Archive for November 4th, 2009

mark twain on steps at quarry farmWhen I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.

Mark Twain

I sometimes go to quote pages on the net just to read Mark Twain quotes when I need a laugh.  Always been a big fan of his work and his humor.  It was pretty easy because he has a large presence in the area in which I live.  Twain spent many summers here after marrying Olivia Langdon, from a well-respected Elmira family and was buried here after his death in 1910.  The Twains divided their year between their home in Hartford, Connecticut and their summer home here at Quarry Farm, which sat on the side of a hill overlooking the valley in which the city sits.

quarry farm studyIn his study at Quarry Farm, which has been moved to the campus of Elmira College, Twain spent his summer days writing many of his classics.  The family of my grandfather lived at the very base of the hill on which Quarry Farm is located and as a kid I wondered if my grandfather ever saw Twain as he ambled down the hill into the city.  My grandfather at that time was a stagehand at the Majestic Theatre, one of the numerous theaters that once graced Elmira and Twain was a frequent guest to establishments in that vicinity.  Perhaps they nodded hellos on the street.  I could certainly imagine it, whether it happened or not, as Twain says above.

I know that’s a small and inconsequential bond, but it brought the person much closer to a reality when I was younger, made his words seem that much closer to my own existence rather than words in an old library book.  I am gratified that this vague connection is with someone whose words and humor still resonate with people today.

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