This is a promise: they will return "regularly see the progress of the work" and maintain "the memory of the place". Hundreds of former inhabitants who came to watch the huge concrete skeleton of the Gagarin city remember: "Of course, it was a heat and sound colander, with the railway line next door but it was good because life was dignified. The apartments were spacious, all the neighbors knew each other. "
This Saturday, the word "mutual help" is on everyone's lips. "At first, this city was a revolution in terms of comfort, say Jacques, 70, and Michèle, 68 years. The first to settle there were barracks, shantytowns or living conditions were appalling. "
If all the neighbors concede a "degradation, over time", the fifties annoy with indescribable joy the labyrinthine corridors, "formidable playground". They speak of a time when all buildings communicated with each other, forming a huge labyrinth where, teenagers, they spent "whole days". They recollect with joy these "afternoons spent ringing at the doors and running away", from "football games to no time".
At the foot of the tower, the emotion is at its height. The laughter fires, some stifled sobs burst. The elders embrace each other, ask for news from the little ones. All know that there will be no return but no matter: many concede to have kept the keys.