© 2018, Mirror Image Presentations, Alan John Mayer
Ladies and gentlemen, have I been digging for you. What juicy fun. Yesterday Mr. Trump received Congressional approval for his 30 MILLION dollar military parade. In this update, I am happy to announce this military parade, the cost of which had risen to 92 million dollars, more than three times the original estimate from Washington, has not been approved. Apparently someone thought it might be more important to feed, house, and care for our many homeless abandoned Veterans, rather than boost the ego of one draft dodger.
I quote from our former President “Most men can handle adversity. If you want to test a man’s character, give him power”. How many books do you think have been written about Abraham Lincoln? Answer: Sixteen thousand. Sixteen thousand books have been written about Abraham Lincoln.
During the 1980’s, I taught 5th, and 6th graders in Santa Ana and Los Angeles. Every Monday we had a class discussion on a current topic in which my students wrote words on the board. Then each wrote a composition and had until Friday to transfer it – neatly – into their Composition Books.
Five things I liked most about teaching – June, July, August, and celebrating the birthdays of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln. Why? Because we got an extra day off, and in Abraham Lincoln’s words “I would rather be a Little Nobody than to be an Evil Somebody”. Could Abraham Lincoln foretell the future? 155 years ago today, on June 7, 1863, Abraham Lincoln was nominated for the American Presidency.
We have all heard how Abraham Lincoln chopped down the cherry tree and could not tell his father a lie. I quote him “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.” Or how he galloped through the streets of Boston on his horse, crying “The British are coming, the British are coming” Oh wait — that was that Silversmith, wasn’t it?
Lincoln spoke in a twangy voice I cannot imitate “I am a firm believer in the people. They can be depended upon to meet any national crisis, — if given the truth. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
Let us take a moment to pray for real facts. We learned how young Abe’s mother died when he was nine, how he described his stepmother Sarah Bush Lincoln as “A kind and loving woman to whom I owe much gratitude”. Stepmother Lincoln described her stepson thus “He never took much interest in girls”.
We know how he grew up in Kentucky in a log cabin on the Frontier, how the family moved four times, how he chopped enough wood posts to fence in ten acres of land. Today’s median house lot is an eighth of an acre. This figure does not take into consideration all the firewood he chopped. That is a lot of land.
Leave it to a gay man to be so butch.
We all know his view on slavery “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it imposed upon him personally”. Historians tell history through their own prejudices and beliefs. We cannot judge Antebellum American standards by modern standards. Early 19th century America was run by strict moral codes.
The words ‘bisexual’ and ‘homosexual’ did not enter the dictionary until 1892, which added to Lincoln’s tribulation that he, along with the other estimated fifteen plus of the population had no word to describe themselves or their desires toward the same sex.
Small-minded, structured societal expectations demanded a successful lawyer take a wife. Who was going to create a home? Cook meals? Darn his socks? Lincoln may not have taken much interest in girls, but let us not assume his stepmother taught her stepson the housekeeping duties she taught her Abraham’s two step sisters. No man could become president without a wife. At least not until lifelong confirmed bach-e-lor James Buchanan, Lincoln’s successor stepped into the White House. Feel free to dig into that bed on your own time.
Lincoln’s depression stemmed from many other sources as well. The loss of his first Intended, the loss of his mother at the age of seven, the loss of three of his four sons, and the loss of his intimate friend and bed mate of 4 yrs, Joshua Fry Speed,
The President was tormented by Slavery and the War. Lincoln’s tempestuous relationship with Mary Todd caused suffering from her agonies and anxieties over their relationship. The couple had a strong bond based on death. Mary as well, had lost her mother at a very young age. She then went to live with her sister, who also died, leaving Mary very alone.
Ever since the GLBTQ Movement of the late 20th Century, along with the prevalence of cameras, attention to the sexuality of public figures has been heightened. The nation had more serious things to think about during the 1860’s, than to concern themselves with whom their president was sleeping. Like slavery, war, and who are we as a people?” That is a question we Americans are still trying to find an answer to.
