My son and Abe Lincoln…a fabulous memory

wpid-wp-1430352300060.jpegRemember actor Wilford Brimley?  Rumpled, curmudgeonly, crabby, walrus moustache.  Hold that thought. This is a story revisit, actually a rewrite- something I normally don’t do. But I did it. Because I love the living shit out of this story.  When my son was seven, we visited my brother and sister in law in Washington, DC.  During the day, we did all of the normal tourist stuff. White House, Vietnam memorial, etc. And one day, we visited Ford’s theater, where Lincoln was assassinated.  We sat with a group of about 50 people, and our ‘drill sergeant’ was ‘Wilford Brimley’.  He whipped off a truckload of facts about Lincoln’s presidency, the day of the assassination, and the ensuing death watch next door, and search and capture of Booth. Man, my brain was full. Wilford eyeballs the crowd looking for someone to rattle with a rapid fire succession of questions. And his wooly eyebrows shoot up as he spots a seven year old, wide eyed peanut, my son. You might think Wilford would be gentle with one so young.  You would think wrong. He fires out the first question. Mike fires back the answer faster then it was sent.  (It is at this point that Mike’s mother and I are nearly vomiting with fear for our sprout). Second question at the speed of ridiculousness. Same result. Three more. Same, same, same. Drill ended. I am mopping sweat.  The peanut grins. The session comes to a close.  A woman with dead serious expression walks up to me. “Excuse me sir, how did your son do that?” Pause. “No clue, ma’am.  Just glad it wasn’t me.” Today he is 24. And he remembers everything from the age of 2.  Including that day. And I can’t remember what I had for lunch. But I remember that day, too.


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