Tahoe Pine Nuts: One thing this congress could get together on | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Pine Nuts: One thing this congress could get together on

McAvoy Layne
Pine Nuts

Guess what I received in the mail the other day? No, it's not a 2016 Calaveras Jumping Frog Calendar, but good guess.

I received my 2016 Mark Twain Commemorative Five Dollar Gold Piece! Yes, eat your heart out. You can find me at the post office all day today showing it off. I might get arrested for loitering but I don't care.

This Mark Twain Commemorative Coin was the one and only thing our 114th congress could agree on. That fact alone makes this coin a collector's item.

I paid a paltry $369 for it, and when my son inherits it, which could be as early as tomorrow if I continue to slip on the ice, it should be worth its weight in gold.

Once I have exhausted the greater population of Lake Tahoe in showing off my new gold Mark Twain watch fob, I intend to take it on tour to Carson City, Virginia City, and Angels Camp.

It was in Angels Camp that Mark Twain made the leap from journalism to literature with his story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."

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They will be stupefied and amazed when they see my new watch fob in Angels Camp. I might decamp there for a week and never have to buy a drink.

I did get to host the Frog Jump there a few years ago, and never had so much fun in a white suit. Among other notable honors, I got to judge the liar's contest, which if my memory serves me, was won by the editor of the Calaveras Enterprise, Dana Nichols, who will tell you a lie for a dollar when he could get $1.50 for telling you the truth.

Fact is, you cannot squeeze the truth of out Dana with a cider press, but he is delightful company.

Memories of hosting that frog jump still make me smile. There were quite a few motorcyclists in the camp and they all wanted a picture with Mark Twain, which I was happy to oblige, being in costume at the time.

So today I'm working up a sequel to "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," and I shall call it, "The Celebrated Jumping Hog of Calaveras County."

I know, the pun is the saddest evidence of intellectual poverty; it's enough to make you want to renounce joking and lead a better life. In Hawaii if a man tells a bad joke they kill him (1866). I don't know this firsthand for I never lectured in Hawaii.

I suppose if I had, I would not have been lecturing in Angels Camp.

But getting back to the coin, there's another one on the way. Yes, on the 27th of January or thereabouts, our national mint will release a Mark Twain Commemorative Silver Dollar, and I intend to procure three of those for the grandkids, which shall put me back at the post office again, showing them off, not the grandkids, but the Mark Twain Commemorative Silver Dollar. Wow. I never felt so rich.

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