Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Birthday to Mr. Lincoln and Jeff

Okay, you know Mr. Lincoln but Jeff is not known to most of you.

Jeff is my youngest son and has lived in Dallas for nearly two years.

Today is his birthday.

He played college volleyball (its helps to be 6'6" tall and very athletic) in Pennsylvania for St. Francis and for Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His older brother Matt is 6'7" and older sister Elizabeth was 6'0" and both of them played volleyball too.

By the way, there is a statue of Abe Lincoln and John Hay on the campus of Carthage College where Jeff and Matt palyed and it is that statue that really started my journey with Mr. Lincoln and his sculpted images. That story some other time.

Jeff, coaches volleyball for a boy's volleyball club in the Dallas area and it worked out perfectly for him to be home for his birthday because his team journeyed to Chicago this weekend to play in a big tournament in the area. Those Dallas kids just can't handle a little Illinois cold spell. They were not prepared for what we threw at them this weekend with the snow, wind and near zero temperatures.

His team played their best but didn't do as well as they had hoped.

Twenty six years ago, Jeff was born in Decatur, IL. My wife probably recalls the weather that day and all of those other things that mom's seem to be able to recall about important dates but I just recall that he was a healthy and happy newborn.

Much to Jeff's relief now, my wife and I resisted the Abraham moniker for him. I don't even remember where the Jeffrey name came from. His middle name, Christopher, was my next to youngest brother's first name. He was killed in a tragic and utterly senseless gun accident when I was in college at Illinois State 40 years ago. Like to many young people he was killed with an empty gun - at least that is what the two kids that were playing with the gun thought.

I hadn't really thought about it until today, but it is strange that Mr. Lincoln was gunned down with so much of his life ahead of him and my brother - Jeff's name sake - was killed before his life had barely begun.

So much for the morose talk. I have a quiz for you

Does anyone recognize the statue of Lincoln above at the top of this column.?

Here are some clues:

  • The statue was erected in the 1890's.

  • It resided in a large park. with a large number of other statues of famous men.

  • The sculptor is unknown.

  • Mr. Lincoln was sculpted from marble.

  • The statue is now missing!

Len you are not eligible to guess!!

That is about as far as I can go with this one. Any more detail and I make it too easy to Google for the answer.

Send me your guesses and there will be a prize for the first correct guess.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone and Happy Birthday Jeff and President Lincoln.

Love ya, Pops