Aardvark Art Glass

The Lincoln Traveling Sideshow

Has this come to your town? It’s the Abe Lincoln traveling museum aka The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Tour. Basically, it’s a semi full of fairly high tech Abe related exhibits including a hologram of Abe giving a speech off the back of a train. It’s here in Madison (nearby, anyway, in Verona) today and tomorrow. Check the website to see if it’s coming to your town. This thing has got the most chaotic and inefficient tour schedule I’ve ever seen. It could show up anywhere at anytime.

Here’s a picture of Don and a replica of Abe Lincoln’s famous stove pipe hat:

Don appears to be scoffing at the hat which is not an unsurprising reaction as the hat was kind of disappointing. I thought it would be bigger. The plaque behind it claims that it is an exact replica complete with wear marks on the brim where Lincoln would have grasped the hat to tip it to the ladies. Also, the plaque claims that he used the hat as a vessel to stow papers. If any of this is untrue I expect someone whose initials are Jean Yates to clue us in. She is a Lincoln maven.

Also in the trailer was a plasma screen with a movie interpreting the entire Civil War in four minutes. On the screen was a map of the US with a line representing the northern and southern fronts. It moved south and north and south as the years sped by while a counter in the corner kept track of the number of dead on both sides. That was neat. Not that 1.3 million people died but that you got a lot of information in four minutes. The whole exhibit was pretty neat–for being free and inside a truck and everything. If Abe’s truck comes to your town you should go inside and check it out.

So speaking of Presidents, did you know that, in an attempt to create another icon like the teddy bear, William Howard Taft was once tied to the character Billy Possum? I read that on Wikipedia (Virginia Opossum entry) so you can take it to the bank (or revise it until it makes sense to you). For some reason, opossums weren’t as endearing to the public as little stuffed bears so the whole thing never really took off. Evidence of the once tangy idea exists today on the Possum Politics website. That is a stitch.


5 Comments so far
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well, this is great! I must say I do recall that Lincoln did stuff his speech notes in his hat (and I agree I imagined it was a larger hat than that…maybe he was actually littler, just as everyone one was in the good old days–weren’t they all 3 feet tall or so in 1860’s?) …once some naughty little boys poked his hat off his head and he had to go racing after everthing as his speech blew away in the wind. All of this is fake, of course. –Jean

Comment by jean

It was funny–his hollogram didn’t look as hulking as it should have either. Perhaps it is a relative size thing or perhaps it was all just crammed into a semi. No matter. I hope you felt like you accompanied me during my journey through the truckload-o-Lincoln.

Comment by cathylybarger

Oh I did, I did! ank-thay ou-thay! <– that is French for “thank you”!

Comment by jean

I went to the website for the Lincoln display (I want to see the hologram!) and it states it will be traveling all over the U.S., quote unquote. But then the tour dates through 2009 only list NINE states total (which are, in alphabetical order; CO, GA, IL, LA, MA, NY, OH, PA, WI, for those who care). Ahem… didn’t they hear that there are FIFTY states? How about the rest of us who did not make that tour date list? Perhaps they should consider qualifying that statement?! Or else don’t say “All Over” the U.S. (because that list is certainly NOT.) !!! 😡

I also looked at the Wikipedia for Virgina Possum that you referenced, and I had forgotten that Pogo (I LOVED that cartoon… we still have their tongue-in-cheek Christmas Carol book somewhere!) was a possum! 🙂 So I think “Mr. Jingles” first name should definitely be Pogo! (Pogo Jingles. I like it.) “Billy Possum” sounds too much like Jimmy Carter’s brother to me! Makes one picture a big rotund undershirt clad suspender-wearing type personality… while your possum looks more elegant and dignified. (Well, as dignifed as one can look perched atop a Hefty bag!) 😉

Our own possum (I think ours is a she, her demeanor implies she is a mom, she’s got a bit more defiance than yours, as befits a creature protecting little ones or something) was sighted again one night here perched atop the fence, hissing like a teakettle at our dog (who is very frustrated she can’t climb high enough to wipe that smirk off the possum’s alligatorish grinning face.) I wish I could give Maw Possum an apple or something, but our roof rats are way too bold and comfy in our yard already without putting out bait for them (darn it!) I envy you your possum situation, you can feed him and watch him eat! 🙂

(Yes, as you said before, there is something satisfying about feeding things, especially when they appear to enjoy –or at least eat!– what you offer them. I think it’s that “hospitality” sort of feeling. Like that satisfaction one has after having thrown a successful party.)

Party on, Mr. Jingles!

Comment by Annie :)

I would have taken a picture of the hologram but it was behind glass. Not quite as high tech as the ones CNN had on election night. That tour would hit more places were it not spending time zig-zagging across the midwest. Why would it go from IL to CO to OH to WI to MA? It makes no sense to me. Since it’s government funded it should go every where, I say.

We haven’t for sure settled on name for the opossum. In addition to calling him “Mr. Jingles” I’ve started calling him “Jeb”. I don’t think Don feels strongly about it one way or another. I think Jeb has been fed by other people, probably for a long time. Last night I opened the door the porch when he was eating to put a couple of old tomatoes in his dish and he just looked at me like I was there to feed him. I dropped a tomato by his dish and he sniffed it and went back to eating. He has almost zero instinct to run away. That could be unintelligence or it could be that he’s trained. I think he’s been trained.

Comment by cathylybarger

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