Saturday, August 12, 2006

Abraham Lincoln in San Diego today

Abraham Lincoln was the guest speaker at the San Diego Genealogical Society meeting today. He came in top hat, bow tie, white shirt and black suit coat and pants to tell us his life story. He described his ancestry, known to him, his childhood, young adult and adult life, right up to the April 14, 1865; he said he doesn't remember anything after that.

William Truman Peck lives in the San Diego area and is a professional Lincoln impersonator. He bears a resemblance to our 16th President, and has spent 24 years studying the man and his deeds. He said he was one of the 21 Lincoln impersonators at the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum dedication in Springfield, Illinois in 2005. He took questions also describing different aspects of Lincoln's life, and talked about his work as an impersonator. It was a good meeting.

At the break time, there was an ice cream social event and people could have their picture taken with Honest Abe. I held myself in check and had only two scoops and one topping, and didn't even try to ask Abe about his supposed real father, Abraham Enloe (see here for the supposition, and here for the rebuttal).

The attendance at this meeting was the highest at an SDGS regular meeting for a long time - I estimated about 100 seats were filled, including many guests and some people brought children. Was it Abe or the ice cream - both were big hits!

If you are trying to enliven your society meetings, having Abraham Lincoln (or another historical personage) as the guest speaker may be just the answer.

1 comment:

Jasia said...

I want to meet Abraham Lincoln and eat ice cream too! What a great idea for a genealogical society meeting. Obviously others thought so too as evidenced by the increased attendence. This is the kind of creative thinking that will grow society memberships. I'll be posting on this very topic all this week on my blog. Thanks for sharing Randy!