Ancient History

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I get to wash Abraham Lincoln’s socks

Mary Cassatt, the only American and the only woman to exhibit with the French Impressionists, turned up in our backyard this past week. I’ve always enjoyed her warm, lovely depictions of the mother-child relationship. Cassatt was ahead of her time. Luckily, I was able to snap a photo of her:



Imagine my surprise when I opened the back door one morning and Captain E. J. Smith of the RMS Titanic was on our patio. We live nowhere near the Atlantic. I was dying to ask him questions, especially about his beard which resembled doll hair from Hobby Lobby. I guess he truly was unsinkable:



It shouldn’t have been a surprise when Abraham Lincoln called on us, too. Really, why not? He wasn’t as shy as I heard he was, and his voice wasn’t as deep, but he still carried an air of dignity and magnitude. Unless you looked at his feet:




I was detecting a pattern. Ghosts of the 19th century seemed to like our backyard, but of course every time I have something figured out? Not. Andy Warhol, perhaps the most famous artist of the late 20th century, showed up one morning before school. He wasn’t spooky and mysterious. In fact, he smiled a lot and I have the feeling that even his artsy scowl was just for show:



(Our kids’ school celebrates Night of the Notables every May. Students choose an important historical figure, usually based on their interests. They must dress as their chosen Notable, present a speech in character, and write papers, gather props, make posters. It’s a huge undertaking. It’s over. I’m glad.)

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