I’ll read anything on Winston Churchill. He came upon the global stage at a time when the free world desperately needed a man of his backbone. I see his words and deeds and wonder if not another statesman like him exists today. The Brits know our (can I speak for you?) admiration for the man and bait us into reading articles on him with candy like this:
Americans love Sir Winston Churchill. That much has been obvious since even before 1963, when President Kennedy gave him the only honorary US citizenship ever awarded to a living person. Yet, in the half-century since then, that admiration and affection hasn’t abated; he is one of the only non‑Americans to have a US warship (USS Winston Churchill) named after him, and as many books are published about him in America as in Britain.
Just my luck, the Morgan Library and Museum in New York is having a exhibition on him. And I am far from the Big Apple. One interesting fact from the article I did not know, Sir Winston got into a car accident two blocks from where I used to live on E. 77th St. (One of several places I hung my hat in the ol’ En Why See.) The exhibition has the letter as proof:
And a funny letter written by Otto C Pickhardt, Churchill’s doctor, after he was nearly killed by a car on Fifth Avenue, between 76th and 77th Street, in December 1931, which reads: “This is to certify that the post-accident convalescence of Hon Winston S Churchill necessitates the use of alcoholic spirits especially at mealtimes.” This at a time when America was in the grip of Prohibition. “The quantity is naturally indefinite but the minimum requirements would be 250 cubic centimeters.” (Dr Pickhardt presumably meant centilitres, but that’s still a third of a bottle.)
Necessitates the use of? Gotta love doctors. Where can we find us a statesman of Sir Winston Churchill’s caliber?