Young George Trofimoff had been in the home of Paul Butterworth at Sunset Farms for a couple of weeks, when “Uncle Paul” told him that he would like for him to attend the Sunday Meeting of the local Society of Friends, the Quakers. Uncle Paul wanted to introduce George to the people who helped pay for his way to the USA.
The next Sunday, the entire Butterworth family, including the two daughters, Jeanie and Lucy who were home on college recess, attended the Meeting. George delighted in the people who greeted him like an old friend. They made him feel welcome immediately. The service was a bit of an amazement to George. He had only attended Russian Orthodox services as a child in Berlin. Here, there were no icons dripping with gold, nor erudite rituals with mystic meaning. The church was plain, the service simple, but George felt the warmth of the people, their straightforwardness, and the strength of their community.
Tom Bodine, who had helped George in Paris, was at the service. He asked George to say a few words to the congregation. In his limited English, George thanked the Friends for their help and kindness, and promised that they would never regret having helped him to come to the US. He promised to eventually become an American citizen, serve the country to the best of his ability, and to help anyone else to come to the USA, if the Friends in Hartford asked him to.
At the end of the Meeting, refreshments were served, and George felt a surge of gratitude as he made new friends.
I write of George’s life and the trial that destroyed his life in my book: “Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranking military officer convicted of spying”
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