Mark Twain, ghost here --
On this day in 1910 I died, aged seventy-four.
Despite an undercurrent of doubts and dark thoughts, I swept along through my last years as the Mississippi to the sea:
guests to my seventieth birthday banquet took home my foot-high bust -- seeing as how I couldn't figure on any gift to them better than myself!
New York City pedestrians and English royalty lined up to meet me as I walked the streets, amusing Lady Meilori to no end.
Thousands filed past my casket to see me in my last white suit — "as much an enigma and prodigy to himself," says one of my biographers, "as he was to them."
Excepting that t'wern't me in that casket. I was in the heart of Hailey's Comet. But that story is for another time, children.
In 753 B.C. those rascal twins, Romulus and Remus, founded the city of Rome in the hollow where they had been suckled as orphaned babes by a she-wolf.
And it has been my experience, folks, that ever since that time every mother thereafter has been a she-wolf in some form or fashion!
In 1918 on this date, that devil German flying Ace, Manfred von Richthofen -- you pilgrims might know him as the Red Baron --
was killed by ground fire as he pursued a British plane deep behind Allied lines.
Again history got it wrong.
Old Captain Sam did the fella in as he flat swore that devil would not get his 81st kill.
Again that is a story for a time when I have my words fired up in Hell a mite more.
The ghost of John Mortimer just walked by, reminding me to tell Roland
that the shelf life of the modern hardback writer is somewhere between the milk and the yogurt!
Old John was born on this day in 1923.
The ghost of that blow-hard, Hemingway, is crowing all over the Shadowlands
that he wrote to his Scribner’s editor, Maxwell Perkins, from Cuba on this day in 1940 to wonder, "How about this for a title — For Whom The Bell Tolls."
Hemingway went on to quote the full John Donne passage and to say that, of the thirty titles he had tried out while writing the novel, "this is the first one that has made the bell toll for me."
One day I swear I will toll his bell for him.
On this date in 1954, young Elvis hit #1 on the Billboard charts for the first time with HEARTBREAK HOTEL.
And sadly, his whole life might rightly be called that.
But then, every man has his follies, and sometimes they are the most interesting things he's got, don't you know?
I have come to Roland's rescue for the WEP's April Fools post here:
Since Roland has gone all alphabetical with us authors all of a sudden --
Today's Author Letter is R ... for Rousseau, whose ghostly guest post you can read on the 24th.
“What wisdom can you find greater than kindness.”
― Jean-Jacques Rousseau