Caz Zyvatkauskas: a brief history
My family history can be traced back to Cossack servitude under Czar Nicholas II, escape from the revolution of 1917 and then forward to the Second World War — from the defense of Leningrad, the bridges in Belgium, working forced labor for the Germans to dying as partisans in the forests of Lithuania. After the elimination of their country my parents came to England through separate routes.
We were never taught to speak Lithuanian and always thought of ourselves as English. Consequently we were never completely sure why the local policeman’s children repeatedly attacked us
Upon seeing a postcard depicting the Eiffel Tower I had fallen under the misapprehension that I was born in Paris. As it turns out I had merely mistaken the Blackpool Tower for the more famous tourist attraction. Nonetheless, before I could reconcile my young self to the seaside tower with its bizarre circus performances and turn-of-the-century penny arcades my parents packed us aboard the Empress of England and set sail for Canada.
After becoming reasonably assimilated I took a job with Canada’s national newspaper. I applied myself as an editorial clerk in the Features, Sports and Report on Business sections of the Globe and Mail. I wrote plotlines for TV shows and movies on a daily basis for the television magazines at the Globe and later at The Toronto Sun . At both papers I wrote articles on a variety of topics including a critique of the punk music scene in California and a lifestyle piece entitled ‘How to Build a Gingerbread Carwash’.
After having a go at Fine Arts studies, Film School and training to be a community activist I settled at the University of Toronto where I managed a design department in Strategic Communications. I also studied medieval history at U of T.
In July of 2013 I took early retirement from the university to move to Oregon where I now live my sweetheart.