Mariana Zodian

Although within my entire family I have known my mother the least amount of time, as she passed away in an accident within the first decade of my existence, I feel I got to know her deepest. That's because she left behind a huge library. Even though I have not managed to go through all of it, my own memories, family photos, my relatives' memories and the little I've gathered from other people that knew her helped me pencil in my mind what I consider to be a rather accurate picture of her.

Growing up, I always had her photo on my desk. It was the enlarged photo from some ID, possibly her University card. Black and white and quite severe, I had not felt the need to adorn it with more black, as I always assumed it was obvious she was my late mother. Yet every now and then, somebody entering my room would thoughtlessly complement me on the stunning beauty of my "girlfriend."

She grew up in a relatively large family, with two older sisters and one little brother. One of her older sisters is not very talkative, but her other sister is an actress who has appeared in tens of movies and countless theatre plays and TV series. Between these two almost opposite poles, my mother seemed to have gravitated toward her own version of introversion. Though she did not fear social situations and she was at ease in a crowd, her favorite pastime was reading, curled up on the sofa.

Mariana and Valeriu - very, very young
Having studied Philology (her program would most likely be called Linguistics in North America), my mother specialized in French Language and Literature and ended up working [as a translator?] for INCREST (the National Institute for Scientific and Technical Creation), in the airplane industry. This Institute was renamed in 1985 and it was eventually succeeded by INAV and INCAS. This industry had a glorious past in Romania - in its golden age, in the 1930s and 40s, was second only to Poland in Central and Eastern Europe, with a planes made under French, and then Polish license. However, in the postwar period, it was essentially destroyed under Soviet occupation and converted to agricultural machinery manufacturing. Attempts were made to revive it in the 70s, [first for airplanes to spread insecticides, (I presume?)] culminating in the 80s with the production of RomBAC 1-11, a plane based on a British design.

I kept a number of full color, beautiful advertising papers she had been working on long after her death. These were small planes and growing up I had always assumed they had been made in Romania, as the original materials seemed to be in Romanian and the planes had Romanian-sounding names, but later I could find no reference for them.
Subpages (3): grandma le disney scratchy