Friday, October 8, 2010

First Blog!

Welcome to the launch of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum Blog!

Hello, fellow Twainiacs.  Cindy Lovell here, saying hello and thanking you for stopping by the blog.  We have so much going on, it's hard to know where to start.

Last night I spent a great evening speaking to Twain fans at the Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, Missouri, and today I got to accompany a lovely tour group from POLIS at Quincy University out to Sam Clemens's birthplace in Florida, Missouri.  They'll be joining us here at the Museum Gallery in a bit to hear local Mark Twain impersonator Jim Waddell perform as America's Greatest Author.  While I was out today I missed a visit from friends in Oklahoma who come to the Museum every fall.  We did get to speak on the phone briefly, so that was nice.  They were generous in their praise for the changes that have occurred since their last visit.  For instance:

  • The "Rockwell Reunion" - We presently have on loan the missing whitewashing scene that Norman Rockwell had borrowed and then accidentally sold.  (Thank you, Farnsworth Art Museum, for helping us reunite these paintings!)
  • The new slavery exhibit in the Boyhood Home (a rug pallet indicating where Sandy likely slept)
  • The "whitewashing bucket" that allows visitors to pose for some really fun photos!
  • The completion of the exterior of the Becky Thatcher House, complete with its new (original) color, sort of a honey brown like the Lincoln home (thanks to computer analysis).
  • The new webcam mounted on the Becky Thatcher House so visitors can wave at loved ones glued to their computer screens somewhere.
The Mark Twain Young Authors wave at the webcam so parents at home can "see" their kids. The young authors won scholarships to spend a week in Sam Clemens's hometown to work on their writing skills.

That's the short list!  If you haven't been to visit us during this "Year of Mark Twain," now is a perfect time with the changing leaves.


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  3. Great job, Cindy! I can't wait to read more!

  4. I had to take the virtual tour for a school assignment since I didn't go on the field trip to the museum. The webcams would not load on the school computers but I read the descriptions of the different buildings and I thought it was very interesting. I love history and I would have loved to have actually gone on the trip to the museum.

  5. As a high school student, I love taking field trips. It's viewed as a day off, but my trip to Hannibal was very enlightening and I could actually appreciate the purpose of my day away from school. The historical, old school feel of the town was very nice and a nice change from Springfield. My quotation was "My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine -- everybody drinks water." This quotation means that everybody read his books, although he may not have been as intelligent as geniuses who write books. He was confident in his literature, but he had a reason to be as people openly loved to read his stories. Ultimately, I had a great time on my trip to Hannibal!

  6. The people of Hannibal have earned my thanks. On October 14th, a couple classmates and I conducted a survey about Mark Twain. The survey included one question asking if the participant was a Hannibal area resident and five questions related to Mark Twain. I was surprised by the amount of people who knew that "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" was Mark Twain's first published literary work. Thank you for your cooperation.

    Jesse Tinch

  7. Hi, my name is Chazla Johnson. I am a 12th grader AP literature student in Springfield Illinois at Southeast High School. I was told by my teacher to write a blog about my visit to Hannibal MO,. The first thing I thought about was the warm Carmel Popcorn that was given to me as a sample at the local popcorn store. When I first got there I said WOW Hannibal is really close to the Mississippi River. Then I soon notice the town was really small and cute. I felt like Hannibal MO, was somewhere close to home. I enjoyed sitting on the top of the hill by the park next to the river. Overall it was a nice and well welcomed trip to Hannibal MO,.

  8. I recently just visited Hannibal with my AP English class as well as German class. What a great town to visit! We came bearing signs with Mark Twain quotes on them while a few students dressed up as Twain and Huck Finn. I think it's great that there are still being new things added to the museum. I came away knowing more things about him and his life than when I started, so thank you!

  9. I'm a student from Southeast high school and was unable to attend the field trip Thursday. I was able to view the website and found it very informative about upcoming events and the history of the museum and Mark Twain.

    When I took the virtual tour it reminded me of when I went to the museum with my grandma when I was little. Reading about Mark Twain and Sam Clemmens made me want to go back.

