Supporting Community Through Reading
Virginia Yerxa Community Read
“Just because you’re taught that something’s right and everyone believes it’s right, it don’t make it right.” ~ Mark Twain
“The Virginia Read was as noble an endeavor to incite a community to read good books as we have encountered, and we hope to be invited back after you have hosted Bret Harte, Jane Austin and others…” - McAvoy & Rebecca Lane
Our 2010 selection, and first Virginia Read, was Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Readers enjoyed a community-wide celebration with a variety of events throughout the day, ending with, "An Evening with Mark Twain" at the historic Colusa Community Theatre.
For more detailed coverage, look for our 2010 Album on Facebook.
During the picnic on Saturday, May 22, 2010 there was a special exhibit in China Town from the Sacramento Valley Museum. Museum director Kathy Manor and public historian Emily Conrado presented “Colusa County in the Time of Mark Twain.” The exhibit was at 735 Main Street.
Banjo-ologist Gordy Ohliger was at the Colusa riverfront to take picnickers on a musical journey back to the days of Mark Twain. Everyone was encouraged to bring their picnic baskets and enjoy a relaxed, informal lunchtime concert given by one of Colusa’s own!
“Mark Twain” (see below) also attended the picnic, and took time to chat with individuals. This was a perfect opportunity for book clubs, families or other groups to socialize with “Mark Twain” while enjoying the music of his day.
Readers who wanted to discuss Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with “Mark Twain” were encouraged to stop by the Court House Gazebo at 4:00 pm. Twain scholar McAvoy Lane was there to answer questions and participate in an informal book talk on this year’s Virginia Read.
“Mark Twain” was the honored guest of our first Virginia Read Celebration, and gave a special talk in the Colusa Community Theatre on Tenth Street. He was portrayed by McAvoy Layne, a well-known Mark Twain scholar and impersonator who has been working in this capacity for over 20 years.
On “Mark Twain Day,” May 22, the Colusa Lions Club sponsored The First Annual Community Horseshoe Tournaments at Will S. Green Park. The event ran all day, from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm. Participants and spectators were welcome. (Note: Pitching horseshoes dates back to ancient history, but it became popular in the United States during Mark Twain’s lifetime. The first World Tournament was held in 1910, the year of Twain’s death.)
In July, Peerless Entertainment presented a special showing of Huck Finn at The Colusa Theater. Scenes of the movie were actually filmed in Colusa!
The Colusa County Free Library sponsors a summer reading program each year. This summer, the theme was “Water.” Among the many books participants read were our companion titles River Boy: The Story of Mark Twain by William Anderson and American Boy: The Adventures of Mark Twain by Don Brown.