Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 56

RM | NEIGHBORS

Becoming Twain
Richard Garey brings Missouri legend to life

A

by Heather Berry | hberry@ruralmissouri.coop

Hannibal's Own Twain
Planters Barn Theater is one of the places you can find
Richard Garey sauntering across the worn stage floor
sk people to name a few famous Show-Me State
as Mark Twain. In his white linen suit, hands gripping
towns and the list will vary, but the river town
the jacket lapels, Richard reproduces his second self
of Hannibal is likely to be mentioned. Ask them
completely in both voice and manner.
"Why Hannibal?" and you'll probably get "Mark
"I loved Samuel's 'Innocents Abroad,' but I think he
Twain" as a reply.
hit his high notes with Huck Finn," says Richard. "It's
Tennessee-born Richard Garey was traveling with his
absolutely magnificent. In my opinion, that book alone
wife, Patricia, when the couple found themselves in the
would have likely secured his place in classic literature."
town. A local asked Richard if, "anyone had ever told him
he looked like Mark Twain?" He explained he had been perVisitors who come to see Mark Twain's Hannibal usually
forming as Twain for years and thanked the lady for noticstop in to see Richard's show at the Planters Barn Theater.
ing he was the modern-day persona of the famous author.
He recalls a group of 60 or so Chinese tourists who stopped
by while touring the town. "They didn't know English, so
"That led me from Chicago back to Hannibal to perform
they didn't stay for the show, but they wanted pictures with
at the Mark Twain Hotel around 2003," recalls Richard.
Mark Twain," Richard says, smiling. "One man was excitedly
"While here, this theater came up on the market. It had
talking to the translator. She said he had grown up on the
been vacant for 12 years and was a mess. I could see
Yangtze River in China and played Tom Sawyer back home."
potential, so we bought it and moved here."
For the next decade the couple worked on the building,
Richard remembers strolling downtown in his Twain
turning it into living quarters and a small theater where
finery one day when someone behind him and said, "I've
Richard could perform for guests as Mark Twain.
always wanted to meet Twain."
"I shook his hand and welcomed him to town," recalls
Clemens evolves to Twain
Richard. "I later found out he was Prince Albert of
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark
Monaco, the son of Grace Kelly.
Twain, was born in 1835 in Florida, Mis"I don't think people realize how popular Mark
Hannibal
souri, approximately 40 miles southwest of
Twain is around the world," he adds, noting two
actors from "Lord of the Rings" came to his show
Hannibal. His family moved to Hannibal where
a young Samuel began his adventure-filled childone evening. "Not everyone can say they've perhood, much of which became fodder for many of
formed for hobbits."
his books later in life, including "Life on the MisDuring the winter, Richard often takes his
show on the road. When spring arrives, the
sissippi," "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and
actor can be found at Planters Barn Theater
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" to name a
few of the 28 popular books penned by the author.
performing or greeting visitors in town.
This year will be the 18th season for the theater, wrapHis father died when Samuel was only 11. To keep her
ping up in December when Richard and fellow actor, Clark
son occupied, Samuel's mother, Jane, had him go to work
Cruikshank, perform "On the Seventh Day of Christmas."
for the local newspaper, Missouri Courier (now the Hannibal
The show portrays a visit between Charles Dickens and
Courier-Post), as a printer's devil (apprentice) to the editor,
Samuel Clemens during the Christmas of 1867 as they
Joseph Ament. In 1851 he became a typesetter and editorang in the new year together.
rial assistant for his brother's paper, Western Union, where
his first known sketch, "A Gallant Fireman" was published.
Richard also has penned a book of poetry titled
"Hannibal At The Door," 100 poems reflecting life in
In 1853 Samuel left Hannibal to work a series of
the town during the 1800s, and he's busy wrapping
typesetting jobs for the next year in St. Louis, New York
up final edits of a novel base on the last summer of
City and Philadelphia. Returning to the Midwest, Samuel
Samuel Clemens life.
worked for his brother at the Keokuk Journal before returning to Hannibal to become a riverboat pilot. The career
"I think Mark Twain represents the uniqueness of
went well until the Civil War in 1861 when commercial
American humor. Storytelling was an art back in his day,"
traffic on the Mississippi River halted. After a short stint
Richard says. "I'm grateful to share that with Twain fans
with the Marian Rangers, a group of Confederate volunaround the world."
teers, Samuel eventually began working as a reporter
under the pen name Mark Twain.
Planters Barn Theater is located at 319 N. Main St. in
"Mark Twain is from the riverboat term for a 12-foot
Hannibal. For more information, call Planters Barn Theater
mark meaning 'measure,' and twain meaning 'two,' " says
at 573-231-0021, email plantersbarn@yahoo.com or follow
Richard. "He used the pseudonym 'til his death in 1910."
the theater on Facebook.

56

RURAL MISSOURI | MARCH 2020



Rural Missouri - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 9
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 10
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 11
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 12
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 13
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 14
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 15
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 16
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 17
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 18
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 19
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 20
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 21
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 22
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 23
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 24
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 25
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 26
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 27
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 28
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 29
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 30
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 31
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 32
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 33
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 34
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 35
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 36
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 37
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 38
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 39
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 40
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 41
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 42
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 43
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 44
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 45
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 46
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 47
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 48
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 49
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 50
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 51
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 52
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 53
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 54
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 55
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 56
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 57
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 58
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/videotest
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201010
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com