This Thanksgiving, while perusing the ol’ Nytimes.com, I discovered a heartwarming tale on the origins of President Abraham Lincoln’s sexy beard. When the dinner conversation threatened to veer to the point of no return, the area which makes me greatly fear ever, ever introducing a potential husband to my extended family, I steered the family away from personal stories and to the heartwarming tale of little Grace Bedell, who recommended Lincoln grow a beard, so she might convince her brothers to vote for him. She added, “All the ladies like the whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President.” Guess what Miss Bedell? You were quite on the money!
My lovely Nana chose this moment to announce, quite out of the blue, that my great-great-grandmother was one such woman. She shook Lincoln’s hand in fact. And, moreover, my great-grandfather bought bookends of his face! Whiskers and all. Mr. Lincoln, I know you saved the union, but also contributing to the 19th century Renaissance of beards? How can I ever repay you.
Nana, with her Grandfather’s Lincoln bookends, circa 1910. They will be mine when I settle down and/or when i get married, or when she dies. But not right now because it’s “just a phase.”