Abraham Lincoln would say "who are these Abraham Lincoln impersonators and why are they trying to pretend like they know what I would say all of these some odd 100 years after my death." He would say "what happened to hotels where you sleep in one big bed with a bunch of strangers, touching toes, getting breathed on, coughed on, scratched on." Abraham Lincoln would say that the highway is a strange and lonely place and that the cars there move so fast that you can't have conversations with the people in the other cars. Abraham Lincoln might say things that we couldn't understand, he might use words that we have forgotten, he might get frustrated with us not understanding him, but he wouldn't understand us either, wouldn't understand our new words. Abraham Lincoln would say "what have you done?" maybe with an accusative tone but maybe not, maybe just asking to know the answer. Abraham Lincoln would be really scared at first because there would be so many things he had never seen. He could be found behind trees, hiding from us . We can see you Abraham! He could be found diving, flipping his body lengthwise into dumpsters. Abraham we know because of the movies that we have seen that you are hiding in the dumpster because in the movies everyone who is scared hides in the dumpster.

Abraham Lincoln would appear on your doorstep hand delivering a proclamation of his no-longer-being-scared-of-you and he would say "break open your antique mirror and there behind the glass you'll find things that I said written on newspapers used as stuffing for your mirror and printed when I was alive, way back then, my state of the country address from during the war, other things I said." And sure enough he's right, there it is. Abraham would insist on being called Abe, or Abbie, or Arbie. Abraham Lincoln would want to have a lot of things explained to him. Sitting on your couch Abraham Lincoln would say, "that's a terrible picture of me." He'd say, "which way to the bathroom?" and "how does this bathroom work?" Abe would say "I want to see if I've got what it takes on the dance floor." And you would feel obligated to help him find out. Abraham would roll up his sleeves and help your father build the new extension on your house. He'd get his shirt covered with sweat and the sweat would pick up the grit and the saw dust. Your mother would wash Abraham's shirt for him and he would say "thank you" and really mean it. Your mother would say "he's kind of weird where did you meet him?" And you would say "he's Abraham Lincoln." Abraham Lincoln would want to show you how a boat works and you would tell him that you already know how a boat works. He'd say, "no no, I must show you and tell you about boats," and you'd say, "Abraham, no, I know about boats." Abraham would say, "there are many things here which do not appeal to my tastes." The next week your mother would say, "I don't know who he is but he smells badly and he is scaring your little sister with the faces he makes at her." Abraham Lincoln would say, "I appreciate the sleeping space you've cleared for me behind the television but I'd prefer to sleep in a bed." Driving through the city to the train station he would say "what is that smell?" and you wouldn't be sure how to answer him. Abraham Lincoln would say, "Where are we?" and you'd tell him that you were at the train station. You'd buy a ticket and on the train before it pulled out of the station you'd say "Abraham I'm going to the bathroom, I know how it works, I'll be right back."

     -Michael Williams - Curator - Rhode Island