Tom and everyone--
This is very sad news. I go back a long time with Lou--personally and
professionally. Years ago, I was Book Review Editor for the Mark Twain
Journal, while Cyril Clemens was still editing it. Lou reviewed a book
for the Journal--one of the editions from the MT Project. I remember our
discussions about the deadline, length, etc. vividly. I learned a lot
from him then and I continued to do so all along since.
The last event at Elmira was a couple months ago, the Symposium on MT and
traveling and travel writing which I chaired. Lou agreed to be the
keynote speaker. I tried everything I could think of to get him to
attend, but he said No--he had moved west from Durham the previous
October, and he said he would not return east again.
About a year ago, when I was in Tucson for Christmas, I drove down to
Patagonia (maybe an hour's drive, almost on the U.S.-Mexican border) to
visit him and meet his son David, to get started on the videographing
process. We had a fine time together--concluded by a stroll around
Patagonia, which took about 15 minutes. He didn't point out the library
then, but in recent emails he has mentioned his pride in the Patagonia
library and his interest in strengthening it and the culture of Patagonia
along with it.
So he made a DVD of his keynote address and sent that to me in late summer
'10 in time for the Symposium. At the Symposium, he was on the big screen
to give the address, then we skyped him for a Q&A. He was vigorous and
full of spirit and laughter. The DVD is at the MT Center at Elmira, in
the MT collection at the library. His final contribution to MT
scholarship it seems, both in word and in person (virtually).
We plan to follow-up the Symposium with a volume on MT and traveling and
travel writing, with a special emphasis on Twain's final travel book,
Following the Equator, which was one of the books we focused on in the
Symposium. Lou sent me the handwritten MS of his address, which I'm in
the process of transcribing. The MS itself will eventually go to the MT
library at Elmira, too. To help me transcribe accurately his
heavily-revised MS, he sent his personal DVD copy of the address, to be
returned to him when I was finished. That, too, will go to the Elmira
library, unless David wants it.
My agreement with him a few weeks ago was that we'd work together on
preparing his Symposium address for the volume. He wrote me then that
maybe he'd have to pass on that--that he'd leave that to me. And then he
explained, briefly of course, his congestive heart condition. He said
that his brain was fine but his body was not at all well. He joked about
the comment about his brain--of course his brain would say that about
It's sad to write this little memorial about our final work together.
From: "Quirk, Thomas V." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: 01/01/2011 02:02 PM
Subject: Louis J. Budd, 1922-2010
Sent by: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
I am sorry to report that Louis Budd died in his sleep on Monday, December
20th. In accordance with Lou's wishes, there will be no memorial service.
As some of you may know, Lou lived the last several months next door to
son and his family in Patagonia, Arizona. According to his son," if you
communicate with folks who wish to memorialize in some concrete way, his
favorite cause had become the local library. Any checks would be made
payable to Friends of the Library, at mailing address Patagonia Public
Library, PO Box 415, Patagonia, AZ, 85624. They do have a website, which