The evil Rasputin was the downfall of the Romanovs but I experienced a wild-eyed zealot who changed my future for the better.
In my youth I knew a man called Tallie van Aswegen who most reminds me of the Russian Mystic Rasputin who was operating about the time of the fall of the Royal House of Romanov. They look similar and both had deep convictions.
He was charming with an infectious smile, bright eyes with an unruly beard and moustache. He wore shabby tracksuits & beanie and was constantly monologuing, including some very memorable sayings (You better flippin’ believe it!) and drove around in his ‘Tribulation Wagen’ – a clapped-out old VW Beetle which endeared him to me. This modern-day Rasputin differed in his hospitality. His home was an endless stream of young people, dialogue and cups of rooibos tea. He loved music too and always had great new music to share and exciting things to discuss.
I am certain he hasn’t changed. If not (and we are to assume an afterlife) he is definitely resting in Abraham’s bosom. Unlike Grigori Rasputin who is most likely in the other place. 😉