On the Mississippi

  When I read “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, I didn’t expect to visit Mark Twain’s home one day; when I read “The Adventures of Huckle Bain”, I didn’t expect to one day sit on Mark Twain’s house cruise on the Mississippi River. Mark Twain’s humorous novels and the place names that appear in them are so far away, it seems like another world. But now, across the Mississippi River is Mark Twain’s house.
  We drove from Champaign, through Illinois, for three hours to Florida County, Missouri, the birthplace of Mark Twain. His former residence is next to Mark Twain Lake, and the lake can be clearly marked on the map, which is enough to explain its area.
  Next to it is the Mark Twain Birthplace Museum, which has a restored Mark Twain birth cabin and some items that Mark Twain used during his lifetime. From this museum, we begin our journey toward Hannibal, where Mark Twain grew up and where the stories of his novels take place.
  Hannibal is a small town on the Mississippi River, with few streets, where the main “industry” is Mark Twain tourism. Mark Twain lived here, and it is the main activity place of the characters in several of his novels. Outside the memorial, there is a white fence wall, it is said that this is where Tom tricked his friends to paint the wall. Then, we came to Mark Twain’s Cave. It is said that the young Mark Twain often came here to explore. He was the most familiar person in the small town of Hannibal. The novel character Huck got lost in this cave. . This cave is a medium-sized limestone cave with twists and turns in the middle. The local tourism department remodeled it, added detailed lighting, and polished the aisle. There are many words and graffiti in the cave, which are written or engraved with visitors. It is said that there are more than 200,000 names.
  Afterwards, we boarded the ship Mark Twain and felt the life of Mark Twain on the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River was not as peaceful as it is now. The Mississippi River runs through the middle of the American continent. In the 19th century, when there were no trains and automobiles, the shipping industry on the Mississippi River was very developed. People often take a boat down the river from St. Louis, Missouri, so that they can reach many states in the southern United States, all the way to New Orleans, and from New Orleans to the West Coast by boat. At that time, the Mississippi River was a bustling scene, and large steam ships shuttled on both sides of the Mississippi River. Mark Twain dreamed of being a pilot on such a steamship back then, just like being a pilot today. His dream really came true, and he really became the pilot of a steamship. At that time, steam ships were also very dangerous, and steam engines often exploded. Mark Twain’s brother Henry died in such an accident.
  However, there is no such scene in the Mississippi River now. There is only one boat on the Mississippi River by Hannibal, the Mark Twain. The shipping role of the Mississippi River has long been replaced by railroad bridges and highway bridges across the great river. The Mississippi River flows quietly in a hazy light rain.
  There is a large restaurant on board, we sat at our reserved table and ate western food while listening to jazz performances. Business on the ship was good, there were few vacancies, and many American families with young children came here to relax. A black man played the saxophone, and a fat female singer hummed a tune. Our group of visiting scholars kept taking pictures with our cameras. The Americans here looked at us with a smile and waved as we picked up our cameras to take pictures.
  Soon, people danced in the restaurant, and the atmosphere began to warm up. A restaurant waitress always came to pour tea for our table. I spoke to her and learned that her name was Elizabeth. I asked, “Is this band going to—play until late at night?” She said, “No, it’s almost over in ten minutes.” I said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t invite you to dance.” She replied with a smile Said, “Why not? You can dance now!” So she was still wearing her apron when I walked up to the front of the band and danced with her.
  We threw cheers on the Mississippi River as we passed the Mississippi River Bridge in the return car. Maybe we won’t come back to Hannibal, Mark Twain’s hometown. But, Mississippi, we will meet again.
  Shortly after returning from Missouri, we caught up with an important festival in Champagne: Agronomy. On this day, farmers from Illinois come to attend agronomy lectures at the University’s College of Agronomy. Lectures are held in experimental fields near the university, where professors and doctors from the Faculty of Agronomy will personally teach local farmers the latest agricultural knowledge. This is already their 49th Agronomy Festival.
  Early in the morning we came to the experimental field, where many American farmers have come. Although he is a farmer, he is not poor at all. Many people drive to the party in person, and many have homes with a variety of modern agricultural equipment: automatic harvesters, cultivators, and automatic planters, and they also share a sprinkler plane. They have long since left the primitive form of slash-and-burn farming and become farm workers armed with various modern machines.
  Illinois is an important agricultural state in the United States, and it is the main soybean and corn producing area in the United States. The soybean production in the United States accounts for 45% of the world’s production, and the corn production accounts for 40% of the world’s production, while the soybean and corn production in Illinois ranks second in the United States. It can be seen that the agricultural production here actually affects the price of agricultural products in the world and affects the market of the Chicago food futures market. So we can understand why the highway from Chicago all the way to Champaign is full of cornfields. Even near the business district of Champagne are large cornfields.
  We came to the main venue of the agronomic festival, where a large tent was set up, and there were propaganda boards of many companies, including seed companies, fertilizer companies and agricultural equipment companies. The front lawn is filled with a variety of modern large tillage machines.
  There is a speaking board and several rows of seats beside each test field. We walked over and sat down, and an agriculture professor began to explain his content. He introduced the latest agricultural information and research results, explained according to the actual situation in Illinois, and answered farmers’ questions and requests, so that these American farmers could quickly understand the latest agricultural information and development. In this regard, Americans have done a better job. They can practically combine research results with actual results, so that the results of the laboratory can be quickly promoted and used, rather than just stop at experimental reports and published articles. superior. We understand that behind the American farmers is actually a large group of agricultural researchers. Every agricultural progress is researched by these people, and the farmers are only the concrete implementers of their results. In fact, this is only one aspect of American society, which is supported by a large number of scientific researchers in several fields, from military and aerospace to government decision-making and administrative intervention. American society is actually an expert system running. Each of its decisions is implemented only after a number of expert demonstrations and simulation operations. Arbitrary human activities are relatively rare in the United States, especially in social life decision-making. Many decisions, including the government, must first be consulted with relevant expert systems and advisory committees, and even when the parliament votes, a hearing with explanations by relevant experts must be held. This scientific spirit is universal, which determines that Americans pay attention to reality and practice. They are not like French or Italians in romantic temperament and leisure life attitude, but in pragmatism, they adhere to the British tradition. This is an important factor in determining the success of American society.
  A book about American history and culture says:
  We were born and raised on farms. Our concept of life is formed in harmony with nature and the land. Self-sufficient farm life is about harvesting God-given wealth with one’s own labor and represents virtue. Looking back now, the country’s pastoral past is like a lost paradise. In contrast, city life is the beginning of evil. Robbers, gangsters and crooks roam the city. Many city dwellers do not produce anything, they are just playing with words to deceive the hardworking and simple peasants.
  I did not expect such an explanation to arise in America, the most industrialized and urbane. I admire the author’s profound vision and sharp words, reflecting on his own cultural concepts so thoroughly. I wanted to come to this country to see its advanced factories and prosperous cities, but what I saw was large tracts of crops and large tracts of farmland extending across the vast land. On both sides of the highway. Around the city, there are such endless grain fields and crops, or, large tracts of lawns and forests. Of course, this is the Midwest region of the United States, which is one of the most developed agricultural regions in the United States, and this is the main reason. However, I also understood the basis of America’s developed industry, prosperous cities and strong military power. Here is their foundation. The vast grain fields here, the endless crops and the diligent and simple American farmers are the source of American strength. On the land so rich in natural resources, there are modern agricultural workers and agricultural technologies, and the efforts of modern agricultural scientists are the most important foundations to support an economic, military and scientific and technological power.