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I reflected on this photo and quote in my FaceBook stream recently and really connected to these words. During this current era of hate, fear and small mindedness I am compelled to share it with you. Here’s a link to Twain’s (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) FB page.

mark twain quoteI was raised by a bigoted father from West Virginia. He was a narrow minded man that ruled his family with an iron fist and eventually he turned my mother into a ruble heap. I escaped home the day I turned eighteen and that was also my graduation day from high school. Within a year I moved from the West Coast to the East Coast, and later to Europe that same year. Yes, it was definitely travel that washed away any remaining residue that tried to cling to me from that dark childhood.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

Later I may have lived in one place almost 40 years but I always cherished and sought out moments (especially weeks!) stolen away from home. This quote brings to mind a refreshing visit to Vichy Hot Springs where you can drink from waters that both Jack London and Mark Twain frequented. The large dented dipper used back at the natural area of Vichy Springs was probably still the same one used by Twain and London too! I may have been a bit worried about the lack of sanitation but not enough so to keep me from slurping down water from the long handled, ancient looking ladle.

Take yourself and your family out among the world as soon as possible and spread love, even if it is only around the block. It is the only thing that truly counter acts the fear and hatred that terrorists count on others to continue spewing and spreading.

(Vichy Springs Resort was established in 1854. This is a unique historic hot springs resort and 700 acre private reserve about two hours north of downtown San Francisco.)