Tag Archives: disasters

My Personal Childhood Obsessions

famous painting of titanic sinkingIn third grade, it was Abraham Lincoln. I adored him. I’d brave the creaky wooden step stool in my grade school’s tiny library and reach as far as I could to knock another book about him into my greedy hands, and usually I’d have read through it in one or two days. I became an annoying font of information on Abraham Lincoln and his family, and I certainly had my preferences. Mary Todd Lincoln was nearly persona non grata to me.

In context, my family ventured most summers to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a two-week stay in a friend’s condominium. My mother instructed me with a firm shake of her index finger not to breathe a word about Lincoln while we were anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Statements like “We won the war!” said in sing-song would not be tolerated, and she feared people would respond poorly. She reminded me that I didn’t like it when people made fun of New Jersey—which was often—and the residents of South Carolina wouldn’t enjoy such mockery, either. Read More…

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