by Barbara Taylor & Homer S. Sewell III
We have covered a lot of territory since last reporting to you four weeks ago. On Columbus Day Homer drove to St. Anselm Catholic School in Philadelphia. They were a well-behaved group of students. Then on to Ashkar Elem in Hughesville, PA, Woodhome Elem/Middle in Baltimore, MD, Norrisville Elem in MD and on Friday of that week spoke at the Broad Street Elem School in Gibbstown, NJ. We then drove until about midnight to park in front of a closed State Park near Mineral, Virginia. We camped Saturday evening at the Christopher Run Campground. It was overlooking a big, beautiful lake. On Monday Homer spoke at the Jouett Elem School in Mineral. He had Tuesday off to get some well needed rest and get caught up on correspondence. We then drove over to Grandin Court Elem in Roanoke and on to Sontag Elem in Rocky Mount, Virginia. On Thursday Homer spoke to Limestone Central and Northwest Elem in Gaffney, SC and we drove to Homer, Georgia where he spent the day at Banks County Middle School. We are not sure whether Homer was named after the town or the town was named after him.
We then made a quick ìpass throughî Jasper. We slowed down long enough to pick up our mail, check on the house and the new roof being installed, had dinner at the Cracker Barrel in Canton with Homer's twins, Kimberly and Jason and stopped by to see my daughters Melinda and Jennifer and grandchildren, Haley, Ashley, Samatha and Nicholas. We spent less than an hour visiting with all of our kids because we had a four hour drive to get to the other side of Nashville, TN to Mousetail Landing State Park. Homer had to speak there at a craft show on Saturday. We finally got parked after midnight.
On Sunday morning Homer flew out of the Nashville airport to Green Bay, Wisconsin, rented a car and drove 510 miles to Bemidji, MN. He was there to speak to their students and help dedicate a new Lincoln School on Monday. He spent Sunday night with the Heath family, a local pastor. He then drove back on Monday afternoon to the Green Bay airport, turned in the rental car and slept in the airport for four hours before catching a 6:OO AM flight back to Nashville, me and the AbeMobile.
Tuesday was an off-day so we spent it driving over to Williamsburg, Kentucky where we parked at the Williamsburg Motel/RV Park. Homer drove out each morning to schools there in Kentucky....Hall Elem in Gray's Knob, Beaver Creek in Topmost, Rockcastle County Middle and Mt. Vernon Elem in Mt. Vernon. I spent Thursday parked in the Ford dealership in Williamsburg getting $622 worth of brakes and a new tire taken care of on the AbeMobile.
We spent that weekend near Lawrenceburg, Kentucky at the home of Jim and Mary Sayre. Jim and Mary are also members of the Association of Lincoln Presenters. Jim got the Lincoln of the Year Award for 1995 and Homer got earlier this year for 1998. Mary also portrays Abe's wife Mary at some of the engagements they do. They have a 30-acre farm with a pond on it. On Sunday we went to church with Jim and Mary and then had a picnic and did some fishing. I was the first to catch one. Homer, Jim, Mary and I each caught about three....mostly ìmuch-too-small-to-eatî bass or bream. We released each of them so they could grow up. Homer walked out on a rickety, old dock and sat on a rickety, old chair. Mary and I were hoping he would fall in but he surprised both of us and stayed dry. Neither of us had been fishing in years and it was fun even though we didn't get any fresh fish to eat. Mary did fix a lot of good southern meals for all of us. Jim's dog, Buffy, who is really a dashound but is so fat that Homer kept calling her a ìminiature hippopotamusî kept us entertained running around chasing anything that moved near the pond. She got all muddy in the process. Jim spoils her rotten! He kept saying she was ìundernourishedî but every time we ate he was sneaking her food under the table. ìShe was NOT undernourished, Jim!î On Monday Jim visited the afternoon school with Homer. He didn't have his suit on but students who came through the cafeteria and saw both of them eating did a double take. Homer told them he was 190 years old and that Jim was his son. On Monday evening we all went to hear Jim speak at an annual Lions Club meeting. Homer was the one not dressed in his suit then and folks were doing a double take again. They had door prizes and Homer and I both won a $50 Savings Bond from one of the local banks. We had a nice, relaxing weekend visiting with these wonderful friends. I had met them at three previous conventions in Gettysburg, Charleston, IL and Burbank, California. Jim is always teasing Homer about turnips. He knows Homer won't eat them but has shipped him turnips on a couple of occasions. I eat them.
This past week, the first one in November, we have seen the temperatures drop to the twenties in a couple of places but have had good weather most of the time. On Monday Homer spoke at Edna Tolliver and Jennie Rogers Elem Schools in Danville, KY. We had Tuesday off because of election day. He spoke at Hopkins Elem in Somerset, North Metcalfe in Edmonton, Stevenson Elem in Russellville, North Junior High and Niagara Elem in Henderson, KY.
We drove from just south of Evansville, IN on Friday afternoon to the Add More Campground just north of Louisville, KY. Homer got up at 4:00 AM on Saturday and drove 200 miles to speak at a Catholic Men's Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Thom Lisk had asked Homer to come up there and will probably be one of his new agents. There were about 800 men attending and he received a standing ovation for his delivery of the Gettysburg Address. Saturday afternoon we went to see the movie, ìThe Bone Collectorî and did some shopping. I have been spending a lot of time working on some craft items I am making for Christmas giving.
We are looking forward to having nearly a month off in December. We want to spend some time doing some things around the house in our favorite place to be.....Pickens County. Homer is going to finish the gazebo he is building and get a spa installed. Hopefully, starting after this tour ends in May, we will be able to spend more time at home. I think Homer is getting ìburned-outî with all of this traveling and I know I am. Homer is right now the same age Mr. Lincoln was when he went to the Ford's Theatre on that fateful evening of Good Friday, April 14, 1865. He keeps telling me that he would love to make it until at least next August when he will turn 57 and be one year older than the other ABE was. Let's hope so!
Hope all of you are doing well and getting ready for the holiday season. We look forward to spending some time home. God bless you and your family. Until next time......Barbara and Homer signing off for now.