Sunrise was pretty spectacular again this morning over the Mississippi River at Muscatine. I’ve already posted this photo on Instagram, which means it has been tweeated and posted to Facebook. But it seemed worth sharing here, too, because we Muscatine residents are proud of our connection to writer Mark Twain, who once said:
And I remember Muscatine — still more pleasantly — for its summer sunsets. I have never seen any, on either side of the ocean, that equaled them. They used the broad smooth river as a canvas, and painted on it every imaginable dream of color, from the mottled daintinesses and delicacies of the opal, all the way up, through cumulative intensities, to blinding purple and crimson conflagrations which were enchanting to the eye, but sharply tried it at the same time. All the Upper Mississippi region has these extraordinary sunsets as a familiar spectacle. It is the true Sunset Land: I am sure no other country can show so good a right to the name. The sunrises are also said to be exceedingly fine. I do not know.
In 1855, Twain lived briefly in Muscatine and worked at the Muscatine Journal, which was partly owned by his brother, Orion Clemens.
I’ve heard that Twain made similar comments about the sunsets in San Francisco, so maybe he plagiarized himself. I don’t know. But I am plagiarizing myself, because I’ve written about this before.