Happy 100th birthday, Lincoln High School. If the cards fall right, maybe Willard Scott will give you a shout-out on the “Today Show.”
We’ll leave it to others around Tacoma to wax poetic about this august occasion — the academic successes, the athletic triumphs, the time in the early ’70s when Mr. Mullen’s chemistry lab exploded.
But we’d be remiss not to make a few centennial observations about what we love most about the South End school.
The Bighead Abe mascot.
On the inside, he’s an exceptional student (most recently, senior Zeayare Trimmings) selected for his high spirit and character. On the outside, he’s a walking, talking presidential bobblehead who holds court at games, pep assemblies and public events, dishing out high-fives and fist bumps like President Abraham Lincoln after making his Gettysburg Address.
So let us make a toast. From one legendary character with oversize cranial features to another — we salute you, brother.
Other heads of state: Most South Sound high schools named for presidents kept things decidedly dull and impersonal when they picked their mascots decades ago.
Washington High School in Parkland went with the Patriots (yawn), instead of the Georges or the Fathers of our Country. Thomas Jefferson in Federal Way chose the Raiders (sigh), not the Long Toms or the Sages of Monticello.
And Franklin Pierce High School in Midland? They go by the Cardinals (snooze), as if to disavow any connection to one of America’s worst presidents. We say, embrace your inner Frank! Call yourself the Young Hickorys or the Fainting Generals!
Lincoln’s founders, therefore, deserve kudos for their brave, no-holds-barred tribute to our 16th president.
Principal Pat Erwin says he’s been told his school might be uniquely named. Sure, you can go to Lincoln High in Brooklyn, N.Y., or Lincoln High in Ypsilanti, Mich., and find the Railsplitters. And indeed, our own Lincoln teams have been alternately nicknamed the Axmen or the Railsplitters through the years.
But our local mascot is Abe, first and foremost. Fact is, we may have the only Abes in the country.
But he ain’t cheap: It’s not exactly a trip to the spa, but Associated Student Body officials at Lincoln tell us Bighead Abe has been pampered with a number of “facial treatments” from alumni, students, staff and friends over the years.
Apparently his latex lips sustain the most damage because students grab him by the mouth and chin to carry him around.
We’re told he’s expensive to replace (about $3,600) because he’s such an unusual mascot that designers have to cast the giant presidential noggin from scratch.
Not quite up there with Mount Rushmore, but still.
As spendy as he is, Bighead Abe doesn’t come with air-conditioning. He used to have a battery-powered fan inside but it kept breaking.
So it sounds like Abe can be a hothead at times — a role in American history usually reserved for his wife.
Foxes and gophers: One big question arises from this week’s announcement that Fox Sports will broadcast the U.S. Open for the first time in 2015 when it’s held at our own Chambers Bay golf course.
Will the “Gopher Cam,” which Fox uses for edge-of-the-racetrack shots at NASCAR events, move to the golf course?
Another question, certain to send a shudder through Chambers Bay groundskeepers: Will the coverage include a resurrected Digger, who was unceremoniously dumped last year as Fox Sport’s unofficial NASCAR mascot?
We’re sure groundskeepers will have Carl Spackler from “Caddyshack” on speed dial, just in case.
Can’t buy publicity like this: The Associated Press reported: “The first U.S. Open for Fox will be from Chambers Bay outside Seattle.”
We only have to put up with two more years of this, friends.
Update from last week: We told you Sunset magazine had the foresight (?) to “review” a cocktail bar that wasn’t open.
Voila, the Hilltop Kitchen is now open, as of last weekend.
With no signs out front and a youngish hipster crowd, it feels as if you’re walking into a Prohibition-era speakeasy.
So all you dolls and hepcats, get yourselves down to 913 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Enjoy August, dear readers: Or as Gig Harbor area residents like to call it, the few weeks of sweet relief before the Jan Angel-Nathan Schlicher campaign onslaught resumes.Got news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @thenosetribune