#4 of 11 questions in 11 days, in response to Writingspiration:
If you could meet any famous person (dead or alive) who would it be?
What a fun question, and how difficult to answer! Although it is not that unusual a query, I’ve never really thought about it before. I put the question to Jen before really trying to answer myself, and she insisted that I narrow it down to a person either dead or alive. Once someone trying to answer
makes that key decision, there is another big one: While our thoughts naturally turn to our heroes, we could choose to meet a bad person, secretly armed with the means to kill, imprison, or in some other way neutralize them! Would you kill baby Hitler!?
Hell yeah I would. However, that is not the famous person I would like to meet, nor is any other bad guy or gal.
So, I choose someone good, and my first thoughts went to my celebrity crushes: Sandra Bullock, Carrie Underwood, etc. etc…. etc. But what about dudes? I really like Will Smith, and who doesn’t love Tom Hanks? Stephen Spielberg, maybe. Stephen King? Scary!
But I had to consider the deceased as well, and for some reason I thought of the US Presidents. Of course George Washington was the first to come to mind, since I just read Chernow’s biography of him. But I understand now that Washington would not be very good company, and not a great conversation unless I wanted to hear about his wartime service. Which I don’t. But then there’s Lincoln. How could I forget my admiration for Abraham Lincoln?
I think Abe Lincoln would be a hoot to listen to, in nearly any circumstance. The man was a hell of a wordsmith, and how appropriate is it to say that on the anniversary of his most revered speech, the Gettysburg Address? Lincoln’s compassion is unmatched by any other American president.
So there you have it. Is it boring, because he would be in a lot of people’s top five, or top one? I don’t care. That simply means a lot of people would make a good choice.
Plus, there’s this: For me to meet the man himself–and not his ghost–would mean that one of us would have had to have time traveled. That being the case, I would of course tell him to avoid Ford’s Theater on the fateful night! How would history as we know it be different? I suspect Andrew Johnson would never have been president, and I believe reconciliation with the South would have been smoother. Would racial tensions be what they are today, if we had Lincoln not just for four more years in office, but we had his wisdom and guidance for the rest of his natural life? What a terrific and comforting thought. But, unfortunately, there would be no guarantee that the man wouldn’t have fallen to an assassin a week later, or some other tragedy have taken him from us too soon, just the same. But we can hope, and dream.
And I would always be able to say that I met him.
Sculpture inside the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois.