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Harold Bush <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 10 Aug 2009 10:09:18 -0400
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I second John's remarks:

Thanks to all the people at Elmira:  the President Tom on down to Barbara
and her staff, the folks in the cafeteria and dorms, everyone.

A few other notable highlights:

--Russell Bank's paper, meeting him and talking about his books, and also
meeting his wife, the poet Chase Twichell -- great-granddaughter of Joe
Twichell, wonderful raconteur by her own rights (and also Jamie-Leigh Curtis

--So many fine, eager graduate students --keep 'em coming, along with all
the international scholars.  First prize goes to those intrepid Japanese --
there must have been 8 or 9 from Japan alone; and several Germans--I wish I
had time to talk to all of 'em.  First prize for length of journey goes to
the lone Australian.

--Tim's wonderful work up at Quarry Farm, with all the new landscaping and
especially perennial flowers, many in bloom and very fragrant.  That has
really impressed me, I hope everyone noticed that.  What a jewel this place
is!  (ps -- I write this from the study up here-- eat your hearts out.  This
morning it's sunny and about 68 degrees, with a breeze -- I had coffee out
on the porch!!)

--Hal Holbrook's heartbreaking comments about meeting Nina, given at the top
of the hill after dark; also his poignant thanks delivered to us in the
final panel, in which Mark D. gave a bang-up presentation about Holbrook's
performances and their impact over -- yes, 60 years!!  I would estimate that
at least 30 or maybe 40 went up the hill this time for whatever we want to
call that ceremony-- the Tribute?  The Moment of Silence?  Though not so
silent -- we sang a number of heart-felt songs, including "Swing Low Sweet
Chariot" and "The Old Rugged Cross."

---Best thing of all-- seeing all the old friends again, hanging out,
singing wistful covers of old Beatles, Dylan, or Cat Stevens' tunes (John
refuses to do Rocky Top), and just remembering what a fine bunch of
miscreants make up this unique scholarly society, of which I'm glad to be a

Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
Saint Louis University