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Mark Twain Days

April 26, 2024 | McAvoy Lane

We’re Back…bigger and better than ever! Please welcome the Second Annual Mark Twain Days, May 10, 11 & 12. For a listing of events take a gander at… www.visitcarsoncity.com/mark-twain-days/

You will find something of interest or my name’s not Mark Twain, or used to be anyways. And this year Virginia City is joining in on the fun. Wow!

The driving force behind last year’s Inaugural MTD, my hero, Debra Soule, has handed the reins to Nevada Arts & Culture Program Manager, Eric Brooks, and the BAC’s Valerie Moore. You might want to pass along this year’s MTD mementoes to your grandkids, as they will be worth their weight in gold come 2124.

Last year everybody sported a mustache, even the ladies. This photo captured many of us in time…

When I returned home from last year’s extravaganza I slept face down in my white suit for twelve hours…

So what might Mark Twain have to say?

“At last we disembarked in the Silver-Land, Nevada. This was in August of 1861, and back then, Carson City was the most uninhabitable place on earth.  Nothing grew there; even the birds when they flew over, carried their own provisions. But we climbed into the foothills and looked back on Carson City nestled in that flat sandy desert, and surrounded by such prodigious mountains that they seemed to expand your soul, until you felt yourself spreading into a colossus, and in that instant, you were seized with a burning desire to stretch forth your hand, put Carson in your pocket, and walk off with it.”

Somewhat retired now, I hope to visit as many events as possible to shake a few hands, slap a few backs, and thank everybody I can for honoring the Father of America’s Literature, who took his pen name right there in Carson City. That pen name would appear the next day in Virginia City’s Territorial Enterprise as the byline, Mark Twain.

“The publisher of the Enterprise, Joe Goodman told me when I hired on, ‘Sam you have but one responsibility here. Get your facts straight. Then you can distort them as much as you like.’ I learned in Virginia City, a good lie can travel twice around the globe before the truth gets its boots on. But our little ‘quaints’ were obvious sagebrush humor, and Nevada was built on tall tales. We had three kinds of stories back then, ‘Stretchers,’ that stretched the truth beyond the horizon of fact, ‘Lifters,’ that actually lifted the furniture, and ‘Powder Burners. Here lately I’ve stopped lying all together since the amateurs have taken over the field.” 

So young and old, let us get out and celebrate the fact that America’s best loved author got his start in the Great State of Nevada. And should you see this old Codger wandering aimlessly around the grounds, do take a picture with him and pass it along to your grandkids. It might be worth an extra scoop of ice-cream come 2124… 

Audio: https://open.spotify.com/show/7Fhv4PrH1UuwlhbnTT23zO

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