Mrs. Lincoln here, just letting you know that Abe and I are on the road again. “Abe” A.K.A. Homer Sewell III, a local resident of Pickens county since 1983; has been performing as Abraham Lincoln for 36 yrs. Some of you may remember his earlier articles years ago called “On the road with Abe.” In 1987 he owned the local skating rink and that’s how we met. I worked for him in the concession stand selling Dr. Pepper and Combos to the local kids. We were recently reacquainted and he asked me to join him on the road to be Mrs. Lincoln. We recently spent some time in New Mexico. We visited five schools in five days. What an adventure that was. Nothing like airport security in a hoop skirt, not to mention trying to fit in the plane and my seat is in the very back. I said; “Abe, you will wear the dress next time!”
We met lots of nice folks like Mrs. Belinda, who is an amazing lady that became our guide and friend. She creates a calendar every year of the children’s artwork and encourages them to learn and grow. We had dinner with her and her husband one night and her daughter and her husband the next night. Good food and good company what more can the Lincolns ask for.
When we returned home we prepared ourselves for our next adventure. We got a new “Abe Mobile” and Chris from Ink Fish Graphics in Dalton hooked us up with an amazing vehicle wrap that expresses our commitment to this project. We are inspiring tomorrow’s leaders and encouraging them to never give up in their pursuits to greatness. We packed our bags and the “Abe Mobile” and headed out on February 12th, 2012 on Lincoln’s 203rd birthday.
Our first stop on the journey was North Middle School in Henderson Kentucky. Ms. Tardy was very surprised that Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln were standing in her office that early in the morning. She was the new principal and no one had bothered to tell her we would be her guests that day. She arranged for us to speak to the sixth grade class in one assembly. The children were excited they were being taken out of class for an hour or so but Ms. Tardy wasn’t really a “warm and fuzzy” as Abe would say but I hugged her anyway.
Next stop was right down the road, South Middle School and Principal Ryan. He met us at the front of the school with a smile and warm welcome. We had one big assembly of 725 students and for the rest of the day we visited with the sixth grade classes.
Abe was his usual charming self as he encourages the children to never give up in their pursuits and to always “Be a Dreamer, a Stargazer, a Rainbow Chaser and soar with the eagles.” I speak briefly to the girls about remembering their “Girl Power”. (Goddesses Inspiring Real Love; Peaceful Order Warriors Encouraging Rebirth.) Each girl receives a “Girl Power “card to remind her that she has the power now to do anything the boys can do and sometimes even better.
One of the children’s favorite parts of the show is when Abe picks four students from the audience to help him explain that fateful night at the Fords Theatre. He chooses 2 boys and 2 girls and I hand each of them a different hat to play the part. The boy chosen to play the President gets to wear a stove pipe hat and Mrs. Lincoln gets a fancy black hat. Major Rathbone gets a gray military hat and Ms. Clara Harris, Senator Harris’s daughter gets a maroon feather hat.
The children only get uncomfortable when Abe has Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln hold hands and they get real uncomfortable when he reveals that Major Rathbone and Ms. Clara are not only engaged to be married but they are also brother and sister. After the shock passes he explains that they were actually step-brother and sister and were not really related. It’s real funny how they all react and Abe gets a kick out of it,to say the least.
What a great Valentine’s Day! I got to wear my new red dress and to spend the day with some amazing children and Abe got me lots of roses. We had lunch with some of the students and later they invited us to hear them sing. They sang the theme song from “Footloose” and a song from the movie “Grease”. We received lots of hugs and handshakes and were inspired to continue on our journey to meet more great students, teachers and principals and all the amazing folks that take care of our future generations.
After school we headed to our next stop; Colon Elementary School in Colon, Michigan. We arrived at the school after dark and were welcomed by Mrs. Ruth Anne who insisted on treating us to a Chinese dinner at a local restaurant and afterward to her lovely home by the lake. She let me soak in her big Jacuzzi tub and I was in heaven. We have a shower in the RV and its fine but there is nothing like a good soak. She became my new best friend and I slept like a baby.
We entered the school the next morning to find that the students were already filling up their gym that was also used as their cafeteria. It’s a small school of 400 students. The school building is very old and was under construction. The older children were having classes in some trailers out back of the school. They were excited to see Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln and we got lots of love. We had lunch with some of the kids who had been on good behavior that week. We had a big assembly with the older ones and then small groups of the younger ones. We even got to see some children as young as four years old. They of course had no clue of who we were supposed to be but they were happy to have visitors whoever they are or were. We left the school feeling loved and appreciated and ready to continue our journey.
Well as with any kind of adventure you always have some unexpected things come up that you have to deal with on your way. We have had issues with the water, the power and the freezing temperatures and even trying to find a place to park for the night. All the RV parks are closed for the winter you know. Then there is the booking agent that read the books wrong and we drove over 200 hundred miles out of our way at $4.00 a gallon for diesel and then only to get the “Abe Mobile” stuck in the mud in the middle of the soccer field of our next scheduled school and to have to call the Good Sam Club to send Star Towing to pull us out. But, as Abe would say “Did we give up? No siree bubbaroo we did not give up and don’t you ever give up in the pursuit of your dreams.”
Until next time we encourage all of you to be with Abe and I and to follow along with us in your hearts and prayers as we continue our journey across the country, inspiring tomorrow’s leaders to be “On the road to Greatness.” God bless you all, Reverend Xylona, A.K.A. Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln. by Reverend Xylona