Grits and Tamales

Life in the Deep South, by Gabriel Aguilera

Lincoln in Dixie: Part I

After work yesterday I raced home for a nap.  I was exhausted after a long week of teaching and was excited to wake up and go to the gym and then, maybe, clean my house some.  Although I moved in August, I am not near settled into Thorn Place yet.  When I woke up, however, I remembered that Lincoln is in theaters so I immediately checked my iPhone for times and, sure enough, there was a 7:15 show so I raced over only to discover that it was sold out.  Sold out!  In Dixie?  Truth is that I should have bought a ticket on-line but I figured I would get in without a problem.  Nothing ever sells out in Montgomery.

Chagrined, I drove over to one of my watering holes nearby where I ran into my colleague Adam and his wife Gayle.  We chatted for a while about work and life while a singer-songwriter strummed on his guitar and sang over the babble of the patrons.  Next, I ran into Shannon, a bar wench over at Leroy’s, and we talked about books and films.  Then I headed home to sleep, still bothered that I missed Lincoln but happy that I had had the chance to catch up with Adam and that I got to know Shannon and Gayle a little bit.

I was terribly anxious when I got it in my head to see Lincoln.  I had seen some previews and read reviews in the LA and NY Times.  The film looks too good to be true.  Still, I had my doubts because I do have Lincoln in my imagination if not my conscience.  The Lincoln that is there, of course, is not Lincoln himself but the conjuration of Lincoln that I constructed in my mind’s movie theater from three sources: David Herbert Donald,  Doris Kearns Goodwin, and, above all, Shelby Foote.  On my ill-fated drive to see Lincoln yesterday I had no doubt that the film would be a gorgeous period-piece filled with the clothing, furniture, language and grooming of the times.  But what of Lincoln himself?  In particular, would I see Shakespeare in this Lincoln?  If so, where?


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