“Why write about Russian Cossacks in Wild West shows?” is the Voice of America reporter’s first question. Laughing, Richard said: “It all started with a photograph of my grandfather, Alexis. I asked my father about it.” He said: “Oh, didn’t I tell you Alexis worked for Buffalo Bill as a ‘Russian Cossack’ trick rider. “No” I replied. Richard Georgian is an enthusiastic speaker on this subject. It turns out Richard was fifty years old when he first saw that photograph. Sixteen years of intensive primary source research around the world made him the leading expert on “Russian Cossacks” in America’s Tent shows.
The author’s travels took him to the British National Archives where he found Georgian rider names among the passenger lists. Arriving in the Republic of Georgia he visited the National Library and Archives. Richard interviewed relatives of riders in Ozurgeti and Lanchkhuti. His research began before the internet age, and he spent years in the U.S. National Archives and Library of Congress reading Wild West show books, New York Clipper, Billboard, Variety, and hours with his head glued to microfilm readers. Richard’s adventures included traveling the breath of the United States visiting every possible archive or museum containing primary source materials.
Richard is no stranger to international travel. In six decades of a nomadic existence, he has plied the world’s waters, lived in the United States, India, Vietnam, Australia, Bahrain, Italy and Puerto Rico. His formative years included two extended trips to Calcutta, India. Calcutta is where he first experienced a British school curriculum. His education was further advanced in a St. Louis, Missouri, private school headed by an English Headmaster. The family returned to Calcutta, and Richard attended Woodstock in Mussoorie, located in the Himalayas. He returned from India on a backpacking trip through the Mideast and Europe at the ripe age of seventeen.
Richard enlisted in the U. S. Navy and became a radioman. He started by pounding a Morse key and finished his twenty-two year career as a Master Chief Radioman managing multi-million dollar satellite terminals and as a Command Master Chief. Richard graduated from the University of Maryland, University College, Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude.
As a civilian communications software systems analyst the author wrote technical documents, proposals, and marketing material. He developed a curriculum and taught basic writing skills. Richard traveled around the world for the U.S. Army managing a team of engineers assessing new communications facilities.
The author is a member of the Circus Historical Society. Richard spent three years as president of the Gulf Coast Writers Association in Southwest Florida and is active in the community of Lehigh Acres, Florida, his latest port of call.