Saturday, November 2, 2013


Today I am utterly delighted to introduce a guest blogger and fellow writer, Claudia Mundell,  from Missouri.

 She writes the delightful blog, Claudia's Page.

If you are not a follower, why not go on over, read her blog and become one?

                                                                                                    CLAUDIA MUNDELL

    She lives in the four corners of Southwest Missouri where the history and surroundings includes the Ozarks, prairie, the Little Balkans, old Indiana Territory, beginnings of the Old West in cattle towns, stills that brewed Deep Shaft, numerous outlaws, birthplaces of American Presidents and more.

 She writes poetry and fiction as time allows, likes reading non-fiction,  and loves to visit the birthplaces of great thinkers and writers. 

In addition to several anthologies, Claudia has been published in the following places:
  • Rosebud Literary Journal
  • Lightning Ridge Journal
  • Cappers
  • St. Anthony's Messenger
  • Oklahoma Review
  • Modern Romance
  • Ozark Mountainer
  • TeaTime
  • TEA, a magazine
  • Country Collectible
  • Romantic Homes
  • Good Old Days
  • Byline
  • Coast to Coast
  • SHE
  • Sportsmen Journal
  • True Confessions
  • True Romance
  • MidRivers Review
  • Ozark Senior Living

Here is a post on the first part of a trip she recently took with her husband.

Thanks so much, Claudia, for being a guest blogger on Writing Straight from the Heart.

A Bit of Old England in Missouri  by Claudia Mundell

"The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes." 1941
                                                                                                                 Winston Churchill

One last road trip took us east this time so we could visit our son and his family. Without planning to do so, an autumn trip to Kentucky and taking the grandkids to the pumpkin patch is becoming a tradition. The trip can be a hard one as it is twelve hours of driving through the entire states of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana before even reaching Kentucky. This drive can be tedious unless you love to look at corn fields!

Sometimes we deadhead to Kentucky, but the autumn drives are so beautiful that we often try to find an alternative route to enjoy on the ride. Last year we came up through southern Kentucky and were amazed by the autumn yard décor we saw. This year we chose to a route that took us to new places in our own state of Missouri.

 We left the interstate and wound through curving roads that followed the hills of middle Missouri. The day was chilly with a light mist and the trees were beginning to show late color. We headed for Fulton, Missouri a charming little town with brick streets and stately homes that quite a tie to history.

I had heard of Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech and how he came to Missouri in 1946 to give it. I had read some on Churchill, mostly in a biography of his mother Jenny Jerome who was an American that married Lord Randolph Churchill of England. I knew that Churchill was an encouraging leader in his country during World War II, and even now we see his ubiquitous words quoted still today with sayings like “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Being a lover of history, I thought we should visit the museum dedicated to his Iron Curtain speech, but somehow a visit to Fulton was always pushed to the back burner of our trips.

So this autumn, we put Fulton on our itinerary, and it was well worth the stop. The museum is located right on the beautiful campus of Westminster College. Compared to mightier museums, this one was rather small but proved to be a powerhouse. The first large poster at the entrance quoted Churchill, “It was my ambition all my life to be a master of the spoken word.” I felt a chill and excitement when I read his words because I recognized a poet when I saw one.

The museum was interactive at many stations and started with Churchill’s birth and then moved forward. I felt history unfold as I moved through the space. The films of Hitler during World War II were chilling. Once again the power of words, both spoken and written, was made known. There were lots of displays showing the suffering of the English people during the war. Exhibits continued through the Cold War. I had never really given much thought to my place in history, but the museum made me think how I was a teenager only 20 years after all this suffering. (And I thought England just gave us the Beatles!) This generation of people is always fascinating to me both in the wretched cruelty of the evil seen and in the supreme achievements and sacrifices of people putting a world to peace again.
"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing -- after they've tried everything else."

"Broadly speaking short words are best and the old words when short, are best of all."

In 1965 Europe was still cleaning up from World War II. What was left of a bombed out church stood in rubble. The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury was brought over stone by stone and reconstructed on the Westminster campus to be part of the memorial to Winston Churchill. 

The church was part of Christopher Wren’s work who was an English architect during the late 1600s. St. Mary’s was burned down in London’s Great Fire and Wren rebuilt it in 1672. Then it was rebuilt in Missouri to save it. The church is gorgeous and worth a trip to see. Entrance to the church is from the museum. 

By the time we left the Westminster campus, we felt steeped in history. It was an amazing few hours and a good start to a longer trip, but we felt we had already been to England and back, to the last century and back. Definitely anyone close enough to visit the Churchill Memorial should do so for architecture, history, language, and more. 
"All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honour; duty; mercy; hope." 1947



Chatty Crone said...

I will go over and check her out. Nice that you have a friend as a guest blogger. sandie

Rebecca said...

I enjoy Claudia's blog - and this post is SO interesting (love of quotations that I am, I found many of Churchill's quite striking)!

Rebecca said...

"loveR" that should be :)

BECKY said...

Hi Susan! How wonderful to see Claudia's lovely face here, and read her fabulous words. I've been Claudia's follower for a long time....probably about the same as I've been a follower of yours! That was a very interesting post and the photos are gorgeous. I'm not a big history buff, so I didn't know some of what Claudia told us here. I definitely need to visit the museum an, talk about getting chills. Thanks so much, Susan and Claudia!

Tammy said...

Fascinating. So much history right in our own backyard and we don't even know it half the time. So nice to meet Claudia. Best wishes, Tammy

P.S. You will appreciate that Zack says putting pumpkin in hummus is a disgrace to the Arab culture. Ha! He refuses to eat it but everyone else loves it! :)

Marta said...

Hello from Spain: thanks for recommending Claudia's blog. I read that she writes about your history. Very interesting. Keep in touch

Terra said...

Great post, I like the reconstructed church (now that was a labor of love) and the information about Winston Churchill.

diane.stetson said...

Interesting read and lovely pictures too. Thanks for sharing her blog!

Marylin Warner said...

Oh, Claudia, I loved this! You are an excellent guest blogger, and the pictures are wonderful. In addition to you being from southwest Missouri and me growing up in southeast Kansas, from this blog post I learned we also have written for some of the same publications:
Good Old Days, True Confessions, Byline, and others (though I wrote for ALL of Sterling MacFadden--all of the TRUE ---- magazines, and some many times; I spent at least 3 years writing for all their publications, including the short-lived Bronze Thrills!) It's a small world, and I'm so glad I met you through our blogs!

Karen Lange said...

Susan, thanks so much for the intro to Claudia! It's always great to meet other writers. Enjoyed the post, and loved the pictures too. Thanks to both of you! :)

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