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My Voyage down the Mighty Mississippi
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Mrs. Lisa Widmann, Vice Principal

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The best part of reading a novel is the exciting settings.  One day you are scaling a snow capped mountain and the next day you are searching for water in a far off desert. Exciting characters are having amazing adventures and you are there, in your mind’s eye.

For years I taught my students the fascinating novel, “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn”.  It always amazed me how Huck personified the Mississippi River and the starch white river boats that paddled their way through its mighty waters.  Twain painted a lively picture for me and for years I wanted to be Huck’s traveling companion up and down the Mississippi River and getting in and out of exciting adventures.

Last year, on a visit to Louisiana, I sat on the deck of a real Mark Twain inspired riverboat.  The weather was hot and humid but free from mosquitoes. Most everything was authentic from the whitewash color of the boat, to the huge paddle that propelled us through the water, to the sound of the horn as it approached the shore.  I could hear the sound of Huck taking the wheel as he raced the river currents to save Jim.  I could see the remains of Pap’s card game as he was caught cheating.  I could smell the fish that Huck caught while fishing when he should have been in school.

The Mississippi River flows through a host of states including Louisiana, where the river and I became fast friends.  For that short time, I was living during the time of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher. I was a neighbor of Mark Twain himself.  And I ran and played with Huck Finn on many of his adventures.

While sitting on that deck listening to the paddle slice through the water, I remembered how Mark Twain was inspired to write his most popular novels piloting a riverboat. He developed a love and a respect for the Mississippi and while  on that boat, I felt as Twain did. I felt history come alive on that short voyage. I felt the strength of the river as it traveled along its journey. I felt happy because I was finally experiencing something that I had wanted to for many years, the Mississippi River.

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My Voyage down the Mighty Mississippi