Meet a fine fellow named George who is an aviation enthusiast, a fan of Springfield poet Vachel Lindsay (in whose home I photographed him during a visit to Springfield in 2008) and a friend o’ mine. He is also a jewel who shines when he dons a special suit. In that suit, he was among those specially invited to the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in emancipated downtown Springfield before I met him.
George Scott was a successful engineer and business owner before his unique looks and consuming appreciation of Sam Clemens a/k/a Mark Twain led him to pursue a career as a portrayer of the great author whose birthday we celebrate November 30. So where might a Twain portrayer go to maximize his success in that role? If you, as I, guessed HANNIBAL, MISSOURI, you, as I, guessed incorrectly.
True, George and his good wife moved to Hannibal years ago, and to hear him tell the tale, he soon became conspicuous in his proclivity to inspire cold shoulders and hostility from the politicians and intelligentsia of that river city. When he sashays around the center of the hamlet, attracting attention, smiles and great affection from tourists, the city fathers react as though to a cocaine dealer setting up a kiosk next to the courthouse square. No kidding; he has been threatened repeatedly with arrest. He speaks to civic groups and school kids in locales that surround Hannibal. He is a friend of authors of books about Twain, including Ron Powers who wrote an excellent book about the history of Hannibal and the best biography of Twain I have read (and thoroughly enjoyed). The rising rancour from officials in George Scott and family’s residential home of choice has finally succeeded in its goal of convincing him to “get out of Dodge.” He is looking to move closer to Branson, Missouri, a city which seems more hospitable, based on his experiences visiting the city in recent years.
I have seen George/Mark engaging people surprised and delighted to encounter this historic icon in Springfield and want to see him more frequently in this part of the world. If you want to learn more about engaging him at your party or special event . . . or even theater, I recommend you contact him via e at . . . firstname.lastname@example.org and mention you read about him at Honey & Quinine.
Live long . . . . and proper.