LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW) In February 1989, two people with whom you may not be familiar had a conversation in Dubna, Russia's Mir Square. That conversation became the foundation for a relationship that has grown for 30 years.
David Bell began that conversation. Bell was born in Texas. When he was 10, his family left the Great Depression and moved to Russia.
As the Cold War was nearing an end Bell worked to visit the United States to help build relationships with help from people in La Crosse. That effort would result in a journey he and four others made, three of whom were skilled musicians.
They would travel to La Crosse with Bell as an interpreter because the others did not speak English. But, that didn't matter much because they would communicate through music.
On November 22, 1989, the group known as the Dubna Trio performed beginning a relationship that resulted in a sister city relationship and the La Crosse - Dubna Friendship Association.
There is more to this story. This effort actually began in 1986. We'll focus on that story as the official sister city relationship anniversary draws near in August 2020.