Monday, December 22, 2008

The Churchill Series - Dec. 22, 2008

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

On November 30, 1924, Churchill turned fifty.

One of his biographers, William Manchester, would later describe Churchill at fifty:

(He was) portly, bald, stooped, his face lined with wrinkles accumulated during countless crises, any one of which would have aged most men overnight.

Yet the overall effect was pleasant. He had begun to resemble the cartoonist's conception of John Bull, hearty and prosperous, with an ovoid torso and a low center of gravity, good-humored if you let him have his way but stubborn and even refractory if you didn't.

His height was just under five feet, seven inches, which would have surprised those who knew him only through newspaper photographs, because his massive shoulders led one to expect a taller man.

His manner was always forthright, never devious, no one ever called him enigmatic.

As unsubtle as the rare roast beef he ( and John Bull) loved, his expression invariably reflected his mood. He beamed, looked puckish, frowned, wept, or brooded, but of the thousands of Churchill photographs, none shows him bored.
What a wonderful word portrait.

And as for no photo showing him bored, remember what our parents taught us?

Boredom is what happens to people who aren't interested in anything

That was never Churchill.
William Manchester,
The Last Lion: Visions of Glory. (p. 755)


Anonymous said...

As I always told my children - you can be many things but bored is never an option. To be bored demonstrates a lack of imagination, a person devoid of any interests, and rudeness of the highest degree.