By Lucy Arkin
We met the one and only Shirley Temple, world famous movie star, on our trip to Czechoslovakia in the 1990s.
After his historically successful service in World War II, President Dwight D. Eisenhower felt strongly that if the peoples of the world know and appreciate each other, there would be no more wars. So, he started an organization called “People to People,” which would invite American travelers to connect with our people in service in foreign countries throughout the world.
Through friends, my husband Rudy and I were invited to join in the company of a former ambassador and a diverse group of Americans, and went to Czechoslovakia on a vacation trip.
We were warmly received at her office by Ambassador Shirley Temple Black, with the same warm dimpled smile and curly brown hair we could remember from her movies. She spoke individually with each of us, had refreshments served, and then, after answering questions about her aims in service to our country, invited us out to her residence.
The Ambassador’s residence was a large 2 story house in a nearby suburb, built for a Czech manufacturer. The furnishings were authentic originals. There was a large swimming pool in the basement, and we learned the original family fled when the Germans invaded.
After about an hour and a half, we left, and she waved goodbye at the door. It was an unforgettable experience and a beautiful memory.