Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865.
And, purely by coincidence, we showed up at Ford’s Theatre where he was shot on April 15. It was a cold and rainy day. And I knew from the beginning that it was not going to be much fun.
Actually it started out alright. Beth and I were standing outside the building in the rain talking with a lady who had just been to Baltimore and the aquarium up there. I asked her if she had been to the new dolphin show. She had been and she recalled seeing the photos I took of the two birds and the dolphins.
But it was downhill (or sideways maybe) from there. We went inside for a short program and when it ended we went across the street to climb some steps to see the room where the President had taken his last breathe and left this earth.
But somehow we got hooked up with Kip Pierson (see photo at Fords Theatre.org) and started walking around the area in the rain while he talked in some detail about the detective work that followed the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Because there are a number of buildings in the area that housed the players in this famous drama.
It was such a dreary, wet, cold day I really felt like we were transported back to that tragic time and place. Well, actually we WERE in that place already.
So the heavens were weeping and I was getting wet and somber as well.
Later in the evening we returned to Ford’s Theatre for a show. There was lots of singing and very little dialogue. I’m in favor a musicals that intersperse their music with dialogue. It tends to balance things out a little and this was, after all, not a concert.
But Beth loved it. And some of the participants were very talented. But I had restless legs throughout the program and was dying to get out of there. I kept looking up at President Lincoln’s sitting area where he was shot and thinking ” This has been a trying day but I guess it was a lot worse for you Big Guy.”
The President had been in a jubilant mood earlier in the day feeling that the war was over and he had taken his wife for a carriage ride. I can see him now as he shares his joy with her and hear the sound of the horses as they move on the pavement. He’s talking to her about going back to Illinois to practice law. And then he takes her to the theatre. . .
I felt like a slightly waterlogged, small person but I was glad we were there in the presence of such greatness. I feel like there is only one direction to go in this life. And that’s UP.
But sometimes it really seems like there is too far to go and too little time to actually get there.
Here are some other photos I took while we were in DC that seem to fit in here. Just click on photo thumbnail for a slide show presentation.