Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Churchill Series - Mar. 4, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

During the winter of 1932, Churchill lectured throughout the United States. Phyllis Moir, his secretary at the time, was one of those who accompanied him. She tells us something of what it was like:

"It means revising speeches in taxicabs and dressing out of suitcases. It means always being the social lion for the lion hunters, however tired and out-of-sorts one may feel. It means eating caterer’s meals. It means living by a train schedule. (And that could mean an evening lecture after which Churchill and his party would board an overnight sleeper around midnight; and then at 6 a.m. having to get off the train at a cold, deserted station in the city where he was to deliver at lecture at noon. - JinC) ...

(All this) Mr. Churchill accepted almost cheerfully. ...

(H)e never made the same speech twice. After each engagement he would think of a number of improvements and would set to work the next morning on the text of his address. He polished and re-polished his speeches endlessly so that they seemed to grow considerably in scope and depth."
What Moir describes is remarkable under any circumstances, but especially so given that, shortly after the tour began Churchill, then 57, was hit and seriously injured by an auto in New York. He was hospitalized for 8 days and confined to bed for another 3 weeks.


Anonymous said...

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

- Winston Churchill

Anonymous said...

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

- Winston Churchill