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JULES AUSTIN HOJNOWSKI <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 1 Oct 2010 14:28:09 -0400
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Please put me on a committee to volunteer to do whatever needed, as I had volunteered 9 years ago to help get one started. :)
And it did not get off the ground then.
Also if this is a "pilot" conference, I suggest that a theme would be Twain as a pilot, and river topics.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Twain Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Cindy Lovell
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2010 9:04 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Thoughts on Twain Conference in Hannibal?

Dear Forum Members,

We are all rightfully addicted to the excellent Twain conference held in El= mira every four years.  Barb Snedecor and her colleauges turn out a flawles= s, perfectly executed endeavor that bestows upon each of us unique and last= ing memories in a setting of kinship and camaraderie.  No one is a stranger=  in Elmira.  Many of you have contributed in terms of papers, presentations= , etc.; the collaboration is extensive and necessary.  And appreciated.

Henry Sweets and I have talked to a few of you in general terms - throwing = out feelers - about the museum hosting a Twain conference here in Hannibal = during the in-between years.  We've had enough positive feedback to take it=  to the next level: all of you here on the Mark Twain Forum.  We would in n= o way want to detract (or distract) from Elmira (knowing full well that is = simply not possible nor desirable) but would only like to provide a wee "fi x" to sustain us in between those long four year periods.  We also believe  that Hannibal (and nearby Florida) have much to offer in our own right in t= erms of Sam Clemens's story, and this would give Twain scholars a chance to  romp through the boyhood haunts.  We are now seeking your insights on the = possibility of hosting a conference here starting in August 2011.

A few points:
-Hannibal-LaGrange College can host us in terms of meeting rooms, dorms, et c.
-Tentatively thinking of August 11-13, 2011 (dates of availability of campu
s) - trying to stay ahead of the fall semester (back-up dates: July 28-30) -Could provide a menu of tours and activities (riverboat, cave lantern tour= s, Quarry Farm visit, behind the scenes museum tours, cemetery tours, Jacks= on's Island tour, etc.) -If greenlighted by the likes of you all, we'd need a small committee of volunteers to oversee a call for papers, etc.
-If no one sees a problem with this (let's hope you jump up and down and say, "Yes, this just might hold me over until we all get together again in El= mira in 2013!"), we would need to get started right away.
-We would need a theme (childhood? river? slavery? no theme needed?) -We could think of this as a "pilot" conference.  If we do it and the feedb= ack suggests we go no further, no harm done.  But we do feel compelled to p= resent Hannibal (and Florida) in an academic forum and believe this idea ha= s merit.
-We can't do it without you.

Some "FYI" highlights about the museum - This year we have:
-installed several new permanent exhibits (handmade rug pallet in the Boyho= od Home with panels discussing slavery in the Clemens household; period fur= niture in the reconstructed Blankenship home and panels discussing slavery;=
-launched a literary journal (The Village Pariah) inspired by Twain/Hanniba= l/"place" (Ron Powers graciously provided our introductory essay) Subscript= ions available!
-completed restorations of the exterior of the Laura Hawkins/Becky Thatcher=  home; moving indoors this winter to continue work -borrowed the "missing" Rockwell painting (whitewashing scene) for an exten= ded loan, so we now have all 16 under one roof=20 -recently hired African American storyteller Gladys Coggswell (author of St= ories from the Heart: Missouri's African America Heritage - U of Missouri P=
ress) to do storytelling at the museum (slave narratives, Mary Ann Cord's s= tory, etc.) -begun the historic preservation of the 1844 Van Swearingen house (a gift f= rom Martin Zehr) to sell next year as a benefit for the museum (Thank you, = Martin and Susan!) -completed our 4th series of teacher workshops and 3rd young authors worksh=
(If you're interested, young author stories:=20

We also learned recently we will receive the Governor's 2010 Humanites Awar= d in October, and recent visitors included Senator Claire McCaskill and Pri= nce Albert of Monaco.  Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley (O Brother, Where Art=
 Thou?) will perform here this Sunday; Ken Burns' pianist will perform on t= he Gabrilowitsch piano Oct. 28, and our CD tribute to Mark Twain is schedul= ed for release on Nov. 30 (Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley, Vin= ce Gill, Doyle Lawson, Carl Jackson, etc.). =20

Again, my main reason for this email was to ask for your ideas, thoughts an= d yes, blessings, to give this Hannibal conference a try, but I thought I'd=  go ahead and share some other information in case you haven't been to the = website - or Hannibal - lately.  We appreciate all of you and your efforts = in preserving the legacy of Sam Clemens, and we are proud to play a small r= ole as well.

It's been a great 2010 so far!  Here's hoping for an even better 2011.

Thank you,

Cindy Lovell, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum

120 N. Main St.
Hannibal MO 63401
Phone: 573-221-9010 ext. 402
Cell: 386-748-1256
Fax: 573-221-7975
Email: [log in to unmask]
Web site:

Have you signed our petition to designate 2010 as "The Year of Mark Twain" = yet?  Click here, sign, and pass it on!

"Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker wi= ll be sorry." ~Mark Twain