Skip to content
July 19, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Abe in the days of Big Red

Hydrid motorcycle and jet ski ( Screen shot From Bikes and Beards)

Believe it or not: Fastest and biggest jet ski motorcycle really exists. Video and how to make you own here.  Street legal, helmet and flotation device are the perfect accessories.(Screenshot: Bikes and Beards.YouTube.)

How about a little “True or Not true” while sippin’ a Big Red as the summer sizzles?

“Once, when Lincoln was pleading a case, the opposing lawyer had all the advantage of the law; the weather was warm, and his opponent, as was admissible in frontier courts, pulled off his coat and vest as he grew warm in the argument. At that time, shirts with buttons behind were unusual. Lincoln took in the situation at once. Knowing the prejudices of the primitive people against pretension of all sorts, or any affectation of superior social rank, arising, he said: “Gentlemen of the jury, having justice on my side, I don’t think you will be at all influenced by the gentleman’s pretended knowledge of the law, when you see he does not even know which side of his shirt should be in front.” There was a general laugh, and Lincoln’s case was won.”

Wasn’t sure this was a true tale or something like George Washington choppin’ down that cherry tree, but apparently it is.

Jet Ski Motorcycle picking up food aat drive-thru. (motorcycle and jet ski ( Screen shot From Bikes and Beards YouTube)

Jet Ski Motorcycling creates an appetite. Guess those window servers will have a story to tell now. (Screenshot.Bikes and Beards YouTube)

Lincoln was witty with a droll sense of humor and a pretty clear understanding of human nature – which served him well as a lawyer. 

In court cases, “Whenever Abraham Lincoln wanted to make a strong point he usually began by saying, “Now, that reminds me of a story.” And when he had told a story every one saw the point and was put into a good humor.”

Stories, a lawyer thing, still.

Actually, his style maybe useful in regular life these days, too.

LINCOLN’S YARNS AND STORIES, 1901 (Read for free here on the Gutenberg Project.)

  • “A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes that made Abraham Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller. The story of Lincoln’s life told by himself in his stories. Wit and humor of the War, the Courts, the Backwoods, and the White House”
  • This is the actual source, not the plagiarized “updated” recent versions.

Backwoods, huh? Like swaying barelegged on a creaking porch swing with a book passing through the shoulder of Summer. Nothin’ you have to do waitin’.

Waving a lazy fly swatter shooing the gnats. With, of course, an ice cold Big Red.

Hope you get to experience that at some point in your life.

Will get you through the rest of it.

Big Red? Oh, soda that’s just Summer. Not really cherry, raspberry, or strawberry taste – it’s, well, nothing like a Big Red.

According to NPR: Fruit drinks were really popular pre-civil war era, but after it, Big Red became a status symbol. “…at the time of the emancipation, soda pop was far more exotic than it is today. It was a special treat that the masses were just starting to enjoy in the mid 1860s. For freed slaves, red soda water was much more than a drink. It was a sign of upward mobility. “

Texas Monthly has a primer/history about Big Red. The vintage soda was created in 1937 in Waco, TX and held on for a long time with Dr. Pepper as one of the few remaining locally made bottled drinks.(More reason to support it at the time.) The company was eventually bought with management moving to Austin.(Everyone who is anyone is moving to Austin these days…weird is at risk!)

Red’s the traditional summer drink.(Even with moms screaming that it stains horribly) Article here – if they will let you in to read it. That varies day to day.

They always say to close with something sweet. Can’t get sweeter than Big Red.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Oh, a couple of quotes I liked

  • “Tact: the ability to describe others as they see themselves.” (Abraham Lincoln)
  • “Whatever you are, be a good one.”   (Abraham Lincoln)
Jet Ski Motor cycle showing off its' off road abilities...just like any born to be wild motorcyclist ( Screen shot From Bikes and Beards YouTube)

Nothing says summer like a road trip. Jet Ski Motorcycle showing off its’ off road abilities. Perfect for anyone born to be wild and ready to live their own stories. (Screenshot. Bikes and Beards YouTube)


  1. Kate Crimmins / Jul 19 2021 6:46 am

    We didn’t have a lot of soda as a kid. It was more of a treat although I remember Tang (ugg!) and Kool-Aid but mostly my mom pushed water. Free and plentiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 19 2021 7:13 am

      Tang! (Did you also get that “winter spiced tea” made with Tang, loads of sugar, instant tea powder and if lucky some cinnamon/spices?) Kool-aid with real sugar (tons of it if kid made) was a treat…but not red. Never anything red. Thanks for the refreshing comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / Jul 19 2021 7:34 am

        Only red watermelon twinsicles. Or maybe it was cherry. My memory is failing me but I remember blueberry ones too. Then there was the drumsticks (frozen ice cream cones). We had Mr. Softee and before him another ice cream truck come through. Best part of the day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 19 2021 7:49 am

          Oh for the days of joy when we were allowed popsicles- even red ones…never yellow banana ones. Sometimes small good things are what is best remembered?

          Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 19 2021 9:16 am

          Ice cream truck! – and waiting for the mail man to come down your side of the street to hand him some ice cold lemonade. That was a big thing. Such small things to make happiness

          Liked by 1 person

  2. disperser / Jul 19 2021 8:51 am

    I don’t remember having soda when younger (in Italy), but we did have carbonated water. Also heavily diluted wine with a bit of sugar. Sometimes, just water with a bit of sugar in it.

    Weird . . . the shirt story hit me wrong. Perhaps because today it’s all too common to win arguments by denigrating the opponent rather than substance.

    As one completely devoid of any interest in motorcycles and jet skis (and a strong dislike of both), I passed on the Frankensteinized contraption.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 19 2021 9:30 am

      Sodas were special treats for us – holidays and sometimes on vacations. “Empty calories” we were told. Raised non-sugar and heavy on fresh farm raised organic produce before anyone took note of such.
      Actually the story did not hit you wrong. Ditto here. “Cleverness” /Tricks of human psychology over substance and legal grounds…apparently training ground for politics…there were quite a few anecdotes that revealed a previously unknown to me side for Abe.
      Still had to laugh at what bored people can come up with – like the vehicle(“noise pollution is thy name..”).which is supposed to be street legal and they were stopped by police…but legality is all in the tiny print and focus these days – like Abe’s story.
      Anyway, I got rabbit holed down while looking for something else into an old book. Antique books reveal more than they had planned when written.
      Thanks for buzzing by

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pied Type / Jul 19 2021 10:02 am

    I don’t recall Big Red, but there were lots of others in OKC. Among my early favorites were Grapette and several brands of root beer.

    Love the jet ski motorcycle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 19 2021 3:08 pm

      Grapette – now that made the choice between so hard! (Even better if cooled the old way of being sunk into a big metal cooler filled with ice. (How many kids sloshed around that icy slush pretending to try and find a specific bottle when actually reveling in the cold? Now that’s vintage summer. Thanks for tossing that flavor-filled comment this way.


  4. robstroud / Jul 19 2021 5:13 pm

    Reminds me of a VW schwimmwagen in reverse!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres / Jul 19 2021 6:01 pm

    I only tried Big Red once, just because I was in Texas and thought I’d better. It was too sweet for me, as I recall. When I was growing up, Orange Fanta, Grapette, and A&W Root Beer were the drinks of choice — and Koolaid if there was a group. If extra kids showed up, it was easy enough to stretch that pitcher of Koolaid. Say “Vacation Bible School” to me and I go straight to Koolaid and graham cracker “cookies” made with chocolate frosting between the layers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Hook / Jul 23 2021 6:45 pm

    I think Lincoln and I would’ve been buds.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: