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Gregg Camfield <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 1 Jan 2011 14:07:00 -0800
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Friends and colleagues, 

This is indeed sad news to begin a new year.  I find it hard to imagine Mark Twain studies without Lou.  Pick a scholarly study of Twain and you'll probably see Lou mentioned in the acknowledgements.  I just turned to my bookshelf to find one glowing tribute after another.  Indeed, the first book I grabbed includes this: "The scholar to whom I am most indebted . . . is Louis J. Budd.  His studies are, as every Twain scholar knows, searching explorations of the writer, his historical context, and the words themselves.  His thinking has informed mine at every turn."  That's from Leland Krauth's _Proper Mark Twain_, but I find the equivalent in book after book, including in my own.  I don't know how Lou was able to serve as such a valued mentor to so many people, but today I'm glad to know that, over the years, we told Lou how much his advice, support, and friendship meant to us.  I'm struck in particular by Tom Quirk's acknowledgements in _Mark Twain and Human Nature_.  Quirk 
says he has so many debts to so many people that he can do no more than list those he owes by first name.  But while the rest get no more than brief mention, Quirk cites the full Lou Budd in two full sentences, the second of which reads, "There is and always will be only one Lou."   

I'll be drinking a toast to the one and only Lou tonight.