Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Twin Peaks

Don't you wonder why schools are not closed today? In my misspent youth Roman parishes frequently closed to celebrate saints feast days. Today is the joint birthday of the patron saint of storytellers and patron of salesmen, Mark Twain and Winston Churchill. Schools should be closed in their honor. These two men are near the top of my fictional who would you invite to dinner wish list.

The two men met several times. The first time in London, when Winston was trading his hero status for his reporting of the Boer war into political office. The Churchill Centre describes their meeting:

Churchill and Twain

Winston Churchill and Mark Twain met in 1900, just when Churchill was just coming into prominence as a young statesman. The meeting took place at a dinner in London.

During the dinner, they decided to step outside for a smoke. An observer, Sir William Harcourt, speculated that since both men tended to dominate conversations, the one who got the floor first would keep it. He told others at his table that since Twain was older and more experienced, Churchill's voice would get the first rest it had had in a long time.

When the two return, Harcourt asked the young Churchill if he had enjoyed talking to Twain. Churchill replied with an enthusiastic "Yes." Harcourt then asked Twain if he had a good chat with Churchill. Twain paused, then said, "I had a good smoke."



Martha said...

Two of my favorites -- Winston, you know, had connections to KC because of his painting and Hallmark cards. There is a statue of him at the Plaza (whose Christmas lights are in your header -- I smile each time I visit you!)

And, of course, Twain was a Missouri lad!

Great story!

James said...

A momentous day to be sure.

Old Polo said...

I'd add Teddy Roosevelt to your list as well. Funny how all of them were turn of the 20th century people.

Toad said...

You wouldn't have them together though. TR was not a fan of the young upstart Churchill.

old polo said...

Fair enough, Maybe the next day one could come. Thanks Toad, a good insight.

Scale Worm said...

Great fun, Thank you. I dig TR.