Since 1970 I’ve enjoyed an endearing fascination for Abraham Lincoln, and by my early twenties, an equal obsession with the mystique of his wife, Mary Todd.
All my first grade classmates at Washington Elementary School had siblings. One June morning I was preparing to leave for the YMCA to play basketball with friends. Mother was seated at the table, sick. This was very unusual. She assured me she was fine.
Mother was fine. She was pregnant.
I was thrilled knowing I would be a big brother; however, I was elated that the due date was February 12th – President Lincoln’s birthday.
February 12th passed. No sibling. It was to happen two days later.
Within a few months Mother announced she was, once again, expecting. The due date? October 31st, Halloween.
Our next door neighbor, junior high English teacher, Betsy Herndon, was due November 4th which was the Lincoln’s wedding anniversary.
Damn! So close.
Dick Herndon’s ancestors were related to Lincoln’s scandalous law partner, William Herndon.
Halloween 1974 ended. No sibling. However, Dick Herndon announced the birth of his son, Carter Anderson Herndon.
November 1. Nothing.
November 2. Nothing.
November 3. Nothing
By this time the family was hoping for a November 8th arrival so the newborn would share Grandpa Leroy’s birthday.
November 4. I kissed Mother “good bye,” heard “make it a great day,” and left for Mrs. Lane’s fourth grade class.
After school I walked home with classmates and neighbors, Fred Aaron, Nick Keifer, Richard Welcher, and Jeff Whitinger. Mother did not greet us. My Granda Donna burst into the room, swung me around, and shouted, “Mommy had a baby boy this afternoon. You’ve got a baby brother.”
Yes! A sibling was born on a date that was connected to Lincoln.
Happy 175th anniversary, President and Mrs. Lincoln.
Happy 43rd birthday, Destin.