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Human Wormholes
October 18, 2012 2:51 PM   Subscribe

A Guy Who *Saw* Lincoln Get Shot Was on a TV Show in 1956 That Is Now on YouTube. The Youtube clip in question.
posted by kmz (69 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice. I am reminded of the recent FPP about the startling fact that John Tyler, 10th president of the USA, has grandchildren still among the living.

Of course, I look at my own family and recall that my Great-Grandpa Biscuit cashed in when I was in my late teens, and my youngest brother was three. Young Brother Biscuit barely remembers him, of course, but he in his late twenties now, he has a couple of kids of his own. My nieces and nephews are in elementary school now, but I like to think I will be around long enough to meet any future kids they have. Then when I am sixty-five or so I can take these distant children on my knee and dispense advice, saying truthfully, "I remember something your great-great-great-grandfather said to me once..."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:02 PM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wow. Although being 5 years old at the time, I wonder how well his memory matched events as they unfolded. There's a link to a 1954 newspaper interview with Seymor, where he says of Lincoln entering his box, "he was a tall, stern-looking man. I guess I just thought he looked stern because of his whiskers, because he was smiling and waving to the crowd."
posted by audi alteram partem at 3:06 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is just astounding. And I say this as someone who only a year ago lost his great grandmother, who lived longer than Communism, who spoke Yiddish, then Ukranian, then Russian, then a bit of English; whose life was saved by the Red Army, who typed documents for Stalin, who survived the siege of Leningrad, who raised three generations of family, who has family buried on three continents, and who moved to a country across an ocean at the age of 77.
posted by cthuljew at 3:08 PM on October 18, 2012 [38 favorites]


Here's the newspaper article mentioned in the video clip around 4min: I Saw Lincoln Shot
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 3:09 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Last Person to See Lincoln in Death

(I remembered this from a magazine article I read when I was a kid.)
posted by Danf at 3:10 PM on October 18, 2012


Related: Maudie Hopkins, the last widow of a veteran of the US Civil War, died in 2008.
posted by mosk at 3:10 PM on October 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


He got $80 and a can of Prince Albert tobacco for coming on the show!

People who are of a great age awe me with the sheer depth and breadth of their experience. A month or so ago I attended a birthday celebration for a certain Eva, who had just turned 104. She was Austrian-born, and her father had served in WWI. He was Jewish, though he'd converted when he married her Catholic mother, and her family fled Austria when the Germans arrived in WWII. She'd lived in England for some time, and then in Argentina for decades, and had only immigrated to Canada with her brother in her eighties or nineties. She supported herself for many, many years teaching guitar and piano — I heard she still teaches. At her party she got up, went swiftly and purposefully over to the piano in the room without the aid of her walker (she has one but only seems to use it for getting up out of her chair), and launched into an emphatic rendition of "Happy Birthday", which of course was greeted first with a general roar of laughter and then by us all singing along.

It amazed me to look at her and think, Eva remembers the first world war. She's young enough to have danced the Charleston. She survived two world wars and then the coups and unrest in Argentina. All of these things are history to me, but to her they are the facts and memories of her life.
posted by orange swan at 3:14 PM on October 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


What parent in their right mind takes their five-year-old to a presidential assassination?
posted by perhapses at 3:17 PM on October 18, 2012 [173 favorites]


It was a different time. And the bear baiting was rained out.

Better yet, who would ever guess that was the guy's secret?
posted by yerfatma at 3:22 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The past doesn't go anywhere...
posted by entropone at 3:25 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Neat!

I'm reminded of people who believe that (for example) racism was "fixed" by the Civil Rights Movement. Things like slavery, women being unable to vote, et cetera are ancient history. Hell, I recently got into a "Somebody's Wrong On the Internet!"-style argument with someone who couldn't understand why black people would still be pissed at the GOP over the Southern Strategy. Why you gotta bring up OLD shit?

