…and one more thing to share: While smiling, done well!
And though I was old enough to have lived during the Second World War, I had only reached the ripe old age of eight when it began, which presented two equally important news items for the world to know:
to serve in our military, in 1941, in just about every branch, a kid had to be at least eighteen years old. Secondly, the most important fact of my life, I never got to meet Sir Winston Churchill.
If he was alive today, I guarantee I would find a way to say hello to him. I mean, why not? I’ve directed many so-called stars who consider themselves in the same rarified air as any of today’s world leaders. All this is not to say at age eight I had an in-depth knowledge of the magnitude of perhaps the greatest wartime leader who ever lived.
At the time, 1941, Winston Churchill was age sixty-seven. And even with all the daily stress he lived with, he managed to make it to the then very ripe old age of ninety.
And FYI, I recall the exploits of my favorite statesman today, because I was pleasantly surprised when a day or so ago I ran across an item about a Winston Churchill habit I had either forgotten about or was unaware of. While reading “The Bomber Mafia”, written by one of my favorite current authors Malcolm Gladwell, he called to attention a problem Prime Minister Churchill was having to settle during the factors which existed between the “Royal Air Force (RAF)”, and our United States Army Air Force*.
*That’s what it was called during WW2.
The British favored doing nighttime bombing, while the Americans on the other hand, preferred daytime. Churchill summoned the Air Force leaders from both sides, to present their points of view at a high-level meeting with him.
Now here is the part which not only struck me as funny but was an example of who the man was in his real life, whether it be war or peacetime. As follows, Malcolm Gladwell described the meeting incident in his book: The meeting was set for generals from both sides to meet with the Prime Minister the very next morning. The American Air Force leader who was set as the designate to present was Ira Eaker—extremely renowned at the time. Eaker went back to his quarters and stayed up half the night drafting a response for Churchill. Everyone knew that Churchill wouldn’t read a document longer than a page. So, the briefing had to be really brief. And convincing. And so it was.
For all of us who function with a similar beam of light shining astutely down upon them, I highly recommend the storytelling of Malcolm Gladwell. Up, down, in and out, and all-around town, The Bomber Mafia helps to stimulate a feeling of wellness.
Each of the days, weeks, months, and over one full year now, we have all, each and every day, had to take it on the chin whether we liked it or not. We accepted our venture together. And though masked, a smile managed its way through the bleakness and relentless pressure, unlike anything any of us had been trained to live with.
When Sir Winston Churchill walked the streets of London, often as the bombs rained down on his streets, he had men and women at his side. They took heart. His point, often raised with glass in hand, “We will never give in. We will fight on to the end”. And oh yes, you might believe me now, when I say again, I’d find a way to meet the man who gave me so many of his words of encouragement.
…and now, it’s time to take Little Winnie for his walk.
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