TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Condense Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Jane McCone <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 16 May 2003 07:51:28 -0400
text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Jane McCone <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (67 lines)
Friends on the Forum,

For two weeks Randy Maple has struggled with packing away his household
so he and his wife can move to Germany for two years, he has traveled
from California to Oregon to spend time with his son, and is grappling
with finishing his book on Twain.  In amongst all that he attempted to
make a posting on the Forum but just couldn't make it happen.  So, this
morning, he emailed me his posting and ask if I would post it for him.
So, here is a whirlwind report about people and places from Randy's
perspective.  Thanks Randy.

Jane McCone
Center for Mark Twain Studies

"We just returned from a week wandering from one Mark Twain haunt to another where we exhausted ourselves in the "flapping of the gladsome
jaw" and the "wagging of the sympathtic ear."
    Beginning in Hannibal, our dinner with Henry and Nancy  Sweets set
the tenor and tone for the "Territory ahead."  Henry's gracious
committment to familiarize, educate, and serve as tour guide
extrodinaire prepared us for the seizing of the day; accepting us as
members of a very special band of pirates.
    Since the last visit to Hannibal in 1971, Reb was delighted to find
the charm of Twain's boyhood home still intact under Henry's tuteledge,
while I, as first time visitor, couldn't imagine it otheriwse.   Henry
shared the exciting short and long term projects and goals designed for
the continuation of Twain's legacy.
    The interpretive center provided a lens in which, like Tom Sawyer,
we vicariously peered into the hollow as Injun Joe buried the treasure.
Our imagaination was further stirred steering the wheel of a
paddlewheeler while overlooking the mighty Mississippi.  Under perfect
azure Missouri skies Henry later toured us around to the gravesites of
the Clemens family.
    The next morning, before heading to Florida, Mo., was spent circling
around inside Sawyer's cave, afterward returning to express appreciation
to Henry for his first class assistance in our exploration.  We departed
resting in the comfort that Hannibal and Twain's relationship is being
secured by the capable and steady hands of Henry.
    John Huffman made us perfectly at home inside of Twain's home of
birth in Florida and viewing the original manuscript of "Tom Sawyer" was
pure magic.  Florida deserves so much more attention as John oversees
one of the real secret treats.  He drove us to the plots where Twain's
family is buried and then to the solitary headstone where Sammy's
grandfather rests under an old oak.
    Then it was on to a gorgeous day in Hartford under the guidance of
Natalie. That night we arrived at Quarry Farm at 11:00 p. m.  welcomed
by the friendly face of Jane McCone.  After two days of enchantment in
and around Elmira, Jane, Reb, and I ventured to Buffalo where Irene
Liguori arranged for us to see inside of those places where Twain lived
and worked.  Even though the buildings are long gone,  we saw photos and
walked inside the still standing stables now turned into offices.  Then
at the Buffalo & Eire County Library Peggy Skotnicki and Elaine Barone
served up one treat after another as we gazed at the first handwritten
page of "Huckleberry Finn" as well as the pages never before in print
where Jim tells Huck about his experience with ghosts.  They further
surprised us bringing additional treasures from the archives.  Irene
transported us to the new digs that will soon showcase Twain's life in
Buffalo, a sure can't miss experience for anyone wanting to know more
about these brief but important years in Twain's developement.  Ireane's
enthusiam is contagious and, like eveyone else we met, is an asset we
should all cherish and support.
    All this is to say that to visit all these places in seven days is
to inhale Twain beyond anything  we could have imagained.  Reb and I
came away with visions and dreams, and isn't this exactly as  it should
be!  Thank you to all.  Randy Maple and Reb Silay
[log in to unmask]