CLEARWATER — While President Abraham Lincoln was feted on his 200th birthday, retired bus driver Abraham Lincoln spent Thursday sweating over his income taxes. He didn't cheat, either. This Abe is as honest as that Abe.
The current Abraham Lincoln lives in Clearwater and is 72. His family believes the president may have been a seventh or eighth cousin. His mother wanted to name him Frank Abraham Lincoln. His father reversed the names. Things have always been a little mixed up. He has a cousin named Robert E. Lee Lincoln. Talk about a house divided.
Abraham Lincoln drove a bus for Pinellas County for 24 years. It wasn't always easy.
Occasionally, he'd irritate a bus passenger.
"I want your name," the passenger would demand.
"Come on, what's your real name?"
When he joined the Marines at 19, his local paper in upstate New York ran a headline: "Abraham Lincoln Is Headed South."
In Miami, he once tried to make a dinner reservation. When he got to the restaurant, there was no table ready. They thought it was a prank call.
When his granddaughter got sick at school, she had trouble being believed. She'd told the office secretary, "Call Abraham Lincoln."
That Abraham Lincoln was "a hell of man," says this Abraham Lincoln. He appreciates that President Obama often cites Lincoln in his speeches.
Though, of course, he did not vote for Obama.
"Would Abraham Lincoln vote for a Democrat?"
John Barry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2258.