Saturday, June 06, 2009

Spies Like Us

Yesterday I was just telling my roommate that I wanted to go on a spy tour of Washington, D.C. I am generally obsessed with stories about spaying, but after watching Breach, a movie about FBI agent Robert Hanssen who spied for Russia, I really wanted to know about all the espionage history in the city. This morning I wake up to find out that there were spies in the neighborhood.

Instead of studying, I read and became enthralled by the story of Walter Kendall Myers and his wife, Gwendolyn, the couple who was just arrested and indicted for spying for Cuba for thirty years. The story itself was very interesting. They became "true believers" after visiting Cuba and learning about the Revolution during an academic trip. Someone from Cuba came out to where they were living in South Dakota to ask them to spy. She says be joined the State Department instead of the CIA because he was not a good liar. Yet, they lived their whole lives with this secret from apparently everyone. Never bringing up Cuba at all, especially not their personal meeting with Fidel.

What I found equally fascinating, however, was how close it hit home (no pun intended). The Myers live about two miles away from my apartment, and I would pass their building frequently on my way home from work. They used to deliver messages by exchanging grocery carts at the store, my money is on the historic Giant on Wisconsin. And then I found out that Kendall Myers was one of my friend's favorite professors at John Hopkins. Suddenly this couple went from being movie-like characters to real people.

Who knows, there could be spies in my huge apartment building.

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