Thursday, September 25, 2008

Field Trip #2

The other week, G and I headed down south to see Mark Twain's house. All the way south to - Hartford, CT. HARTFORD, CT?! You say? Yes, Hartford, CT. Odd to think that the man who made a name for himself writing about steamboats and the Mississippi lived in Hartford. While I am sure the landscape was much different back in the day, currently Mr. Twain lives around the corner from a Rent-A-Center and a Domino's Pizza. The house that Samuel Clemens once called home is now a museum honoring the famous author.

Here are some Mark Twain Fun Facts:

-Mark Twain had one of the first working telephones in the state of Connecticut. Alexander Graham Bell himself installed the phone. (Somehow, that feels like a Yo Momma joke...)

-The service on the phone was so bad, that Twain would note the quality of the connection and at the end of the month would inform the phone company that he only intended to pay for the amount of service that actually worked.

-Twain slept backwards on his bed. (His feet towards the head of the bed.)

-Twain had the railings of each floor shortened, so that when looking down from the 3rd floor, the house looked much bigger. (I'm sure that was really safe for his young children running about.)

-His wife didn't allow Samuel to take on the persona of Mark Twain in the house.

-The interior of the house was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. He was the son of Tiffany & Co founder Louis Comfort Tiffany.

-Twain tried on a number of occasions to find the right space to write. (Who can't relate to that?) He had an office all over the house, moved to an office downtown and ultimately put a desk in the corner of the pool room on the top floor. It was there that he wrote many of the works that he is famous for.

And you can stand in that very room - if you visit the museum. Which could probably use the support. As Mark Twain made some bad investments in his lifetime, the museum has befallen the same fate. It expanded and is having trouble keeping up with the bills. Learn about that brouhaha on NPR.



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