During the mid 19th Century, it was customary for married couples of means to sleep in separate rooms. Most people lived in one-room cabins, huddling up to keep warm. Sometimes many shared a bed. Historical sources document, over the course of Abraham Lincoln’s life, he shared a bed with at least eleven boys and men. However, a private, sustained intimate relationship in one bed when it is not necessary, is love of a lavender hue.
Just beginning his law practice in 1837, at twenty-eight, Abraham Lincoln walked into Speed’s General Store in Springfield, Illinois to order a bed. Speed, a handsome dandy, pointed up the stairs “Why not share my bed with me?”
Lincoln took a look at the room and came back downstairs “Mr. Speed” (he said) “I am moved”. This statement can be taken different ways. According to letters between Lincoln and Speed, and entries into Fry Speed’s journal, the two men quote: “shared a bed and an intimate life for 4 years”.
In his 1926 biography of Lincoln, Carl Sandberg, based on the journals and letters of these two men, alluded to Lincoln and Fry Speed as “A streak of lavender and spots soft as May violets”. If you ask Siri or Alexa to show you a picture of young Joshua Fry Speed, if your gadar is tuned, you will get the picture.
Personal secretaries to President Lincoln during the Civil War, John Nicolay and John Hay, exposed Speed’s journal in their 1890 account “Abraham Lincoln – A History”. Speed coos in one of his entries “He (Lincoln) often kisses me when I tease him, often to shut me up. He would grab me up by his long arms and hug, and hug, and yes, Our Abe is like a schoolgirl.” In another entry, Speed writes “He has thighs as firm as any man’s”. That is when my train of thought was derailed. Those Log Cabin Republicans, it just gets juicier and jucier.
Leave it to a man of lavender sensitivity, a good father to his four sons, and two stepdaughters to fight for the underdog and save our nation. Lincoln’s preferred bodyguard, Captain David Derickson, shared a bed with the president in the White House from September 1862 until April 1863, at which time Derickson was promoted. Lincoln pulled strings to keep him, but lost. Major Derickson never married and remained devoted to Lincoln for life.
There were fifteen bedrooms in the Lincoln White House, not counting servants’ quarters, eleven furnished with beds. At most, five members of the First Family lived there — Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, her two daughters and the Lincoln’s one surviving son. Yet whenever Mary was out of town, Captain Derickson shared a bed with the president in the White House.
As well, he often shared the president’s bed at the The Soldier’s Cottage, the presidential retreat outside Washington. It is even recorded by staff, he wore the President’s nightshirt. Rightfully so, the president may have felt he could not live without Round-the Clock protection.
My father used to quote Lincoln but nobody but I was listening “Better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”. Apparently, we were all fools. I would like to close with two of my favorite Lincoln quotes. Accused of being two-faced, Lincoln replied “If I were two-faced would I be wearing this one?” And, — as the curtain goes down “Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”
I believe a hundred and fifty years is long enough rest to make a joke of one whom I believe would appreciate it. This is only the beginning of Abraham Lincoln’s story. The story of the abuse of his corpse (some continuous three decades after his death until he was put to rest) is unbelievable. This great man who found little rest and peace in life, did not see peace in death for many, many years.
I encourage everyone to looking into the DVD collection at your local library, and checking them out. There is no charge, no fees in some libraries, and a state-wide selection that rivals Netflix. I gave up my Netflix membership after ten years, when I discovered I could take home fifty DVDs, and as long as I called to renew them every two weeks, I am allowed to keep most of them for up to four months.
There you can find much more on this great man, Abraham Lincoln, the man who saved our country once. We need him here again to prevent history from repeating itself. Then it was African Americans. Today it is Muslins people are fighting. People are not who they are by race or sexuality. People are who they are by choice of leaving toward either God, or the devil. May our nation lead to the former. Amen.
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