hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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August 9, 2012

Poor Tom’s Almanac: From Russia With Love

(Continued)

Not only that, she fell in love with a guy named Nikolay Doroshenko, an engineer with the biggest petroleum company in Russia, and that’s where they’ve been living. A September wedding is planned in North Conway, N.H., where the family often escapes.

Back to Russia went the Anthonys this past May to toast the couple on Irena’s 50th birthday. When Irena thinks about the recent developments in her life, a smile crosses her face.

“It’s hard to explain how happy I am for my step-daughter who adopted my culture and language,” she says. “Hopefully, her resilience came from the fortitude exemplified by me. Back in 1999, I became an American citizen. I don’t feel guilty anymore for departing my motherland because I paid my debt by Anne Marie hopefully becoming a Russian citizen next year.”

At the time of a proposal, Nikolay got on one knee and begged the question. She said yes and he coughed up a shish kebab skewer before breaking out in laughter. The diamond came next.

Photographer and writer Tom Vartabedian is retired from the Haverhill Gazette.

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