Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hal Holbrook speaking at conference

Patrick Ober sent me this recording (along with the pictures above) of Mr. Holbrook speaking following Mark Dawidziak's talk: "Mark Twain Tonight!, Today and Tomorrow: The Impact and Importance of Hal Holbrook's One-Man Show."  

I couldn't figure out how to post audio along, so I posted the below video of the beautiful Elmira College campus with Mr. Holbrook speaking.

Audio thanks to Patrick Ober.
Video--Tracy Wuster

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hal Holbrook at Quarry Farm

Joe Csicsila lighting Hal Holbrook's Cigar.
There are moments in one's life that you know you will tell stories about for years--maybe 5 or 10 or even 20--but there are few stories you know, at the time, that you will tell for the rest of your life.  For those of us who walked up the hill at Quarry Farm to the spot of Mark Twain's study to smoke cigars, to sing songs, and to listen to Hal Holbrook tell stories, there is no doubt of the fact.

A heck of a time, then, to test out the video function of my new camera.  I wasn't even sure it recorded in sound... but it did and in pretty good sound, too.  Since a number of people couldn't hear Hal speak, or were on the porch playing music, I have posted the below clips of his story of meeting Clara (and Isabel Lyon).  I stopped recording as he described his heartbreaking meeting with Nina, which seems fitting in retrospect.  I hope you enjoy. 

I have decided not to make a transcript of the conversation.  As Twain once said, a written report of a speech conveys nothing of the living essence of the speech and no more conveys“that lecture to the reader than a person represents a man to you when he ships you the corpse.”[1] 

[1] Quoted in Lorch, 106.

Please scroll down and start with Part 1.  

Part 3--"Clara was so dear to me, very sweet..."

Part 3 of Hal Holbrook--his meeting with Clara continued and a mention of Isabel Lyon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Holbrook #2--"I don't know if it would book very well"

Part 2 of Hal Holbrook's story of meeting Clara. Her recommendations for his theatrical future.

Part 1--So watch out!

Video of Hal Holbrook speaking at the site of the Mark Twain Study at Quarry Farm, Elmira, New York.  Part 1 of his story of meeting Clara.

(The video is pitch black, except for moments of illumination in which Mr. Holbrook and some eminent Twain scholars may be seen through the momentary lightning of the camera flash.)

A few pictures from Elmira.

     Twain and Livy


     Twain's Study

Quarry Farm

Tracy Wuster, Hal Holbrook, Bezal Stern

Above photos by Tracy Wuster; Below by Patrick Ober