Tiny Lincoln


I love Abraham Lincoln.  I love the man and the myth.  When I was little, I wished that he would haunt my house.  Weird???  Yup!

Also, I’m from Illinois and it’s kinda what we do.

Around 7 or 8 years old, at a garage sale in Oquawka, Illinois, I found a small, brass bust of Mr. Lincoln.  It was also a pencil sharpener.  I always thought Lincoln would’ve liked the practicality of the object.  I loved my mini bust and he was displayed proudly in my room.  As I would walk out the door, I’d rub his nose for good luck.  Somewhere between Illinois and Florida, he disappeared.  poof.

I hope someone found him and loved him as much as I did.

But you know how you think back and wonder what is real and what is made up?  Did I really own a bust or Lincoln?  Do they make such a thing?  It was so long ago, maybe I dreamed it.

When I start to doubt nostalgia (which is healthy), I turn to ebay.  Did I really have a stuffed animal that rolled into a ball? (yup).  Did I make this up, or did I own a doll with my name? (There is totally a Loni doll).  Did I really sneak down stairs and see Santa? (Sadly, no).  Was there a weird movie about and alien that looked like a naked burn victim, who only drank coke products and was a dancing bear at the ONLY good McDonalds party that I’ve ever seen?  (Sadly, yes).  But as time goes on, it’s hard to decipher between reality and what you talked yourself into believing is reality.  Also, the 80s were pretty messed up.  Thanks for clearing that up, internet.

Looking up “Lincoln Bust” in google will deliver mixed results.  I didn’t find the possibly made up pencil sharpener, but I did find this:Tiny Lincoln

I like to take Tiny Lincoln with me to places, mostly just for photo ops.  It’s not like a weird attention thing like wearing a tail.  He’ll be traveling with me as I explore Central Florida.  We know the Lincoln Memorial–it’s fun to take the iconic image of him to places…like a nerdy flat stanley project.  Except he’s 3 dimensional and the greatest President ever, and I’m not in 2nd grade.

These vagabond shoes. . .

I quit my job.

Now, let’s move on before that one sinks in.  I have kept my sanity by not thinking about it.

Denial?  Absolutely!

For the first time in many years I am unemployed.  With this, I have decided to leave Memphis and collect my thoughts in the Sunshine State.  This is not my first time in Florida; the state so weird that it gets its own tag on fark.com.  I’ve been here before.

A little geographic history:  I was born and raised in a few towns in the Midwest. Illinois will always be home, even though it has been close to 17 years since I lived there.  I went to high school in Toledo,Ohioand college on the beach.  I really did choose Flagler College because it was on the beach.  Well, technically it’s on the bay, but four miles from the beach.  During this time, my parents decided what I long ago knew and that was winters are cold and Floridais not.  They moved down toOrlando, thus creating a weird quasi home for me.  It wasn’t like movies or even normal experiences of people coming home from college.  They come home, hang out with their high school friends, reminisce and get swept up in nostalgia.  I had none of that.  I had a town where I knew no one.  So after I received my lucrative degree in history, I still had no idea about the future and didn’t really have a home.  I lacked passion and purpose.

So I worked on cruise ships for a while.  After three years of amazing people and wonderful places (and some terrible places, Belize I’m looking at you) I was ready to live on land and get a dog.  After a month or so of couch hopping and living off of my vacation pay, I decided to move back to Toledo and work for a science museum.  Wonderful friends took me in but then the museum closed.  Womp womp.  It was actually pretty devastating.  I remember sitting in the museum the night of the election.  The night was electrified.  It was a culmination of our efforts.  Surely the county would support us.  Nope.

I could have easily staying inToledo.  I could’ve found a job and been able to live the life that I was building.  It could’ve been so easy to do, but by that time I had fallen in love with museums.  I sent out numerous resumes.  I didn’t care where I ended up just as long as I could continue my work in the museum field.

And that’s how I got to Memphis.

Oh, Memphis.  It has truly been a pleasure.  And it wasn’t until the last eight or so months where I was able to really appreciate your culture.  Memphis has an amazing community, museums, and theaters.  I only wish I would’ve taken advantage of you more.  But now I’m going back home.  ish.

I know that there is so much more to Orlando–beyond the theme parks.  And I can’t wait to be a tourist in my town.