July 7 — Where You Are

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThe Photo A Day for today is Where You Are.  I decided to use where I was last night.

For dinner last night, we went to one of my favorite places —  Big Ed’s Pizza in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Kirk, Ian and I went to dinner with my brother Richmond, his wife Beckie, and their kids Isaac and Rachel.  We had a great time and enjoyed this town favorite!

We used to love to go to Big Ed’s while growing up – either before or after the football games.

The place is dark and has red and white tablecloths, thin plates, plastic forks, great drinks, and only pizza.  No salads, bread sticks, or other things that you can now get at a pizza joint.

The family and staff have stuck to what they make best.  Delicious thin crust pizza with yummy toppings.  It is definitely a town institution!

Date Night – Lincoln Movie and Dinner

LincolnYesterday afternoon and early evening, my husband and I had a date.

We first went to see the movie “Lincoln”and then had a great dinner at a new restaurant, Longhorn Steakhouse.  Well it was new to us anyway.

My parents graciously watched Ian for us.  He had a date too and enjoyed himself very much.

At the restaurant, we both had filets, salads, and another side.  The steaks were so tender and delicious!  I also enjoyed some blackberry tea.  It was a great time out.

Now about that movie!  It was amazing and touching. The cast was fantastic and so well chosen!  Way to go Steven Spielberg (the director)!

Daniel Day-Lewis starred as President Abraham Lincoln.  At no time in his performance did you see any inkling of Daniel, but instead he was all Honest Abe.  The makeup was amazing because he looked just like I imagined the President looking.  He also talked and walked how you’d imagine Lincoln doing these things.  I hope he is nominated for an Academy Award!

Other members of the cast were Sally Field as his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, David Strathairn as William Seward, James Spader as W.N. Bilbo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert Lincoln, and Hal Holbrook as Preston Blair.

I have seen all of these actors in many other roles and have liked their work for a while now.  But, I have to say these roles were some of their best work ever.  There were many other great actors as well throughout the entire movie.

The amazing thing about this movie was that my United States history book seemed to come to life.  I felt like I was there in the White House with the Lincolns and in the House Chamber during a very difficult vote.

In 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation which declared that slaves would be free.  Then in 1865, after he was re-elected, he went forward to try to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment as a crime.

The House and the Senate had debates about this issue and then voted.  One thing that struck me as funny and kind of sad at the same time is that the Congress hasn’t changed much since Lincoln’s day.  People still are on very different sides of issues and often can bicker and be mean to one another.  Thankfully, they can also find ways to compromise and come together when needed.

Since learning about Lincoln in school and seeing his likeness on pennies and the $5 bill, I had forgotten his amazing presidency.  You saw that in this movie.

His stand against slavery and his notion that it wasn’t right were so new and different for that era.  He was wiling to stand up for what he felt had to be done and helped to make it happen.  And, there were many other brave men who worked with him to make the amendment to abolish slavery happen.

He felt deep in his bones that All Men Are Created Equal as our Constitution says.  This had been said but not truly carried out until this time in history.  May we never forget that we all (men and women) are created equal.

Seeing the discussion that a certain race of people was less than human was very hard to watch.  They called the slaves property.  I have to say how much that bothered me and still does.  I truly can’t even fathom that way of thinking and am so glad I can’t.

I do know, however, this was what a lot of people in that era felt and thought.  Thankfully, Lincoln and others like him helped change that notion.

((Spoiler alert)) What I had truly forgotten about President Lincoln was what a short time he had to celebrate this amazing legislation being signed into law and having the Civil War end.  Within days of the end of the Civil War, he went to the theater with his wife and was shot. How tragic!!

I wept as this part of the story played out.  It was hard to see the end of his amazing life snuffed out so quickly.

After his death and the end of the War, our country rebuilt and slaves were emancipated.  It took a while but eventually things changed.  Hopefully we have learned a lot from this history.

I came away from this movie with a lot of emotions and thoughts about life, equality, respecting others, and the care and compassion that we can show to one another, if we just realize that it’s okay if we’re not all the same.  We can learn so much from one another!  I hope and pray that we can know that and not forget it.

I hope that you have the chance to see this powerful movie!!!  As my sister mentioned, there are many scenes which would be great to use in a history class!!!  You are so right sis.