As I’m standing admiring the John F. Kennedy sculpture located in downtown Mt. Clemens, Michigan-my thoughts go to Abraham Lincoln. To many it might seem to be a natural connection in the thought process-after all both Presidents Kennedy and Lincoln were assassinated. Fair enough. However, what I’m noticing today as I ponder the marvelous Kennedy head sculpture is his hair-which is so neatly combed. In fact, JFK’s hair always seemed to be in place, didn’t it? Even those old film clips of him playing football with his brothers or sailing on the ocean with his family displayed hair that essentially remained in place. I wonder who did Kennedy’s hair? Or did he basically care for it himself-except for haircuts when needed?
Abraham Lincoln’s hair, in contrast to JFK’s hair-was a mess most of the time. Take a look at the various photographs of Lincoln-and there are many-his hair was a disaster! I’m told Mary Todd Lincoln used to fuss at Mr. Lincoln frequently for his lack of hair management. It seems that Lincoln had enough on his hands with his career and trying to save the nation- that his hair being neat- didn’t have top billing. I’m not saying that Kennedy had a lot of time on his hands to attend to his hair-after all- situations like the Cuban Missile Crisis were a bit involved. Personally, I don’t think Lincoln cared all that much about his hair anyway. He wasn’t vain regarding his looks. In fact, he believed he was homely looking. Even so, Lincoln was savvy enough to know the power of the media in his day. He arranged to have photograph’s of himself taken a lot. Maybe the hair wasn’t all that important then for political prospects. In the end, his disheveled hair look has been passed down for all to ponder in the form of the pictures. Lincoln would probably be amazed and amused that anyone today is noticing his hair in those pictures-
but in the present day culture of high profile media exposure, his messed up hair would be featured on every magazine cover in grocery-store racks all over the nation.
The Kennedy head sculpture was done by Marshall Fredericks-the same artist who did The Spirit of Detroit located in downtown Detroit. It was dedicated November 20, 1970. It’s made of bronze sitting on a granite base. The area where the sculpture is placed is known as Kennedy Square. Using the address of 40 N. Main on a GPS will get you there!