwood’s daughters suggested they go swimming.

“I’d like to,” Marguerite answered. “But I have no bathing suit.”

Marguerite Harrison, Samuel Hopwood
Samuel Hopwood is believed to have taken this photo at his dacha. Courtesy of:

The women assured her that made no difference. They took her to the river and Marguerite was surprised to see hundreds of naked men, women, and children bathing in the water and lounging on the beach.

“If it’s the custom of the country, I suppose I can do it, too,” Marguerite said. But she asked her companions to move to a more secluded spot where the women undressed. Marguerite recalled the last article she took off was her hat, “but after the first agonized moment, I quite forgot my embarrassment and never enjoyed a swim more in my life.”

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