Mark Twain’s Autobiography To Be Published


The literary world and just plain ‘ole folk like me who like great writing and a great wit were all atwitter today with the news that Mark Twain’s autobiography was being published.

According to Yahoo News, “Beloved American novelist and satirist Mark Twain left behind a 5,000-page unedited memoir when he died in 1910. He also left firm instructions that it was not to be published for 100 years.”

Volume one, of three, will hit bookshelves in November. Halleluiah and the saints be praised!!!!! I know what I will be reading this winter.

CBS News called Twain, “The most celebrated American author and humorist of all time…”  CBS goes on to say that with the publication of his autobiography Twain, “has assured his place in the 21st century.”

Why did he specify his memoirs and autobiography be published 100 years after his death? Many speculate it is because he had harsh words about a girlfriend, as well as about President Teddy Roosevelt among others.

I loved Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when I was growing up. The world of the Mississippi River was far removed from my land-locked Midwest roots. The Miami River in my hometown was not nearly as exciting as the Mississippi. I was taken with this runaway’s adventures riding a raft down the mighty Mississippi with the runaway slave, Jim.

One of the most memorable nights of my life was going to see Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight! According to Wikipedia, in this show Holbrook, “depicts Mark Twain giving a dramatic recitation selected from several of (Twain’s) writings, with an emphasis on the comic ones. However, a lengthy excerpt from The Adventures of Hickleberry Finn is always included.” It was a GREAT show and a great night of American theater I shall never forget.


Following are some of myfavorite Mark Twain quotes, and following those is a video of a movie of this giant of American writing filmed by one of the giants of American science and invention, Thomas Edison. What a find. I LOVE THE INTERNET!!! This has to be one of the earliest moving pictures ever. There is no sound.


Fewer things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.

I was born modest; not all over, but in spots.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.

It is better to deserve honours and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.

The Creator made Italy with designs by Michelangelo.

I can live for two months on a good compliment.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.



Featured Recipe       Sweet and Sour Ribs

In preparation for the Memorial Day Weekend our recipe today is Sweet and Sour Ribs.

I love BBQ. You just dump everything into a bowl, mix it up, and pour it on your meat and let the oven or grill do its thing. So easy!!!!

I have roasted the ribs in the oven and I have cooked them on a grill with this BBQ sauce. They are wonderful either way. Today I am roasting them in the oven.

This recipe comes from Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two Cookbook, Golden Press, 1976. There is a newer edition of the book but I do not know if this recipe is still in that book.

As always, I made a few minor adjustments. One, the recipe calls for celery seeds. I did not care for that taste in this sauce so I omit it. It also calls for ½ teaspoon chili powder; I use a heaping ¼ teaspoon. The recipe also calls for 2 to 3 drops of red pepper sauce which I omit entirely. As with any recipe adjust it to your tastes.

Although the recipe does suggest adding lemon slices on top of the ribs the last hour or so of baking, I also drizzle fresh lemon juice over the ribs before roasting and before adding any sauce. My mother always did this. So I do too.

This  is what you need for 2 people:

2 pounds pork or back rib spareribs

½ cup catsup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ cup vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

¼ to ½ teaspoon chili powder

Dash of pepper

1 lemon

Here is what you do:

Mix all ingredients except the ribs and the lemon together in a bowl.

Place the ribs meaty side up on a rack in a foil-lined shallow roasting pan. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the ribs.

Pour about 1/3 cup of the sauce on the ribs.

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour and fifteen minutes or until done.

Baste the ribs 3 or 4 times during the roasting. Reserve some of the sauce for serving with the cooked ribs.

While the ribs are roasting slice the remaining lemon. On the third basting place the lemon slices on the ribs and put back into the oven until the ribs are done.

When the ribs are cooked remove from the oven and tent with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute. Then place the ribs on a platter ready to serve.

OK. The ribs are ready. Who brought the potato salad? Who brought the corn? I’m ready to eat!!!

Bon appétit!!!


2 pounds pork or back rib spareribs           $3.58 (on sale $1.79 lb.)
½ cup catsup                                          $0.44
2 tablespoons brown sugar                       $0.09
¼ cup vinegar                                         $0.44
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce          $0.24
¼ to ½ teaspoon chili powder                  $0.82
1 lemon                                                  $0.33
Dash of pepper

Total cost = $5.94
Cost per person = $2.97

One of the nice things about a BBQ or a picnic is if everyone brings one dish no one has to spend too much money for a day of fun with family and/or friends.

Quote of the Day

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain


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