A walk with Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, will be 200 in 2009. At 6' 4" and 180 pounds in his early life, he looked like a pencil in a big hat. He has improved with age, is better looking, better fed, still chivalrous. A gentleman. Gentle man.
Never have I walked so with living history. The only sound the scuff of our shoes. Even the trees were silent, listening, eager to know. I had to ask, "So, Abe, tell me something about your childhood."
Anguished, he replied, "My mother died from milk disease when I was nine. The cows ate a weed that was poisonous and passed it through their milk. Others died too. I stood at her cold grave crying; I couldn't leave her there." We walked a spell in silence, mulling his predicament.
The River is outlined by woods on either side. Excited I asked, "Abe, could you help me build a raft? I could surprise JB. Can I get to Louisiana in a week?"
Recollecting his river memories, he frowned, "I think it's too many twist and turns for a week's journey." A foolish hope. A brief imagining of a long pole, a sack lunch, and adventure dissipated.
Eager to extract all I could from his memory bank, I proceeded, "Tell me something funny from back then."
In a grownup, tired voice he replied, "Well, I was walking down a dusty road one hot August day on my way to a trial, when a fellow driving a buggy happened along. I sure needed to get off my feet. I waved."
"Need a lift?" he asked with a smile.
"Could you take my coat to the next town, Sir?" I asked politely.
He took his hat off and scratched his head, "Yes, but how would you get it?"
"Why, I intend to be in it."
The walk ended too soon. But I must tell you, I met his wife. She is beautiful, kind, capable, accomplished, mentally sound. And the children are fine.
Lee Williams is an offical Abraham Lincoln presenter. The first time I saw him I noticed the natural resemblance. He speaks at schools and reenactments, and has presented in Dubai. You can contact him at abelincoln.org
2008 Red Convertible Travel Series