Name. Jes Silva
What is your job at the Mark Twain House & Museum? Sales Associate (Tickets & Store!)
Where are you from? Born and raised in Berlin, CT. I currently live in the village of East Berlin, CT. And we all know that Mark Twain said: “Human nature cannot be studied in cities except at a disadvantage--a village is the place. There you can know your man inside and out--in a city you but know his crust; and his crust is usually a lie.”
Where did you go to school? I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Eastern CT State University. Although it’s not a Masters Degree, just like Sam Clemens, “It pleased me beyond measure when [Eastern] made me a [Bachelor] of Arts, because I didn't know anything about art.”
Were you drawn to the Mark Twain house because of an interest in Twain as a writer?
Actually no. I am more of a fan now than I was before working here.
Do you like Mark Twain more having worked here? Yes, since working here, I have developed a great love for Mark Twain. And since I drink a lot of water and his books are like water… I don’t know, I’ve got nothing…
How long have you worked here? 4 years
What makes you come back the following year? Oh-my-god, I love it all; the people, atmosphere, and the history. This is the best place to work.
Do you find yourself talking to friends and family about Mark Twain? I do! I quote him often! I talk about his family and the house to anyone who is willing to listen!
Hopes for the future of the House. I would love for the house to continue to be successful as well as see the Mahogany bedroom completed.
Favorite room in the house. I love the library. I love the look and the feel of the room. It’s so warm and welcoming that it makes me want to (don’t worry Patti, I won’t) cozy up in a chair by the fire and read, or listen to Sam tell stories.
Favorite tour story. A member of the band, The Doors, was along on one of my tours; I thought his bodyguard was the celebrity from West Coast Choppers, but little did I know that it was a member from the band and the bodyguard was only a bodyguard.
Based on your knowledge of his personality, do you think you and Sam would be friends? Totally! I could see us in the Billiard Room, playing pool and joking around. I think we have a similar sense of humor, since I subscribe to the notion that “the funniest things are the forbidden.”
What do you think is the Museum's biggest challenge? I think getting the word out that we are here is probably our biggest challenge. No one “vacations” to Hartford, Connecticut. Trying to make Hartford a destination spot is a hurdle to get over.
What do you think Sam’s comments would be on the management of his home and the museum? I think he’d think we are doing a fine job. We are not only educating the young and old about his life and times, but we are preserving his memory, and keeping him alive through that. He would like us to remember (and share with our visitors) “To us our house was not unsentient matter--it had a heart & a soul & eyes to see us with, & approvals & solicitudes & deep sympathies; it was of us, & we were in its confidence, & lived in its grace & in the peace of its benediction. We never came home from an absence that its face did not light up & speak out its eloquent welcome--& we could not enter it unmoved.”
Favorite Twain piece. I don’t think I can name just one. My first Mark Twain book was A Connecticut Yankee, and I am quite partial to it. The Diaries of Adam and Eve and stories about the McWilliamses are among my favorites, but I also love The War Prayer.