Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy 201st Birthday, Abraham Lincoln!

Here in Illinois, it's now Abraham Lincoln's 201st birthday. Please join me in wishing him a happy one.

It's been quite a year, hasn't it? Those of you who are Lincoln buffs like me are well aware of many of the Lincoln events across the country and, yes, even around the world in celebration of the bicentennial over the past year or so.

This Lincoln buff just about wore herself out celebrating.

My bicentennial tribute began in the fall of 2008, when my community college offered a course on the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. My blog began in October of that year.

Since then, I've been to both coasts seeing Lincoln sites and attending Lincoln events and I've made it to as many as possible here in Illinois. I've made Lincoln buff friends across the country and around the world - with new-found friends in England, Ireland, Australia and Brazil, as well as many states across the country.

To those of you who've followed my blog or offered comments, encouragement, information or advice, thank you. You made it all worthwhile.

To those who hosted me at Lincoln sites and answered my questions or welcomed me into your homes, your hospitality was such a gift. I appreciate it so.

To my family, I love you. You've been along for the ride and often had to make sacrifices so that I could attend events or write about Lincoln. Thanks for sharing me.

To all who kept coming back to see if there was anything new to read, thanks for your loyalty. You've surely noticed my invisibility from the blog for the last couple months. As my travels wound down last year, the holidays arrived. It was time to stop blogging and devote time to my family. My husband and I really enjoyed our time with our daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren, and were thankful we were all together.

In the midst of the holidays, I learned I'd had my first paper accepted for a scholarly symposium. I revived another favorite subject of mine, the literary legacy of a late Peoria Journal Star columnist, Rick Baker, who wrote in a style similar to Mike Royko. I've spent several weeks making sure my first paper is worthy of the esteem of other Illinois history and literature buffs. In the process, there was no time for the railsplitter. (I'm sorry, Abe!)

The paper is now done, though, and it's time to get back to Lincoln. My posts in 2010 will be less frequent that in the first year of the blog, but more often than in the last two months. I'll write about some of the places I visited, some of the Lincoln scholars I've met and some of the Lincoln books I added to my library in the past couple years. I'll get back to my mission of keeping the legacy of Lincoln alive.

If you're planning to attend the 30th Annual Illinois History Symposium in Wheaton on March 7-9, you'll have to come hear my Baker paper. It's a dry run for the Lincoln papers I hope to present at future symposiums and conferences, but don't worry. I didn't cut corners. I intend to prove this old granny can research, write and present with the best of them.

Happy Lincoln's birthday 2010, everyone. Thanks for visiting my blog. Ann

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