Let’s Talk About….Samuel Clemons/Mark Twain: One Great American

(Sign on lamp post in downtown Hannibal; it reads:  “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” )

It was a really, really windy day when our cruise ship ported at Hannibal, Illinois. I put on every jacket and shirt  I had and out I went………could not miss the opportunity to visit Mark Twain. 

I enjoyed the Mark Twain museums (there were two), touring the Thatcher home and just trying to “feel” being there. 

I shall not go into his biography for I’m guessing that’s pretty well known. One of his favorite homilies was that he was born in 1835 when Halley’s Comet could be seen and held onto life until 1910 so he could go out with it.

His personal life was a rather sad affair.  He married Olivia Langdon, who died six years before him. Their first child, Landon Clemons, died at age one. Their first daughter, Olivia Susan, died at age 23. Next child was Jane who passed the year before her father. Only Clara was left, living to 1962. Her daughter, Nina, never married, so Samuel Clemons has no direct descendants.

I never had read any of his books (yes, where have I been all my life?) so bought a book containing five of his best known stories. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was a revolutionary book that still holds much relevance today. The powerful friendship of young Huck and runaway slave Jim highlighted many of the great racial injustices of the past and has astounded generations of readers the world over. It was a darn good read.

Gotta love some of his quotes:

“Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.”

“When in doubt‚ tell the truth.”

“If you tell truth you don’t have to remember anything.”