• Michelle Dean

To Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

Michelle Dean

192 Popes Store Road

Ochlocknee, GA 31773

United States of America


May 20, 2019


Her Majesty the Queen,

Buckingham Palace,

London, SW1A 1AA,


Dear Madam

Two years ago my family embarked upon a journey that was not on our bucket list, but has turned out to be the most amazing life. Thinking we were purchasing an abandoned century old home in which to raise our children, my husband and I found ourselves the owners of arguably one of the oldest extant indoor and outdoor folk art museums in the United States, a home commonly known as Popes Museum. As it closed in 1973, 20 years after the death of artist/owner Laura Pope Forester, Dan and I did not know of its history, and the honor that the artist Laura Pope Forester gave you personally until recently.


Of the 200 statues Mrs. Forester personally carved, only a handful remain. Fortunately they are magnificent representations of her genius and dedication to bring honor to whom honor is due. One of her statues is a likeness of yourself created in the late 1940s as a memorial to your steadfast loyalty and partnership with the United States during World War 2. It is part of a 100 foot wall honoring local fallen heroes and national heroes such as (then) General Eisenhower. This work, among others, is featured in the United States Library of Congress over 250 times.


If her work is amazing, so was the drive and motivation she had in creating it. It was her desire that America and Great Britain remember that victory was won as the two nations joined forces. Hence on the western side of the wall are statues of an American nurse, a fallen Air Force pilot, a grieving mother, a British nurse and yourself. Madam, it is my heart that you know that 70 years after the event, in a small town in southern Georgia, we still want to say thank you for your fidelity.


As I mentioned earlier, we were unaware of the history when we purchased the home and acres of Popes Museum. Since then we have applied and received approval to be on the National Register of Historic Places. We have created a nonprofit organization approved by our IRS and are working diligently to preserve this wonderful work of art. My two younger children, Talisa (11) and Ben (10) and I were discussing the artwork and Your Majesty when Benjamin suggested writing you and letting you know about it. Talisa impressed me to act in a timely manner because the statues are not getting any younger. If you would like to see more information about the works of Laura Pope Forester, or our efforts to continue to say thank you to the men and women such as yourself who are honored on the wall the website is www.popesmuseum.com or www.facebook.com/popesmuseum . We are reopening the Museum to the public and educating students of all ages about the time period and the players involved in it, including yourself. I would be honored to entertain any correspondence with you to assist in this endeavor.


Your Humble Servant,


Michelle Dean

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