I've traveled all over the world with Author/Spy Master Robert Eringer, in search of creativity and madness. For a year we traveled far and wide with the goal of getting to places where famous American Literary Icons like Hemingway, Kerouac, Fante, Bukowski, Steinbeck, Brannigan, Miller, and Hunter S. Thompson, lived and/or committed suicide. One of the Authors we never got to investigate was Mark Twain. So on this old fashioned road trip with my travel companions, I decided to have my own mini "Surreal Bounce" journey.
We stopped up on Jack Ass Hill to view Mark Twain's Cabin, where in 1865 he wrote his very first novel, "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". Feeling the empty cabin with three chairs wasn't much to shake a stick at, we traveled on down the road tothe town of Angels Camp to find the tavern where it is said Twain heard the story while sipping liquor at the bar.
The Tavern, inside Angels Hotel is now an Antique store full of glimmering novelties. I asked the owner if he knew where the bar was once situated way back in the day? He then pointed to some display cases over yonder. I walked over to the cases imagining them to be an old western bar where I could order a shot of Basil Hayden, (Bourbon Whisky).
Then, looking down into the case, I knew there must be something there for me to remember this moment by. There, sitting on top of a small box was this well-worn antique clicker, in none other than the shape of a frog! I knew I had to have it as a keep sake from this journey. So, in my search to capture a glimpse into the spirit of Mark Twain, and in the continued tradition of a Surreal Bouncer, I purchased this miniature clicking talisman that still works like a charm.
L-R. Me, Jim Worthen, Rob Rafelli, and Josh Worthen, sippin' a cool one at Murphy's in Murphy.