Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 56
RM | NEIGHBORS
Richard Garey brings Missouri legend to life
by Heather Berry | firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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 email@example.com or follow
Richard. "He used the pseudonym 'til his death in 1910."
the theater on Facebook.
RURAL MISSOURI | MARCH 2020
Rural Missouri - March 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2020
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