Tahoe Pine Nuts: As it turns out, Einstein was right | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Pine Nuts: As it turns out, Einstein was right

Time is mercurial. Last weekend I met the incomparable Kathy Collins of Maui for the first time in 35 years and we presented “Mark Twain’s Hawaii” together live and unrehearsed in Genoa and Incline Village. If time can be warped as Einstein suggested, I’m here to testify that Einstein was right.

Kathy was news anchor at KMVI while I was messing up the morning show on Maui away back in the 70’s, when we would lampoon various Island personalities, live and unrehearsed. So I had full confidence that we could do it again as Mark Twain of 1866, and Island Tita of 2016. It would be Tita’s job to drag Mark Twain into the 21st century…

Twain: “The price of land on the Island of Maui in 1866 was one dollar to $150 per acre.”

Tita: “Today, $150 can get you one bag of sand. A small bag.”

Our reunion was as if 35 years of water had never passed beneath the bridge, and we are encouraged to take “Twain Meets Tita” to Maui in May. About the preponderance of humor in that program we can talk later…

On Tuesday I attended Dr. Glass’s historical book club meeting to discuss Jason Goodwin’s book, Lords of the Horizons, a history of the Ottoman Empire, which to my mind should be subtitled, Here’s To You And The Horse You Rode In On.

The book demonstrated, as our leader Dr. Wayne Glass explained, how history is not merely comprised of events, but has a grand sweep and arc that is compelling when observed from afar. I only wish I had had Wayne as a professor when I was in college.

A Mark Twain parable to Goodwin’s book can be found in Letters From the Earth…

“Among my experiments was this: in an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves; finally a monkey. They lived together in peace, even affectionately.

Then, in another cage, I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame, I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China, and finally a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of higher animals was all right; in the other was but a chaos of turbans and fezzes and plaids -not a specimen left alive. These reasoning animals disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.”

In closing, to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Mark Twain’s visit to Hawaii, I would like to invite you to Maui in May for “Twain Meets Tita,” and to witness the sunrise from the summit of Haleakala, which Twain described as “…the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed, through the bottom of a tumbler.”

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at http://www.ghostoftwain.com.

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