Why, even Honest Abe Lincoln wasn't above playing a tune or two on the harmonica when the occasion demanded, as Carl Sandburg related in Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years . . . part of his massive study of the 16th President.
According to the story, Lincoln had just finished a particularly hard day of vote chasing during his 1858 campaign against Stephen Douglas for an Illinois state senate seat. And there he was-off by his lonesome, scrunched down in somebody's battered old farm wagonplaying a quiet tune to revive his spirits . . . when someone happened by.
"Say! Mr. Lincoln!" the surprised citizen called out. "What are you doing here playing that mouth organ, when Stephen Douglas is out there in Peoria right this minute campaigning with a brass band?"
"Let Mr. Douglas have his brass band," said the Illinois rail-splitter. "This harmonica will do me just fine."
Friday, April 4, 2008
Can't Be All That Bad if Even Honest Abe Did Some Blow
Hamonica trivia: According to this article, even Abe Lincoln himself was occasioned to blow: