News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2007


Recovering from beach bruising

I never though of myself as looking like Abraham Lincoln or resembling a toad, or of being old. But that was before spending the July 4 week at the beach with five grandchildren.

Today, I am an humbled man, seen through the eyes of innocence and a gang-up mentality. The experience was brutal.

“Who is it?” 5-year-old Trey asked on Day 1 when I tried to remove him and his cousin Wright from the upper deck of a bunk bed.

Peeking from under covers, Wright looked straight at me and replied, “I see skinny legs in underwear. I think it is Abe Lincoln.”


That set the week.

At nearly 6 years old, Wright is the cousin leader and inheritor of the family art of friendly putdowns.

“Tom Tom,” he said, on Day 2, “You are Old Abe Lincoln,” and everybody laughed, so I became Old Abe Lincoln.

“Tom Tom,” 4-year-old Emma Grace said, “You are old.”

“I’m not as old as Abe Lincoln,” I said.

“Who’s he?” she asked. Wright wasn’t sure either but he thought Lincoln had something to do with George Washington and the cherry trees.

Trey and his younger sister, Ruby, learned a song (from their mother) just for the beach and sang it to the tune of “O, Tannenbaum.”

It’s called “Tom the Toad” and goes like this:

“Oh, Tom the Toad, oh Tom the Toad,

“Why are you lying on the road?

“You did not see the car ahead,

“And now you’re marked with tire tread...

“Oh Tom the Toad, oh Tom the Toad why did you hop up on the road?”

So, what was Regina to do when we returned home but to reassure me I am not a Lincoln look-alike, I’m not THAT old and I’m to forget about toads.

Tom Wright is executive editor.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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