Abraham Lincoln Lives ! Portrayed by Gerald Bestrom

Abraham Lincoln Lives ! Portrayed by Gerald Bestrom



Views:5073|Rating:2.75|View Time:10:Minutes|Likes:11|Dislikes:9
Gerald Bestrom (1937–2012)
(who played Lincoln in “The Conspirator” film) visits school children while impersonating Abraham Lincoln, telling stories, giving illistrations and sharing history from Lincolns life and values that made him a great president.
The guest speaker, striding out before an audience of about 150 second-graders, has coal-black hair and a beard with no mustache and wears black trousers; a long, black frock coat; a bow tie; and a stovepipe hat.
“This man needs no introduction today,” a second-grade teacher says by way of introduction.
“I know, that’s Abe Lincoln,” a girl says.
To be honest, the visitor is merely a retired auto worker from Michigan named Gerald Bestrom. In the minds of many students, though, he really is Honest Abe, the frontiersman-cumpresident from Kentucky via Indiana and Illinois.
The real Abraham Lincoln held a nation together during tumultuous times, and the Lincoln impersonator does something similarly impressive: he holds the attention of a gaggle of 7- and 8-year-olds for nearly an hour.
Bestrom began exploring his inner Abe in the late 1980s after a churchmate noted his resemblance to Lincoln, even though Bestrom was clean-shaven at the time. Bestrom grew a beard, and in 1990 he retired from an automobile factory in Grand Rapids, Mich., and hit the road to make appearances at schools, churches and retirement centers. Bestrom lodges in a 27-foot motor home with the license plate, “ITS-ABE.”
Bestrom, a native of Michigan, (Hastings) bears an uncanny resemblance to the late president; complete with the thick, dark beard, dark hair and sharply prominent facial features. It’s amazing how much he looks like all the pictures of Lincoln.
Bestrom claims that in 20 years, he has never lost a Lincoln look-alike contest.
Lincoln was a little bit taller than me, Bestrom admitted.
He famously said that he was 6’4″, almost. Im 6’1″, almost. It would be nearly impossible to measure up to President Lincoln, but I am a little better looking–almost.
In addition to the Gettysburg address, Bestroms performans old-timey songs with a musical saw, gives trivia questions and brief history lessons.
Theres a real longing today for the principals and morals that made his a great nation, Bestrom explaines.
Lincoln was not a perfect man, but he endeavored to live up to the light.
He famously said that nothing is politically right that is morally wrong. We need leaders that think like that today.

8 thoughts on “Abraham Lincoln Lives ! Portrayed by Gerald Bestrom”

  1. Gerald and I had a ministry together when I lived in Michigan. He did not want people to know all the help I gave him because of me being a female. Whatever. A man at his church may have said he looked a lot like Abe Lincoln but I am the one who had him to grow a beard and assisted in his career as Lincoln. A 12 year old girl got Lincoln to grow a beard. I was much older but still a female. I am the one who glued a fake beard on him when he portrayed Lincoln at the first Saw Players Festival which I helped to organize. When he grew a real beard I trimmed it for him. He wanted to write a saw players speech as a spin off from the Gettysburg Address. I told him he just as well dress like Lincoln. I rented a frock coat and eventually made his first frock coat. I made a tall hat for him and eventually somebody gave him one, not a tall hat but an original hat from Lincoln's time. Somebody also gave him a bow tie. I embroidered a linen handkerchief for him with the initials A Lincoln like Lincoln had. Gerald played his guitar many times while I sang and on occasion harmonized with me. I miss the singing we used to do. Sometimes a bunch of us gathered together, usually at Carolyn Byrd's house. Mr. Carnes played his saw too. Dan Everett played his harmonica. Those were fun days. Gerald also played his guitar at some of my singing engagements. Gerald also let me dress him like an Auguste clown for a performance I did as Crystal the Clown. He assisted me. The world lost a great talent when Gerald passed in 2012. I still have many of the newspaper articles he sent to me plus CDs and videos. When some one asked Gerald if the mole on his face was his, his reply was, "Yes, I have the receipt for it." He was much of a joker and succeeded in portraying Lincoln very well, so well some people fainted when they saw him. He looked that much like Lincoln. Gerald was welcomed by everybody on his travels and performances at our 16th President, Abe Lincoln.

  2. Gerald Bestrom (1937–2012) In 1986 a man attending Mr. Bestrom's church noticed his resemblance to Mr. Lincoln without a beard and said, "You look like Lincoln!". Upon his suggestion, Mr. Bestrom started growing a beard and them it all fell into place.

  3. Thinking of you today Mr. Bestrom. 10 years ago (2004) you performed at my uncles party. May he rest in peace. A great man.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *