As a young journalist, he was once sued for libel because he maligned Hannibal, Missouri for being a tourist trap. Thus, when he wrote of Clinton in “The Town I Like,” he was careful to obscure all names. Yet, some 1935 locals who read it told him, “You better wait awhile before you come back!” Now, of course, we’re thrilled when anyone famous mentions our beloved town.
Marquis Childs became the “dean” of the Washington Press Corps and was highly- regarded. He interviewed the famous and infamous as a “man of the world,” yet carried Clinton/ Lyons in his heart. He said, “We all thought our town was boring and limiting, but we were mistaken.” Childs was considered an expert on Mark Twain and, just before his 80th birthday, completed a life-long work, Mighty Mississippi: Biography of a River. It has been praised as having lyrical passages rivaling those found in Twain’s classic, Huckleberry Finn.