Things like this really show the lie in that kind of crap. These are stretches of time measured in a few lifetimes on the outside. That's nothing.
posted by brundlefly at 3:26 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


In a few short years they'll have a show like this for someone who saw a man walk on the moon on TV. On the moon!
posted by blue_beetle at 3:28 PM on October 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm very impressed with how quickly they got the answer. I think the first player had it, but he wasn't quite ready to make his guess yet.
posted by KGMoney at 3:30 PM on October 18, 2012


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is still the worst thing to ever happen to President Lincoln in a theater.
posted by straight at 3:34 PM on October 18, 2012 [44 favorites]


I just think it's nice that they managed to accommodate him even though he didn't smoke Winstons
posted by ckape at 3:36 PM on October 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


A Guy Who *Saw* Lincoln Get Shot Was on a TV Show in 1956 That Is Now on YouTube.

That "TV show in 1956" was I've Got a Secret, which has some amazing clips on YouTube, including a performance by John Cage, an appearance by a pre-Velvet Underground John Cale, and Pete Best after his firing from the Beatles.
posted by jonp72 at 3:42 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


As a person who has an enormous crush on his mental picture of Lincoln, I think it would have been awesome to see him, even once, even on the night he was assassinated. I think I would rather spend ten minutes speaking with Lincoln than an hour speaking with anyone else in history, and I love me some history.
posted by Mooski at 3:42 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's possible -- maybe probable -- that there has been a person who both fought in the Civil War AND watched a sitcom on TV. Blows my mind.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:47 PM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Someone alive in the 1950s who saw Lincoln assassinated? This guy is unimpressed.
posted by Creosote at 3:49 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is the best thing I've seen all day (and internet, I've seen a lot today) and I imagine it will send me on a rampant search for more awesomeness just like it.

I was in a gifted class once and my great-grandmother came in to talk about her relatives and if I remember correctly, the Depression (as it was experienced here in the Midwest). We were studying the Oregon Trail at the time and our teacher had asked if anyone had family still alive that might remember big historical events. None of the other kids knew of anyone but I volunteered Granny. Most of my friends in grade school didn't even have GRANDparents, let alone greats, and certainly very very few of them did in high school. I was lucky enough to have two. (Great) Papa passed in 2001 and Granny joined him a few years later though my 7 year old and my two nieces still fondly remember great-great-granny Dorothy. That thought warms my cockles.
posted by youandiandaflame at 3:55 PM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's possible -- maybe probable -- that there has been a person who both fought in the Civil War AND watched a sitcom on TV. Blows my mind.

Let's see now. People as young as 12 fought in the US Civil War. Let's say that a 16 year old, to be on the safe side, saw active duty in the last year of the war, 1865. So he'd be born in 1849.

Now Mary Kay and Johnny was first broadcast in 1947.

So that soldier would have been 98 then. So, yes, quite feasible he'd be watching sitcoms.
posted by Wordshore at 4:02 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know--lots of folks make unproveable claims that they were at some historic event decades after the fact. We have numerous Jesse Jameses and Billies the Kid, and escaped Romanovs. And really, who didn't march with Martin Luther King? There is a book of 100 eyewitness testimonies.
posted by LarryC at 4:12 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm reminded of the anecdote from Hunter S. Thompson's Generation of Swine about a parrot, a "filthy, ageless animal" that supposedly could "remember snatches of conversation between Ben Franklin and Aaron Burr, and sometimes even George Washington." I don't know if any has ever been proven to be that old (Wikipedia puts the record for parrot longevity as "over one hundred"), but Galapagos tortoises can reach that ballpark, and as is often the case with HST's work, the image is more to the point than the factuality.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:18 PM on October 18, 2012


It's possible -- maybe probable -- that there has been a person who both fought in the Civil War AND watched a sitcom on TV. Blows my mind..

Last confirmed veteran died in 1956.

My own great-grandfather was sixteen when he ran away from home to join up. Let's just call me a later baby boomer.
posted by BWA at 4:40 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another incredible thing about this video is that if anything, Matt Damon actually looked slightly older in 1956 than he does today.
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 4:46 PM on October 18, 2012 [19 favorites]


That's nothing -- I was alive before there was an internet.
posted by LordSludge at 4:51 PM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


So, yes, quite feasible he'd be watching sitcoms.

Haven't they suffered enough?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 4:58 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


In 1996 I interviewed (for TV) a woman of 107 who was a schoolgirl during the Boer War and remembered the patriotic songs she was taught to sing. And she sang them for us, too.
posted by unSane at 5:07 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I never knew Prince Albert in a can was tobacco. I learned 2 things from this post!
posted by buzzkillington at 5:16 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the first player had it, but he wasn't quite ready to make his guess yet.

