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005 Sept. 3/16, 1963

Dear Brother in Christ, Gleb,

After some thought I’ve decided your idea is really quite practical. Here are some of my own ideas about putting it into effect:

First, find a garage or a small shop in or near the Richmond district, preferably on Geary, Clement, or California Street, for no more than $30 a month. (I looked at the place on California Street; an interesting building, but it has been condemned and will be torn down.) It should have a fairly large window for display purposes; if there isn’t one, we should make one. Then, equip it with a few tables, bookcases, etc., with of course an icon with lampada in one corner, Fr. German on one wall, pictures of Jordanville etc. on other walls, and a bulletin board by the door. Also a samovar, or at least a pot of hot water, in the back. Then, get a supply of books, icons, etc. from Jordanville, including present and past issues of Orthodox Life in English and Russian, and the current issue of Pravoslavnaya Rus, and whatever other Orthodox materials from other places that can be obtained with little or no immediate payment. Advertisement can be through Russkaya Zhizn and by word of mouth — it could be announced also at the Bogoslovskii Kyrs [Theological Course at St. Tikhon’s] and on bulletin boards of churches, as well as privately We could be open at first only a few days a week perhaps — say Tuesday and Thursday nights and Saturday afternoon, the intention being to provide an informal gathering place for whoever might be interested. Several people could be responsible for opening and closing the shop, a different person each day, to divide the labor. All work would be voluntary and unpaid, all proceeds going to expansion of the activities of the “Brotherhood” — first, purchase of more books for sale, especially the Fathers; second, providing the book store is a success, the publication of some sort of bulletin (perhaps), etc.

Such a bookstore would, first of all, be a service to Russians in San Francisco, a few of whom are beginning, through the influence of Vladiko Joann, to be interested in the Fathers but hardly know that it is possible to buy Orthodox books. Second, it would provide a gathering and discussion place for both Americans and Russians, young or old, who might be interested; third, it would be a place to which to refer Americans knowing little or nothing of Orthodoxy, both for literature and discussion. If God blesses the undertaking, interest will be awakened and books will be sold, and that will be the financial basis of all further undertakings, which can be planned when the need and occasion arises for them.

All that is required to begin is a small amount of cash (for rent, furniture, paint, etc.), and, most of all, at least four or five enthusiastic workers. I am quite enthusiastic already, though I must confess that Jon, as usual, is pessimistic; but that need be no hindrance. If Fr. Deacon Nicolai and his friend Nicolai, and perhaps one or two others, could be inspired with some enthusiasm, the project could easily be undertaken.

Let me know your opinion of these ideas. And pray for me, your sinful brother in Christ,
Eugene

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