Shelley, you always have the right words…
Sadly, Hal Holbrook has been promoted to glory…
Mark Twain wrote in the rhythm of an American folk song.
Hal Holbrook tapped into that rhythm,
and reenacted that rhythm on the world stage.
I have to believe Hal might have been better on stage
than Sam himself.
Personally indebted to Mr. Holbrook, my flag is at half-staff.
Though an educator in a costume, and not an actor,
I shall attempt to honor my small roll in answering Hal's directive…
[image: Hal Holbrook.jpg]
May he rest in eternal peace…
On Wed, Feb 3, 2021 at 11:08 AM Shelley Fisher Fishkin <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> John, your students who had the chance to meet him were, indeed,
> incredibly fortunate; those who encountered him (and will encounter him in
> the future) via video were (and will be) fortunate, as well. A brilliant
> actor, and a truly extraordinary Mark Twain scholar, Hal Holbrook Z"L
> brought unparalleled insight and understanding to the author who became his
> guiding star. We are all so blessed that Mark Twain found Hal Holbrook and
> that Hal Holbrook found Mark Twain. Holbrook allowed Twain to speak to
> 20th-century and 21st-century audiences with humor and wit, to be sure, but
> with dazzling eloquence and power, as well. No other author has had such a
> kindred spirit shape his legacy in such remarkable ways during the century
> after his death. My heart goes out to his family. It was a privilege to be
> his friend. May his memory be a blessing--and an inspiration. An
> inspiration to all of us to continue Twain's - and Holbrook's project of
> "the deriding of shams, the exposure of pretentious falsities, the laughing
> of stupid superstitions out of existence" -- and remembering "that whoso is
> by instinct engaged in this sort of warfare is the natural enemy of
> royalties, nobilities, privileges and all kindred swindles, and the natural
> friend of human rights and human liberties." That's how Twain put it when
> he got an honorary degree from Yale. Those are the values that animated the
> Twain that Holbrook gave us for more than six decades. The gratitude that
> overwhelms me as a I think about this helps soothe some of the sadness I
> feel at the thought that he is gone.
> Shelley Fisher Fishkin
> Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities; Professor of English, and
> Director of American Studies, Stanford University
> Mail: Department of English, Bldg. 460, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford
> University, Stanford, CA 94305-2087
> On Feb 2, 2021, at 5:39 AM, John R. Pascal <[log in to unmask]<mailto:
> [log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> Thank God six classes of The Writings of Mark Twain got to know him. One
> class got to meet him.
> Future classes will continue to study and appreciate him.
> John R. Pascal, M.B.A., M.A.
> Teacher of 9th, 11th Grade English Honors, & The Writings of Mark Twain
> Seton Hall Preparatory School
> Contributing Author to Mark Twain and Youth
Email: [log in to unmask]
"Always do right, this will gratify some
and astonish the rest." -Mark Twain