History in the service of pleasure

Since we read history for pleasure, it suits us to force history to pleasure us in other ways.

We might use a Civil War blockader for our private parties, for instance.

We might turn kids loose in a public toychest themed to Lincoln's attic ("In Mrs. Lincoln's Attic, children will be able to play...")

We might build little models of lost gunboats using our imaginations, lots of fiberglass, and a diesel engine (the actual plans were mislaid), then run them in lakes and rivers for the edification and enjoyment of all.

Springfield has this kind of history experience very much in mind. Take a look at these statues. The mayor says, "this sculpture will be the closest thing yet to bringing our 16th President back to life." It was made by a competitor of Seward Johnson, and, like Johnson's kitsch, it spells F-U-N.

"It's a made-up moment in time ... that probably didn't happen," but which represents the Lincolns' day-to-day activities before Lincoln ran for the presidency, [sculptor Larry] Anderson said.

You've got history, and you've got made-up-moments-in-time. It's like the hair's breadth between genius and madness.

Party on, history lovers.