As one with a keen interest in history I’ve often thought about whom I’d love to sit down with and have an intimate dinner and enough adult beverages to loosen my tied tongue and open up the guests to talk freely.
One’s mind can conjure up all sorts of ideas and thoughts. My list of who I’d love to talk with is long, and changes regularly.
Social distancing has left me some time to flesh out this thought a little more. I decided to think whom and how many. For this inaugural dinner, I decided on eight (including me). It’s a little large for my taste, but one must be willing to compromise. As I was paring my list, I realized it’s my fantasy so I can always have more than one gathering.
Julius Caesar. How could one not want to discuss his transformative rule? He accomplished much and we are still the recipients of his contributions and mistakes with conquest and legal tomes. He increased the size of the Roman Senate, opened citizenship to foreigners, and, of course, there were Cleopatra and Brutus.
Franklin Roosevelt. I’ve read a lot about World War II. To have a chance to ask about his meetings with Churchhill and Stalin would be extraordinary. I would love to have been transported to the room of a fireside chat or a guest at one of his famous small dinners. Wow.
Henry II. The Plantagenet dynasty he founded occupied the throne through eight successive generations. He was a patron of architecture and written records and spoke several languages. His progeny with Eleanor of Aquitaine included Richard the Lionheart and King John, whose chaotic rule led to the Magna Carta. Some historians believe Henry’s rule made that transformative change possible.
Abraham Lincoln. I wonder how he would look at our current events and what parallels he would draw to his time. Reuniting him with Frederick Douglass and hearing their perspectives of that most tumultuous time in our nation’s history would be awe-inspiring.
Frederick Douglass. If you haven’t read any of his writings, you are missing out on a truly magnificent gift. While the current occupant of the people’s house thinks he’s a contemporary figure, what a treat it would be to see Abe and Frederick together again and how they would reflect on the reality that a black man was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a black man occupied the same Oval Office as Abe. That would be something.
Abigail Adams. Our Founding Mothers haven’t received their due for their contributions to this country’s birth. Abigail’s advocacy for women’s education and rights and her opposition to slavery were truly ahead of her time.
Elvis Presley. I think the reasons are fairly obvious for those of us lucky enough to have been witness to his gifts and how he changed music forever. With the bulk of this group having a different relationship with music, I’d love to see their faces if during a conversation lull Elvis pulled out his guitar and started singing. All shook up, anyone?
Who would be at your dinner table(s)?