02 Jan

"Mark Twain!"

I have decided to read classics this new year.  I jumped the gun with "Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn", and haven't enjoyed same in years.  Twain's language causes us moderns problems, but literature is meant to entertain and we're just too darn sensitive to appreciate that fact.  We shudder at the "n" word and that's positive, but realistically, and unfortunately, it was part of history.  But, wait, we don't want history we want 'social studies'.  I forget.  Now, back to my story.....aside from the tacky talk, Twain spins a yarn that lives as it jumps right off the page.  I am old enough to recall the very things Tom and Huck get into myself.  Back in the dark ages, our imagination was the only visible adventure we had.  We were all types of people, different every day.  I never spent much time flying skull and crossbones, but sure did "gallop" the range with my trusty Gene Autry or Roy Rogers cowboy hat and six-shooter!  For a period of time, I had a 'cross-the-street' neighbor, Tracy Traylor, with whom I 'rode the range'.  He had a Gene Autry hat, holster and pistol and I had Roy's.  We would exchange daily and win the lady and save the town. We must have wasted a mile or two of "caps".  Today, youngsters play with lasers and paintball.  Our "Gunfights" featured wooden firearms with rubber bands cut from inner tubes. I will never forget my first Red Ryder BB-gun and later, the dangerous 'pellet' gun.(it made me very uncomfortable)

But, now, I appreciate Hillsdale University and their classics series.  It's good to "get back" home again. With all the 'realism' today, there isn't much need for 'make believe' anymore. "Virtual" has made "let's pretend" unnecessary and that's a shame. 

When do you suppose there will be no more printed materials available?  We can carry the whole international library in our phone.  I don't, since my fingers don't fit the tiny keyboard.  I've never had the where-with-all to afford one of these "EyePhones" and with eyesight gradually dimming, well, thank God for Kindle and iPads.  You read any really good books lately?  Have you ever thought about the fact that without riverboats, we may never have had a "Mark Twain"?  

And that's what I get from My Box of Chocolates right here in my corner studio under the shadow of Kyle Field.


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