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PINE NUTS – Seeking a Ceasefire

August 8, 2023 | McAvoy Lane

Kathryn Kelly, founder, and executive director of Carson City’s I-School, brought a Russian family by for An Evening with Mark Twain, and I fell in love with them. So the following morning, hoping Nikolai might be willing to translate into Russian, I penned letters to Presidents Putin & Zelensky asking for an audience, and yes, Nikolai is in fact translating as we speak. I thought too, I had better check in with the DOJ and State Department to be sure I’m following protocol, should I actually receive that invitation…

Email Subject: Wanting to do the Right Thing

Dear friends at DOJ,

As a 35-year impressionist of Mark Twain, and about to retire, I thought I should reach out to Russia and Ukraine as a private citizen and goodwill ambassador. So, I composed the following letter to Presidents Putin & Zelensky…

Dear Presidents Putin & Zelensky,

As a private citizen, and 35-year impressionist of Mark Twain, I do hereby request an invitation to Moscow and Kiev, to abet the implementation of a ceasefire in Ukraine, and, the erecting of a Mark Twain statue in Odessa. My bags are packed with two roses, and two copies of The Innocents Abroad

It is with utmost sincerity and regard that I remain, Your friend in finding and maintaining peace,

McAvoy Layne


The Russian people love Mark Twain, as I found out years ago with a visit there to lecture at Leningrad University in Saint Petersburg. They even issued a domestic Twain postage stamp in 1960…

I feel a little like Don Quixote tilting at windmills, but if I do receive that invitation, I want to be sure I am following State Department and DOJ guidelines and protocol…

Please instruct…

Your friend in peace,

McAvoy Layne as Mark Twain

PS: A six-month ceasefire will not be used as a subterfuge to provide combatants an opportunity to better position themselves for a moment when hostilities might resume. No, this ceasefire will be predicated on producing a lasting truce to recognize the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, while protecting speech, religion, and press.

And, I shall remain eager to assist in the erection of a Mark Twain statue in Odessa once the ceasefire becomes a lasting truce… 

Audio: https://anchor.fm/mcavoy-layne

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