Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Can't get 'nuff o' that Lincoln

Over the last few days, I've told you about most of my week celebrating the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial in Springfield (Ill.), right up through the Lincoln Bicentennial birthday party, complete with the presidential visit. My Lincoln celebration in Springfield didn't end there, though.

I was up early Friday, Feb. 13 to blog, check out of the hotel and start a busy day of events - nearly all with an Abe.

Lincoln and Leadership
I started my morning attending an event sponsored by the National Park Service and Lincoln's Home. At "Lincoln and Leadership." we received a copy of Don Phillip's book, Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times. Phillips presented first. I was inspired by and learned from him.

After a short break, Lincoln (Fritz Klein) shared his thoughts on leadership. This was the first time Phillips and Klein had worked together and, as I told both of them, they need to take this show on the road. It would be great for businesses, non-profits and in the classroom. Both have so much to offer and share it so well. Their presentations meshed beautifully.

Lincoln pilgrimage from the land down under
I met many very nice people throughout the week, and even some who were as enthusiastic about Lincoln as I am, but none who had come further than two separate individuals from Australia - a woman and a man who did not know each other and who lived nearly 2,000 miles apart. Though I met the woman only briefly when she picked up her ticket for the Lincoln banquet on Thursday night, my path kept crossing with that of my male Australian friend. I wanted to learn more about him and his passion for Lincoln, so we met for lunch at a quaint little Springfield restaurant near the Old State Capitol, Robbie's. Good food and nice company, combined with the knowledge that my week was drawing to a close, made the get-together bittersweet. When you're a Lincoln buff, it's hard to leave Springfield, whether you've come from an hour away or across the seas.

From Harriet to Dr. King
I had one last event to attend in Springfield on Friday, then it would be back to Bloomington for an evening event, which was part of the McLean County Lincoln Bicentennial celebration. The afternoon event, held in a quaint downtown Springfield church, was called, "Emancipation Proclamation: From Slavery to the White House." It featured Lincoln (Fritz Klein again), Frederick Douglass (Michael E. Crutcher, Jr.), Harriet Tubman (Kathryn Harris), Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jimmie Lucas) and narrator Kyle Westerbrook.

The performance crossed time - and took the audience back as well. All the actors were phenomenal. I'd seen Klein several times before, but was looking forward to seeing my friends Crutcher and Harris in their roles. None of them disappointed me, and Lucas? His "I have a dream" speech brought tears to my eyes and gave me goosebumps.

In my next post, I'll tell you about the great Lincoln play in Bloomington and my trip back to Springfield with the grandkids on Saturday. Until then, keep looking for Lincoln... Ann


Monica said...

Hi there,

I'm the woman from Australia. My older brother found your blog and sent it to me.
I had a great time in Springfield and am glad I went.

Lincoln Buff 2 said...


I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to visit. If you'd like to correspond, you may reach me by email at lincolnbuff2@yahoo.com. I'd love to hear more about your interest in Lincoln.

Thanks for your comment.