"But - who has a life by the sea" (excerpt)

A small excerpt from an interview with Erika Sēni from Ģipka. He shares his memories of his life.

In Ģipka, Roja Parish, surrounded by a quiet forest edge, there are houses with a wonderful name - Putnumuiža. Mr. Ēriks Sēnes and his wife Marija manage the neatly tidy surroundings - his wife was seen in Kolka, but she came from Valdemārpils herself. Can you call yourself a real gypsy man?
- Yes, this is my father's house, built in 1928. Here, this oak in the yard was planted by my father and now in a way serves me as a lightning rod, because it grows at the crossroads of veins. My father was involved in fishing all my life. I also often went to sea to watch the nets - it was interesting.
Do you remember anything from both occupations as well?
- Anyway. Although I was still a boy, I remember the arrival of the Russians in 1940. In 1941, my aunt, her husband and my cousin, the Sturm family, were sent to Siberia. The cousin died in Siberia. For a long time, however, the Russians were not destined to tear. The Germans soon arrived. During German times, two German officers lived in our house. The attitude was always correct and solid. I remember how German soldiers often respected me with chocolate. When the Russians began to turn to Kurzeme again, all the inhabitants of the coast were evacuated up to 20 km away. We ended up in Lime. At the end of the war, many men went to the forest. We returned to my father's house in 1945. The Russians behaved like robbers. I remember that during the manure clean-up, the Russian soldiers tore the pocket watch off their father's vest, did not even knock down the aluminum pots in our kitchen. In 1949, the owners of Vecvilki were taken out. In 1954, I was drafted into the army, I returned in 1958 - then the so-called border zone had already been established. The Ģipka fish processing workshop also continued to operate. Ģipka's workshop also operated during the free state, then there was also a kilavi workshop in Pūrciems - Pauls Šultmaņu worked as a master. In the sixties I worked as an electrician at Banga, also in the Ģipka workshop for washing fish. From 1962 to 1980 I worked as a technician at the Gipka navigation tank.
Do you remember any curious incident?
- Of course. That's how I once had to write an autobiography. Then I was sent to Riga - to the so-called zboras. Zbor was taken to a check instead. There I was asked if I knew Elizabeth Rodriguez. I said, as it were, that I know both - but my father's sister (she had emigrated to South America). These again ask why they have not reported. I replied that while my father was still here, I was still fine if only planned. That was enough for them…
Dunlop sent rubber boots from Sweden. Annoying the border guards, I threw them towards the sea across the beach. The Russian is watching - foreign boots, so someone is flying out of the sea. Well, the brawl is already big…
I also remember green balls at the Gipka club. Men warmed up, nausea not a joke - have to go fooling around with the soldiers.And went with.
Were there any nonsense or tragic events?
- Like without them. Thus, after the war, all bunkers and trenches were full of cartridges and explosives. What do boys need more? We light a fire, load all their belongings inside and ourselves - in a piece. The noise is already fine. Unfortunately, not everything ended happily. So I remember Gustavson chasing Leonard's hand. In Russian times, up to 50 tons of lollipops a day were ground into fishmeal. The consequences we are feeling now.

Used sources and references:

"BANGA" (newspaper for the coast of North Kurzeme) April 26, 2002; sent by Inese Roze (Talsi region TIC)