Please plan to attend the meeting and dinner, held at Mr Lee's banquet facilities on Wheeling Ave in Cambridge. Tickets are $10.
John Cooper, age 60, has lived at the same home in Baltimore, OH for 36 years (Pickerington Local School District). Married, father of four graduates of Pickerington High School. Mr. Cooper retired after 32 years at the Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC) where he last served as the Branch Supervisor of a team of Customer Account Specialists who handle processing of customer requisitions on behalf of the Department of Defense for all Army and Navy foreign military customers and the United States Coast Guard. This office is the primary in-processing site for these foreign militaries in their authorized purchases from the entire United States military supply system.
Mr. Cooper began portraying President Abraham Lincoln about 25 years ago, while his children were in elementary school in the Pickerington school system. A co-worker at DSCC constantly maintained that he reminded her of Abraham Lincoln due to his tall stature and Lincoln-styled beard. Having discovered an old Lincoln-styled coat in his mother's attic, he then acquired a stovepipe hat, and began impersonations around President's Day in the elementary schools. Mr. Cooper is a self-avowed history nut, and considers Lincoln as his favorite President and our greatest President (even above George Washington). He has an extensive personal history library that includes over 60 books about Lincoln and his colleagues.
In the earliest days, impersonations were mostly confined to Pickerington Schools and a few other close schools (maybe due to lack of the requisite wrinkles in his face). Having grown naturally into those wrinkles and entering the sesquicentennial of Lincoln's presidency and the civil war, he has expanded his personal appearances to many adult performances, including the Violet Township (Pickerington) Bicentennial Celebration, The Defense Federal Executive Conference (Columbus), unveiling of the 200th anniversary Lincoln postage stamps with the Columbus Post Office, the Akron-Canton airport kick-off of direct flights to Washington, DC, and the Ohio State Fair the past three years. He enjoys the opportunity to meet with people of all ages (but children remain the favorite) and sharing stories about Lincoln and his life.
He is enjoying the sesquicentennial Civil War celebrations that occur between 2011-2015 and the opportunities that might be presented to be involved in additional commemorative events. He is available for community celebrations, historical societies, lunch and dinner speeches, conventions, fairs and festivals, schools, and home and birthday parties.
The toughest part of portraying a dead historical figure is trying to remain in character and time period, when many audience questions refer to subject matter that cannot be fully discussed without references to events and facts that were not known until after Lincoln's assassination.