No, he even said he thought the guy had seen McKinley's assassination.
posted by stopgap at 5:18 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apropos of the subject, one of my favorite quotes from Orson Welles:
"This hand that touches you now once touched the hand of Sarah Bernhardt—can you imagine that? ... When she was young, Mademoiselle Bernhardt had taken the hand of Madame George, who had been the mistress of Napoleon! ... Peter—just three handshakes from Napoleon! It's not that the world is so small, but that history is so short. Four or five very old men could join hands and take you right back to Shakespeare."
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:25 PM on October 18, 2012 [23 favorites]


The most mindblowing example of this sort of deep time captured by technology is the portrait of a revolutionary war soldier in his uniform hat... it was a photograph. A photograph of someone who served with Washington and Molly Pitcher, and traded flintlock musket volleys with the British!
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:41 PM on October 18, 2012 [18 favorites]


It's easy to forget that history isn't actually events recorded in books (one step removed from fiction), but is simply the sum total of life events happening to real people. There actually was a man named Lincoln, and Mr. Seymour happened to be there when he was senselessly murdered by a man named Booth.

Interesting that Seymour doesn't remember Booth shouting "Sic semper tyrannis," but maybe he just didn't hear that part.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:42 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


And here, I thought playing pong on my black-and-white TV in 1976 was cool...
posted by Chuffy at 6:02 PM on October 18, 2012


I thought this story was here already, specifically the YouTube clip.

The bummer is that if you spend some time researching this guy and the story of appearing on the show, he slipped and fell at the hotel they put him in, so he was out of sorts on this TV appearance. He went home and died from injuries related to that fall.

So he literally died to pass on this story, which hundreds of thousands have seen.
posted by jscott at 6:07 PM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


BWA, I am also the great-grandchild of a Civil War veteran, and not quite a baby boomer. He married later in his life, and fathered my great-uncle in 1904 and my grandmother in 1906. She lived her entire life in New Orleans, and she almost lived to see the year 2000. Which would have been great! (I have his newspaper obituary somewhere in this apartment, and should find it, to share some info about his life.)
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:18 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Those were great shows. To Tell the Truth, What's My Line?, I've Got a Secret. With great, smart panelists like Bill Cullen, Kitty Carlisle, Peggy Cass, Jayne Meadows.

Odd to see Bill Cullen there behind that Winston sign, given that he died of lung cancer from smoking all his life, but, hey, you can't make an omelet without killing a few people.
posted by the sobsister at 6:23 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


We're all relating interesting stories of personal encounters with history, so here is mine: a woman I have met who died in the late 80s once had to make way at the train station so that Kaiser Wilhelm I and his retinue could pass by. She was a little girl, and apparently the King was departing from the same station.

The same woman used to walk around her block, and would stop at a certain house and say hello to Dr. Freud.
posted by grimjeer at 6:26 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


.. in the Groucho Marx appearance, Groucho smokes a cigar while host Gary Moore smokes a Winston.. it still surprises me..
posted by bigZLiLk at 6:58 PM on October 18, 2012


Last confirmed veteran died in 1956.

The way I think about things like this is that even here in 2012, there are probably lots of people who were told about the Civil War by people who experienced it, or who were told about slavery by people who had been slaves.

That's nothing -- I was alive before there was an internet.

Just to note, that was 1969.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:03 PM on October 18, 2012


Here's my little slice of living history: my grandfather is 94 and served in WWII. He was there when Dachau was liberated. He's never talked about what he saw there to anyone, not my mom or even his wife, as far as I know. He's a very reticent man in a lot of ways, and it feels invasive to ask about these things he seems to want to keep buried, and we aren't that close. I still want to do an oral history interview, somehow, but it's hard (...but he's not getting any younger). He's seen so much-- the Great Depression, the baby boom, Vietnam, TV, civil rights, the moon landing, offices straight out of Sterling Cooper, personal computers, 9/11. Went to college on the G.I. Bill. Voted for FDR, Kennedy, and Obama.

These days he's obsessed with reading about Google and Twitter (though he has yet to want to actually use the internet, despite our efforts). Every time I visit he asks me about 'whats going on In The Internet.' He made his living as a journalist, so I guess it makes sense.
posted by sonmi at 7:09 PM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]





The bummer is that if you spend some time researching this guy and the story of appearing on the show, he slipped and fell at the hotel they put him in, so he was out of sorts on this TV appearance. He went home and died from injuries related to that fall.


