Please read this...Getting in touch with the Lincolns


<p class="p1">This week's column is brought to you by the numbers 66, 1806, 1832, 1839 and 1847, which are accompanied by a hodgepodge of Hodgenville, a little bit of Lexington and a look at the Lincolns.</p><p class="p1">After somewhat of a "slow" start, the pace of our summer has picked up considerably during the past couple of weeks. </p><p class="p1">Our summer adventures began to unfold with a journey to Kentucky during the second weekend in July. During our visit, we made connection with our Lincoln roots, which, for the most part, are nonexistent. As far as I know, we are not related in any way to either Mr. or Mrs. Lincoln.</p><p class="p1">That did not put a damper on a couple of visits we made in the sweltering, and occasionally stormy, Bluegrass state.</p><p class="p1">On a hot and sticky Saturday afternoon, we paid a visit to the childhood home of Mary Todd. Miss Todd, as you may know, married a fellow from Illinois who played somewhat of an important role in the history of our country.</p><p class="p1">Miss Todd's home is located in the heart of downtown Lexington, Kentucky, not much more than a three-point-shot attempt distance from the legendary Rupp Arena. </p><p class="p1">The Todd house was built in 1806. Well, that's what a nifty sign out in front of the house tells visitors. I find such signs to be much more reliable than the Internet. In 1832, the house was acquired by Lexington politician and businessman Robert S. Todd. Mary was his daughter.</p><p class="p1">Mary moved to the Land of Lincoln in 1839. Of course, at that time, the Land of Lincoln was not known as the Land of Lincoln, since Mr. Lincoln was not as famous as he would become. </p><p class="p1">Mary and that Lincoln fellow got married. They visited the Todd house in 1847. Well, that's what the sign says.</p><p class="p1">During our visit to the Todd house, a very gracious tour guide explained that the railing on stairs to the second floor was in pretty much the same condition that it was in when the Lincolns visited about 170 years ago. We were encouraged to touch something that had actually been touched by Mr. Lincoln. So, I did. Sorry, sometimes I can't help myself. </p><p class="p1">We had a bit of a similar experience the next day, when we hit the road to return home. On the way, we paid a visit to the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park near Hodgenville, Kentucky. In keeping with a theme, the day was a bit stifling, as in very hot and very humid.</p><p class="p1">Sinking Spring is located on the grounds of Lincoln's birthplace. A sign posted on the grounds explained that "Abraham Lincoln probably took his first drink of water from this spring." </p><p class="p1">Drinking from the spring in 2015 is not advisable. However, I did dip my right hand in the water. </p><p class="p1">So, in a matter of two days, I had touched a stair railing which Lincoln had touched and dipped my hand in water in a spring which he had enjoyed as a child. </p><p class="p1">I've been wondering what Mr. Lincoln might think of such reflections. Do you suppose he would care if we touched something he had touched? I'm guessing he might find the whole idea somewhat amusing.</p><p class="p1">That's about enough for now. Oh, about that number 66, which you saw way back in the first paragraph. That's the number of steps leading up to a memorial building at Lincoln's birthplace. I know the number is 66, 'cause I heard a little girl exclaim: "Sixty-six! There are sixty-six steps" when she had finished climbing them.</p><p class="p1">Next time, hopefully, some more nifty numbers and a little bit more about our summer adventures...</p>

Abraham Lincoln took his first drink of water from Sinking Spring near Hodgenville, Kentucky.

The Mary Todd Lincoln House in Lexington, Kentucky. FYI: Rupp Arena is not far away.

Mary Todd Lincoln and her sweetheart, some guy named Abraham, were on hand to greet visitors to her childhood home in downtown Lexington, Kentucky...well, in a manner of speaking.

Abraham Lincoln touched this stair railing at the Todd home in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Really. Then he strolled over to Rupp Arena and shot some hoops. Really.

A memorial building is located at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, not far from Hodgenville, Kentucky. Sixty-six steps lead up to the building. Or, so I heard.

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