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I must confess that I did not actually shake hands with Abraham Lincoln but...I came as close as one can get in this day and age. (No, it was not his ghost.) 

            It happened at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City several years ago. I was one of many volunteers involved in an art project which meant conducting visitors up the ascending ramp and engaging them in conversation.

            Abraham Lincoln was not on my mind when I escorted a husband and wife, that winter day, from somewhere other than New York City. I believe I was informative and entertaining while conjuring up and describing memories from my distant past. My stories came to an end when we reached the top of the ramp and it was time for me to leave the couple.

            As I was about to leave the husband thanked me and said that he would like to give me a gift. I explained that I could not accept a gift. He smiled and said his gift was unique and would pose no problem in my accepting it.

            He was right and I did. 

            His was an intriguing story. He said (in brief) that he had, purposely, shaken the hand of his mother who had shaken the hand of a man who shook the hand of a man who shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln and now he would shake my hand. And...he did! I was now 5 times removed from having shaken the hand of Abraham Lincoln. 

            After that experience I offered that same gift to visitors I escorted to the top of the ramp and without exception they were delighted and thrilled. No one in any group (including foreign visitors) wanted to be left out. I shook a great many hands and these visitors to the Guggenheim left delighted, knowing that they were 6 times removed from having shaken Abraham Lincoln's hand.

            If you plan to be in my neighborhood, contact me and if we can arrange it, I will be happy to shake your hand.

Bob Flicker 

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 © robert 2014