I had a feeling about this, and find this profoundly touching for some reason. I hope he got to smoke his pipe one more time.
posted by sweetkid at 7:10 PM on October 18, 2012


That's not a unique thing at all when interviewing very old people. I've had nonagenarians keel over a day or so after visiting them with a film crew... perhaps a virus they caught, or just the stress. But the thing you're missing is that usually they have a story to tell which everyone around them is BORED SHITLESS of hearing, and then someone turns up who wants to hear it, and it's a wonderful thing. Finally, someone listens. And they tell their story, and hopefully have a great day and.... yeah, it's sad, but it's sadder for them to die and no-one really having ever properly listened to them telling their stories.
posted by unSane at 7:29 PM on October 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty fascinated by this as well. My great grandfather helped bring food and water to confederate troops in Tennessee as a boy, and I'm 31.
posted by alpinist at 7:32 PM on October 18, 2012


The saddest thing for me is that Mr. Seymour presumably lived a long, full life, but most of the details of what he did in his time are lost to us. The only thing he will be remembered for (as long as people keep rediscovering that TV show) is something that happened to him when he was five years old. That's how History as a field of knowledge works: many things happen to many people, and most of it is forgotten when they die. Out of that multitude of lives and experiences we manage to preserve only a few details of the "important" people that fit a preconceived narrative, and that becomes History.
posted by Kevin Street at 7:32 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I did a little history project about my grandfather, and one of the things he talked about was meeting HIS grandfather, who'd joined up in the Civil War when he turned 16 in 1864. (My grandfather served in the CCC (history book history!) and remembers the score of the Bears game that was being broadcast when the announcer broke in to say that Pearl Harbor had been bombed; he joined up the next day.)

But here's the crazy part: After hearing about the Civil War vet great-great-grandfather, two minutes of googling turned up his war record and burial location. I facebook messaged a friend of mine from high school who happened to live near the cemetery, who went out when she was in the neighborhood and took a picture and e-mailed it to me. The government sent me a CD of PDFs of the war record within two weeks of me filling out an online form. The state of Wisconsin had digitized all the records of his unit's activities so once I had his record and knew the unit, I could read all the details from all the actions he'd been involved in. And just like that, two weeks after finding out about his existence, I had his entire Civil War record -- enlistment papers, pay slips, battle records, grave site -- even his own handwriting on the forms.

The internet is magic.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:32 PM on October 18, 2012 [21 favorites]


Sorry, BWA! I missed the edit window!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:55 PM on October 18, 2012


There's a link to a 1954 newspaper interview with Seymor

I also want to point out that the Cocker Spaniel is America's most popular dog.

posted by inigo2 at 8:24 PM on October 18, 2012


If the last Civil War vet died in 1956 there could easily be children of Civil War vets still around.
posted by PHINC at 8:49 PM on October 18, 2012


I have a great aunt who died 2 years ago at the age of 100. She was born in 1910. I asked her what the most amazing invention in her time was expecting something about man going to the moon or the airplane, the internet, the cell phone or something bigger and better than what she actually said: The toaster oven. I still ponder that answer.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:55 PM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Modern version: I saw Lincoln get shot. AMA.
posted by hanoixan at 8:59 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


At my undergrad institution we have a somewhat more insanely involved Reunions tradition than most; everyone is invited back every year, and the whole thing culminates in a parade ("the P-Rade") where the classes march in sequential order following the "host" 25th reunion class. The oldest returning alumnus gets a place of pride, usually riding on a golf cart, and a silver cane. What has amazed me about the longevity of this tradition has been that "human wormhole" affect being discussed, where recent graduates speak to elderly graduates who talk about marching in the same parade with Civil War-era graduates (a conversation I overheard with extreme interest a couple of years ago).

