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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
From: wes britton <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2007 15:04:10 -0400
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I presume the discussion regarding Suzy's death-bed, which happened sometime
in the late '80s--was probably something the guides hadn't thought of before
as their tours were designed for the general public and not folks who knew
much about Twain. I'd have to guess much has changed since then. All I meant
to suggest is that it's always good to be prepared in advance to have an
idea of what happened where.

Now that I think on it, I recall going to see the MT birthplace in '85 and
was disappointed as the little cabin was set behind some ropes and there was
no way for me to make a connection with it. That was an odd day as, as we
walked around, folks started ignoring the tour guides and asking me
questions as I apparently knew more about the subject. One of them confused
the story of Sam seeing Livy's portrait on the Quaker City trip with how
Sam's parents met.

But yes, interesting architecture makes for a richer experience beyond
simple rooms of old antiques, at least for the blind. A case in point is the
Harriet Beecher Stowe house which was much like a hundred such homes. I
remember one Virginia trip (my honeymoon, in fact) where we toured the
impressive Monticello, most revealing, James Madison's home--impressive for
its size, and the considerably smaller home of James Monroe. I suppose
there's a compare/contrast essay there, as Monroe lived like a comparative
pauper in relationship to the other two.

Elmira is good for blind Twainians as you can explore the writing cabin and
wander around the house if you're at a conference. A very rich experience.

Well, all I can think of on the subject. Now to get famous myself to ensure
my abodes become worthy of historical markers.

Wes Britton