The famous “Stan, the Man” Musial, St. Louis Cardinals (1941–1963 with exception of 1945 when he served in U.S. Navy), celebrates his birthday today as does my husband, Max Ciampoli. I honor both for their lifetime achievements, Stan in baseball and Max in World War II as evidenced in our book, “Churchill’s Secret Agent” (Berkley/Penguin).

Max was reminiscing about life in Hampton Village where both men lived before Max bought his horse property in Chesterfield, MO. Max was Executive Chef at the Chase and Park Plaza in St. Louis as well as owner of the French Room, an exclusive beauty salon where one of Max’s clients was Lillian Musial along with the famous Sylvia Sorkin, international singer Suzy Solidor and Mrs. Red Shanding. He had a lovely clientele.

Now, Max has become famous in his own right through our recent National Bestseller that I translated from his memoirs and co-authored. We just returned from a terrific speaking engagement at the Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls where Max spoke of his personal experiences as a spy for Winston Churchill honoring their current exhibit:  “A Grateful Nation: A Look Back at World War II” that commemorates the United States entrance into WWII 70 years ago on December 7th. Coincidentally, that is exactly when our book, now in its 5th printing, was released in 2010.

What a welcome we were given by the Idaho Falls community. Approximately 200 people attended our presentation, coming out in the pouring–and I mean pouring–rain, some traveling as far as 2 1/2 hours to see us in Idaho Falls. It was an unforgettable experience. The TV (Channel 3 and 8 news), radio (KBYU) and newspaper (Post Register) interviewers were all so kind, so professional. We give thanks for the personal attention and excellent coordination provided by museum Director of Marketing, Britni Storer and museum staff member, Tilly Smith whose father served in the same unit as Max, the elite Alpine Ski Troop division of the French army during World War II. Further, our personal private tour of the exhibit by the well-versed Shalene Summers was impressive and memorable. Thank you for all you did to help organize this exhibit and your enthusiasm in sharing your knowledge, Shalene.

In closing, I wish Stan and my husband Max the very happiest of birthdays and many more healthy, happy birthday celebrations in the future. I thank you both for your remarkable contributions to the world. -Linda Ciampoli

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