"Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" - Mark Twain
by Robert Reid
I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before. "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain
I travel, as most people probably, simply because it was in me. But one quote that gave me infinite wonder early on is Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn," a genius work at least until Tom Sawyer shows up late and ruins the bliss Huck finds for himself. I like what Huck says at the end, just after his doomed trip down the river with a runaway slave ends and he's being beckoned home to Hannibal, Missouri: "I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before."
He's talking about Oklahoma, or "Indian Territory," where I grew up -- a relatively uncharted territory living outside the fold of normal rules, for the time being. I used to think there were basically two sorts of people: stayers and leavers. By that I don't mean those who habitually leave places, becoming nomadic, which to a degree I find kind of sad. But simply showing the strength or gall, a time or two, to break away from the comfort and familiarity of where you grew up -- in the hopes of a bigger life elsewhere.
For whatever reason, I had that instinct naturally. Huck had that too.