    Taylor Walker
    Miss Paige - AP Literature

  10. Hello my name is Shelby Scott and I'm a senior at Springfield southeast high school. I recently visited your lovely town of Hannibal and had a great experience. I participated in a picket line and the quote I picked from Mark Twain was " A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can in no other way. The reason I used this quote was because I found it humorous. When the bus pulled into the town I was critical of the experience I would have, I left completely wrong and would love to visit again.

  11. To the moderators of the Mark Twin Museum website and blog -
    My name is Mary. This past Thursday my literature teacher, Ms. Paige of Springfield Southeast High School, took my AP literature class to Hannibal to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Mark Twain's death, along with the release of his autobiography. Sadly, due to lack of time, none of my classmates had the opportunity to take a tour through your museum. Ms. Paige has now asked us to reply on your blog as a homework assignment. One of the subjects we were to touch upon is our signs. We made signs for the event with quotes from Twain. My quote was "A person who won't read has no advantage over a person who can't." I chose this quote because I love reading, and think it to be the most valuable past time in the world. Not only is it an escape from every day reality, but it helps the reader grow in practical knowledge, vocabulary, and thinking in general. I am only the person I am today because of the books I have read. People who choose not to read, especially fiction, are missing out on a lot of information and inner growth. People who cannot read miss out, too, but they have no way to do so. Both will never have the experience of reading a book, so they are in every way equal. I think it is quite ignorant to choose not to read when one is able to. Thank you for taking the time to read my comment.

  12. Dear Mark Twain Museum and Hannibal MO,
    My AP literature class and I visited Hannibal on Thursday and had a wonderful time so I would like to thank you for your hospitality. My class were happy to celebrate the writer that was so influential in American literature.
    We celebrated this American icon by displaying quotes from Mark Twain, walking the streets he would have walked, and enjoying his hometown.
    The quote I chose to display was "Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." To me, this quote means that if one were to seek revenge or hold to a grudge, that the person seeking the revenge or holding the grudge would be more affected and more hurt than the one receiving the revenge or anger.
    Again thank you for your hospitality and for keeping the memory of the great writer alive.
    -Rachel Pasko

  13. The trip to twaintown was joyful.The place had a little house on the prarie feel.That hill over looking the ocean was INCREDIBLY relaxing. I would definitly go there to relieve stress or for a little date or what not. Most of the people I spoke with were kind but they did not speak of Mark Twain or the release of his autobiography.
    I did not survey the citizens but I did have a poster with a Mark Twain quote. It said, "A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval." I think it is similar to you can't love someone else without first loving yourself.Confidence is the key to self-acceptance.Once a person is sure of themselves what anyone else says is a fart in the wind.It leaves no scars or any second guesses of who you really are.You know so who cares what others think.
    monique mabry

  14. I recently took a field trip with my class mates to visit the town of Hannibal and I'm pretty sure I speak for everyone when I say it was a charming and educational experience. Some of us carried posters with Mark Twain quotes while others dressed as characters or did a survey. I carried a poster with the Mark Twain quote: "Don't go around the world saying it owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." It means that you shouldn't expect anything from the world because you have to get it yourself. I thought this quote expressed my views well and chose to carry it around. I would love to visit Hannibal again and see even more of the Mark Twain Museum.

  15. I can't wait until the next blog post!

  16. The trip to visit Mark Twain was fun and expecting. I thought the town would update twains old buildings and his sights, but i enjoyed the old buildings and seeing some of his old quotes on the side of buildings. Also, id like to say thanks to the people in the town for participating in our surveys, speeches,quotes,etc. I personally liked the peacefulness of the town. There were places were you could go and just sit and relax. I really enjoy the visit it would more than a pleasure to go and visit the museum and learn more about Mark Twain and the history. I would like to thank the people of Hannibal for being so generous.

  17. The trip to Hannibal for our AP English class was a ton of fun, I would personally like to thank the great citizens for being good sports about our mock protest. Myself and a couple of other students quoted Mark Twain characters and many people got a kick out of it. So I would like to personally thank the town of Hannibal for its support, comfort and great food.

    Gantt Nicholson

  18. It's great to see so many AP English students posting here! Next time you visit Hannibal, please look me up so we can "talk Twain!"