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"Martin D. Zehr" <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 30 Jan 2004 17:01:06 +0000
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Yes, there is certainly a good deal of unavoidable "fluffiness" in Hannibal,
a fact that is unlikely to change anytime soon, since Twain will always be a
major industry for the town, and the prospect of visiting Twain scholars
outnumbering Tom Sawyer tourists is somewhat remote.  Nevertheless, the
sensation of standing on the west bank of the Mississippi, with its still
uncluttered view of the great river, not to mention Jackson's Island, is an
experience which just cannot be duplicated in Hartford or Elmira, the mighty
Chemung River notwithstanding.  There are yet opportunities to get a measure
of the vistas as seen by Sam Clemens, e.g., Lover's Leap and Cardiff Hill,
and a few preserved houses in the historic district, in conjunction with
sites like the modestly reconstructed Molly Brown House, provide glimpses of
Hannibal's history which have not yet been obliterated by the hype
of "America's Hometown."

Martin Zehr
Kansas City, Missouri