Reflections from the B. Nash, AbesBlogCabin Webmaster

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With apologies to Paul Simon, I’m “still crazy” about Lincoln “after all these years.” At age five, one of my Christmas presents was the Civil War playset by the Marx Toy Company. What a world of wonder that toy brought me. I don’t remember how I ever learned that the “blue” and the “gray” plastic figures contained in the set were at war with each other -but I fought many a battle with those warriors. The accessories were really awesome too-the cannons and the fencing-and that metal house! Well, there was also included in the box a plastic figure of Abraham Lincoln. It was cream in color. There he was-stove-pipe hat and all. When did I learn who he was? I have no idea. I played with that set up until age twelve or so. I still have it today. It’s put away in a plastic bin somewhere in the house. At age twelve I started reading about the Civil War. Somehow I got to Hudson’s Department Store in downtown Detroit. They had a great book department. It was there that I found Carl Sandburg’s book: Abraham Lincoln The War Years, Volume One. That began my reading journey about Lincoln and the era. I eventually read all six volumes of Sandburg’s masterpiece. I still enjoy Sandburg more than any other to this day. Other authors that I read early on were Bruce Catton and T. Harry Williams. Reading the various books provided me with a lot of knowledge about the war. It seemed faraway as to where the conflict took place. As I got older, of course, the world got smaller. I also realized that Michigan and the Detroit area also had a crucial part in the “story.” Lincoln has even visited Michigan-so I found out. And U.S. Grant’s house resides in Detroit. There are many other Michigan spots that pertain to the day. In Plymouth, Michigan we have the Plymouth Museum that holds a permanent Lincoln exhibit. Then there is my residence. Half of my house on the ground floor is a “Lincoln museum” on it’s own. The whole family enjoys being in what we call the “Lincoln room.” Probably some visitors to my home may think it a little crazy. Perhaps. I stated that I am “crazy,” didn’t I? Actually, people really seem to like the home Lincoln museum. I have often given little “mini-tours” of some of the more interesting items in my collection. Children really like the stuff. I have a replica Lincoln stove-pipe hat that I let them try on to see what it was like for Lincoln. I have had some damage occur to an item or two. We got a puppy that found one of my hand carved wooden Lincoln statues quite tasty. She chewed up a portion of it. Worse yet, the puppy chewed downed the rails on my Lincoln rocker. Believe it or not, I wasn’t upset. The damaged items are a part of the history of this home. People will reflect back on it someday remembering the dog and all that. Nothing lasts forever. I won’t last forever. I have no clue what will happen to all this stuff after I’m gone. Frankly, I don’t really care. It all has brought me much pleasure. And Lincoln and the Civil War era have provided me with a lifetime of happiness. I couldn’t have asked for more. And to think it all started when my mother innocently bought me a toy…

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