In particular, a man named Malcolm Warnock was a major highlight for me; he carried the silver cane from 2006-2012 (and once in 2001) and turned 107 this year. It was such a treat to see him every year and think about the many generations he'd marched with that passed before. Mr. Warnock died on October 9th and I believe we skip at least seven class years forward with his passing. This piece makes me think of him and how much I'm going to miss his presence this coming year. It's not that we knew each other, though by all reports he was a good guy; it's the act of severing that link to the past and tradition that his passing represents.
posted by ilana at 9:07 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


My great-grandfather fought in the Civil War (Union, Pennsylvania regiment). He was 67 when his youngest child (my grandfather) was born. My grandfather fought in World War II (Navy, South Pacific). He was 40 when his youngest child (my mother) was born. That 107 years spans just two generations and two very different wars has always fascinated me. Also odd that my parents were a young 26 when their youngest child (me) was born. The gaps between generations got shorter in my family at the time when the general population started having children at an older age.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 9:11 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's possible -- maybe probable -- that there has been a person who both fought in the Civil War AND watched a sitcom on TV. Blows my mind.

In a similar vein, it's quite possible that actor Mickey Rooney, who was in vaudeville as a baby in the early 1920's, once entertained Civil War vets yet is still making movies today.
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 9:20 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another incredible thing about this video is that if anything, Matt Damon actually looked slightly older in 1956 than he does today.

I'm so glad you noticed that too.

posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:57 PM on October 18, 2012


If the last Civil War vet died in 1956 there could easily be children of Civil War vets still around.

Especially since the last widow of a Civil War veteran who had had children together only died in 2004 (with the last confirmed widow without offspring dying in 2008 ). Of course, in these cases the women in question married the veterans long after the war.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:00 PM on October 18, 2012


This is the most peculiarly affecting thread I have read on Metafilter. There is something remarkable here, and it seems obvious, yet somehow I am unable to quite put it to words.
posted by Mike Mongo at 11:20 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


My (maternal) grandfather was in the great San Francisco earthquake, at age 12. He grew up to be a designer for GM. I grew up hearing about the Great Depression from my father. I remember the day the school janitor came into our classroom, and whispered into my teacher's ear, and made her cry. First grade. She wouldn't tell us what was wrong. So I didn't know why the flag was at half-mast. JFK had been shot dead.
posted by Goofyy at 1:22 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had a six generation photo cross my desk at the paper where I work. We occasionally get five generation pics. This had a baby, mom (20), her dad (just shy of 40), his mom (60ish), HER mom (early 80s), and her mom was not quite 100. That made the oldest woman in the photo the great-great-great-grandmother of the baby.
posted by Brodiggitty at 2:28 AM on October 19, 2012


Brodiggity: That almost happened in my family. My grandmother did live to see my cousin's grand-daughter. That's five generations.

Unfortunately, my great-grandfather, although he lived to 106, had died a few years before that. I have a photo of my great-grandfather, whom I did get to know, from 1918 as he is fleeing the chaos of the Mexican revolution. He was already then at the advanced age of 32.
posted by vacapinta at 3:22 AM on October 19, 2012


I'm very impressed with how quickly they got the answer.

Did anyone else assume that the panel had been coached, a la Quiz Show? They never put a foot wrong in their questions. Got to the answer pretty quickly.
posted by Zerowensboring at 5:06 AM on October 19, 2012


This is the most peculiarly affecting thread I have read on Metafilter. There is something remarkable here, and it seems obvious, yet somehow I am unable to quite put it to words.

I'll take a crack at it. All of us -- the people we know, the strangers we see each day, the strangers that we know to exist all over the globe -- are a kind of community. Loose bond, sure, but we're all together on the planet right now. Our conception of "us" (a dimension of "self") is understood to include ALL of us. Your actions could affect me, and vice versa, for better or worse.

Add to that community the people who we have known but who have passed, who have occupied the planet while we did, who still live in our memory. Add to THAT the people who departed before we came, but existed in the same cultural context, or in the memories of people we know well. They liked the Phillies, we like the Phillies. The Phillies connect us. Looser bond, but still identifiable. They are also us, just a little.

As the decades pass that bond gets weaker until the idea of somebody who didn't know to clean a wound, who thought a human would die if they traveled faster than 40mph -- those people are the Other, they don't feel like "us" in even the most tenuous sense, they lack dimension or depth. Even seen through an insightful biography or an affecting photograph, they exist on the other side of a glass wall.

The connections in this thread destroy that wall and enlarge our "community" by orders of magnitude. We don't just feel connected to the long-lived outliers -- all the people of their era join our definition of "us" and that changes our own sense of self.

