Thursday, February 10, 2011

Let us strike a match

I gave myself a papercut under my fingernail today. How does something like that even happen? I don't know because it happened so quickly! Everything was fine = no blood. And then everything was no longer fine = blood. Ugh. Onto other things that draw the life-force from your body...St. Valentine's Day. 

You may know that I've been messing around with making some Valentine's Day cards for about two weeks. There has not been much progress thus far. I've cut out a few hearts and crap, but I'm only about 27% into it. Sorry to all those expecting sweet homemade cards--I may not come through this year. Otherwise, I guess you'll just have to be OK with the crazy Care Bears secret admirer, 1970s dog, and Donald Duck cards I found at the thrift store. Oh, you're welcome.

So, here's what I probably won't be making any of you this year.

One of the St. Valentine's Day cards I made for Catherine in 2009.

-John Wilkes Booth
p.s. Those are whiskers at the top of the card!

Just so you don't start thinking we're the sort of people who wish the South had prevailed in the War Between the States, I should mention that Catherine also received a Valentine from Abraham Lincoln that year. And while I don't have a picture of that Valentine--which included a keepsake paper heart token with Lincoln's name and picture (I was going to include a lock of hair in the tradition of love tokens, but my hair is no stand-in for Lincoln or Booth's tresses. {Can men have tresses? I hope so.})--I do have the text from the card.

It is perfectly clear, from your letter of late, that you were much happier, or, if you think the term preferable, less miserable, when you wrote it than when you wrote the last one before. I owe this gladness of spirit stems from a certain new acquaintance. I have no way of telling you how much happiness I wish you both, though I believe you both can conceive it. My association with Mr. Woodson was too short for me to reasonably hope to be remembered by him; and still I am sure I shall not forget him soon. I feel somewhat jealous of both of you now: you will be so exclusively concerned for one another, that I shall be forgotten entirely. How easily it is all done, when it is resolved to be done.

As for myself, I have nothing in the way of news, except to say that we have had no cholera here for about two weeks. Yet another year has passed and here we are, still striving to finish the business we’re in.

I have included a token of my affection, my greatest desire being that you keep it as I have always done. Write me often, and believe me,

Yours forever,

A. Lincoln

Parts of this letter are me and parts are all Lincoln, adapted from several of his pre-White House letters. (It's really rather melancholy, isn't it? Well, that's Lincoln for you. And me, too?) If you're interested in crafting a Lincoln-ish letter to any Lincoln lovers in your life, check out Project Gutenberg.  Or say you're a bit of a bibliophile (super book nerd), and you're interested in downloading a free eBook version of Candide by Voltaire--well, Project Gutenberg has it. You can also put your nerd skills to good use by volunteering for PG's web-based proofreading project which helps convert books in the public domain into free eBooks. Isn't that exciting?! (I'm not being facetious. I really do think this is exciting.)


  1. Candide is one of my favorites, I remember reading it when I was babysitting Josh and Caleb. It really put things in to perspective for me... I could have had to eat my own butt.

  2. Yup, I put Candide in there for you.

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