The “We Are One” concert at the Lincoln Memorial reminded me of When Warren G. Harding Met Brigitte Bardot & Her Bikini, a short story I wrote about personal spectacles at public monuments. I’m not prepared to say where memoir ends and fiction begins, but my vocation as poet and public speaker began something like this:
“That’s what the FBI guys do in Washington when they get initiated. They stand on top of J. Edgar Hoover’s tomb and make a speech.”
“J. Edgar Hoover isn’t dead, either,” Daphne said.
“Okay, okay. They sneak into the Lincoln Memorial late at night. Look on the back of a penny. They climb up in old Abe’s lap like he’s some kind of big bronze Grandpa and they make a speech. They don’t get a gun and a badge until they pass the test.”
After 50 years, I think the statute of limitations has passed, but I should say that names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty alike. Except Aunt Billie, of course, who was as true as her candy-apple red hair. Read more.