Also, a guy on youtube talking about how he saw Lincoln shot, that's time travel, which is just awesome.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:07 AM on October 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


Did anyone else assume that the panel had been coached, a la Quiz Show? They never put a foot wrong in their questions. Got to the answer pretty quickly.

It helps if you've watched the other episodes of I've Got a Secret - this thing was already 4 years into its run at the time and like, say, The Price Is Right, people got very good at cutting to the chase. And the clue helps.

Here's one where they don't get it as fast as this panel: Neil Armstrong's Parents.

(Unexpected jolt: The mother is asked what would happen if her son was the first man to walk on the moon, and Neil Armstrong never saw this footage until 40 years later.)
posted by jscott at 1:03 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


This combines about XX number of things that are cool and fascinating to me.
And I'll repeat to you younguns who think even 70 years ago seems like a long time-that's nothing. It's my parents' young adulthood.
WWI doesn't even seem that ancient to me,not when I've seen the pic of my grandpa in uniform standing next to grandma. Grandpa, who was born before the Wrights flew, and lived to see the Apollo and shuttle programs. Grandpa,who grew up in Sweden without radio and died not that long before the Net became commonplace, a technology which allows his granddaughter to Google Earth Stockholm while listening to a radio station and tweeting with people from there.
But even though-or perhaps because-when I think about it, this gentleman was born around the time of my great grandparents, well all that doesn't quite equal the wondrously strange feeling of this time-traveling-like video.
posted by NorthernLite at 2:27 PM on October 19, 2012


'Lincoln' Voice: Daniel Day-Lewis' Acting Choice Raises Some Eyebrows

Does Daniel Day-Lewis Sound Like Lincoln?
posted by homunculus at 4:59 PM on October 19, 2012


I am so glad to have known my great grandmother. She was a remarkable woman. One day, my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother and I went to Teddy Roosevelt's house on Long Island. It was a hot day and when we started to take the tour of the house, my great-grandmother said she was not up to it and would just sit on the porch and wait. My grandmother waited with her. My great-grandmother was very deaf and spoke very loudly. When my mother and I returned from the tour there was a huge crowd on the porch. We were quite concerned something had happened. Well it had.

Apparently, my great-grandmother was telling her daughter, my grandmother about the time when she was 8 years old in 1890 something and saw Teddy Roosevelt speak on the courthouse steps in Cleveland, Ohio. As I said, she speaks real loudly. So loudly that another tour group heard her and stopped to listen to the story and to ask her questions about Teddy. She sat and talked for about 20 minutes to the group until we had to get going. I remember in the car on the way home, my great-grandmother was sitting quietly when all of a sudden she asked (loudly!), "What? Those folks never saw Teddy Roosevelt? What's the matter with them?" She then went right back to dozing off for the rest of the ride.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:39 PM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]



'Lincoln' Voice: Daniel Day-Lewis' Acting Choice Raises Some Eyebrows

Does Daniel Day-Lewis Sound Like Lincoln?


When I saw those links posted, I thought the criticism was that his voice was TOO low. I thought everyone knew he had a weirdly high voice.
posted by sweetkid at 7:53 PM on October 19, 2012


I think the problem with the DDL voice isn't the pitch, but the authority.

Plenty of men with high voices have authority: off the top of my head James Carville and Jack Welch. But DDL as Lincoln doesn't sound like them. He sounds like Paul Ryan.
posted by unSane at 8:08 PM on October 19, 2012


BWA, I am also the great-grandchild of a Civil War veteran, and not quite a baby boomer.

I just missed out on being the great-grandchild of a Civil War veteran and I'm a Millennial.

-My great-grandfather was born in 1858 (making him too young, but not by much, especially given he was born in the South).
-My grandfather and his twin were born in 1917 or 1918 (my grandfather was a cagey bastard), as part of my great-grandfather's very late second marriage.
-My mother was born in '45, a war baby.
-I was born in the mid-'80s as an oops baby, in a year typically accepted as part of the Millennial generation.

We're a long-lived, late-blooming bunch. My grandfather just died this May, at the age of 94, having survived the Great Depression and the Pacific Front. My mother remembers where she was when JFK was shot. I remember grabbing my textbook out of my locker for first period English on 9/11. Three generations and we span the great events of US history.
posted by librarylis at 11:39 PM on October 19, 2012


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