Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America


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Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America

A penetrating, epic look at a generation at war, this is history told with keen insight, enormous honesty, and the passion of a son paying homage to his father. It is the story of the difference between truth and myth, the meaning of being a hero, and the essence of the human experience of war. Now abridged for young people, Flags of Our Fathers is the unforgettable chronicle of perhaps the most famous moment in American military history: the raising of the U.

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Tom and Huck Don't Live Here Anymore

See more. Mark Twain: A Life. Ron Powers. Samuel Clemens, the man known as Mark Twain, invented the American voice and became one of our greatest celebrities. His life mirrored his country's, as he grew from a Mississippi River boyhood in the days of the frontier, to a Wild-West journalist during the Gold Rush, to become the king of the eastern establishment and a global celebrity as America became an international power.

Along the way, Mark Twain keenly observed the characters and voices that filled the growing country, and left us our first authentically American literature. Ron Powers's magnificent biography offers the definitive life of the founding father of our culture. Kim Meeder. Kim Meeder has seen horses go where no one else can tread - stepping through the minefield of a broken child's soul in a dance of trust that only God can understand. From a mistreated horse to an emotionally starved child and back again, a torrent of love washes away their barren places.

Kim's ranch is a place where this miracle happens over and over again. It is a place where the impossible flourishes, where dreams survive the inferno of reality - a place where hope rises. From a mistreated horse to an emotionally starved child and back again, a torrent of love revives their barren places. In the presence of unconditional love, a mute girl speaks for the first time. A defiant teenager teaches a horse to trust again A rescued horse gives a dying man his last wish. A battered girl finds love and protection in the friendship of a battered horse Come visit a place where the impossible flourishes, where dreams survive the inferno of reality—a place where hope rises.

With Hill at the wheel, the two kids cruised around town for a while, looking for girls, for friends, for anything besides what they knew was and wasn't there. The figure trotting toward them, up the grade, was a sixty-one-year-old machinist with Car Quest Auto Parts and an amateur railroad enthusiast named James Walker. Like Robie, he was a lifelong Hannibal resident.

An army veteran, he had been married to Virginia Elliott Walker since Virginia, a pale and soft-spoken woman, had for a time served as the president of the Helen Cornelius Fan Club. Cornelius, a Hannibal native and country-western singer, had enjoyed some success as a three-time winner on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour and later as an RCA recording artist in the s. Just now, James Walker was about midway through his five-mile run, which he made several times a week, always along the same route.

He was at work on his goal of completing fifty-seven miles of running by the end of the month. Another fifty-seven, to be chalked up in December, would give him a thousand miles of running for the year. Pleasant Street is an east-west road, both arterial and residential, near the western edge of town, two lanes of asphalt, no sidewalks. It had originated as a wooden plank road in about , some sixteen years after first settlement, by a man named Fry, who cut it through three miles of hardwood forest in return for half of the fledgling town's remaining unsold lots.

Winter dusk had settled in on this November afternoon. The streetlights had been turned on, and Walker was wearing his customary bright yellow shorts, reflective vest, and orange fluorescent hat. Walker chugged eastward on Pleasant, on the left side of the road, facing traffic. Hill and Wilson cruised westward on the downgrade.

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As they drew near the approaching figure, one of the boys — it was never conclusively established which — asked the other, "Do you want to door him? It was William Hill, the owner of the Bronco and a promising high school baseball player, who had clued Robie Wilson in on "dooring" or "awarding the door prize.


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It entailed a driver drawing alongside a student on foot while the frontseat passenger opened the door, giving the student an unexpected whack. On this Tuesday, though, the recipient was to be not a high school student but an elderly man. And the "door prize" was to be administered not at a parking-lot crawl but at thoroughfare speed.

The Bronco closed on Walker in the block of Pleasant, a longish stretch in which the edge of the asphalt gave directly onto steep grassy lawn. The unsuspecting Walker had no route of escape. What happened next differs slightly in the retelling by each boy. In either version, they made two runs at Walker before they struck the man.


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William Hill later testified that it was Robie's idea to "door" the running man. Hill went along with it more or less offhandedly. On the first pass, Hill swerved in Walker's direction, but perhaps because of the wind, Robie Wilson had trouble pushing the door open. Hill would testify that Robie urged him to go back.

TOM SAWYER, DETECTIVE

Hill was reluctant, he said, but drove to the bottom of Pleasant and turned around. The Bronco retraced its route up the grade, overtook Walker, and continued up Pleasant a little way. Then Will Hill U-turned and made his second run. Robie insisted that the first time they passed Walker, nothing happened; there was no discussion about "dooring.

Highway 61 and headed north toward Hannibal — La Grange College, the site of the game. But after a block, Hill turned right again and looped back along a road parallel to Walker's route. Whichever version of the story was correct, the Bronco was soon bearing down on James Walker for a second time. Reemerging on Pleasant, with the trotting figure in his sights, Hill angled the car toward the man and, according to Robie, ordered Robie to open the door.

Scared and confused, Robie complied. Whatever the truth, James Walker paid the consequences. He never grasped what was about to happen. As the car approached, he made no effort to dodge out of the way. Robie Wilson pushed his door open. The onrushing steel caught Walker full in the face with explosive impact. The window glass burst, sending an eruption of shards back into the Bronco and outward along the pavement.

The force was such that the window behind the passenger's seat shattered as well. Robie Wilson glanced back at the collapsed figure and yelled, "Go! He veered left into a more secluded, curving street called Shepherd Place, hurried along its tree-lined downhill contours until its terminus at St. Mary's Avenue.

Tom and Huck Don't Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America by Ron Powers

There he turned left again and took off along the central spine of Hannibal. At some point, Hill turned right off that spine — now Broadway — and plunged the Bronco down into one of the town's older, shabbier enclaves: a latticework of short, sharply angled streets fronted by century-old bungalows with peeling white paint; by sheds, freestanding garages, truck gardens. He drove a couple of blocks through this area to Market Street, a long and narrow winding hive of taverns and storefront businesses, early-century brick and wood frame, that once had teemed with raucous honky-tonk nightlife but now lay mostly dust-caked, abandoned, and Gothic.

Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America
Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America
Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America
Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America
Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America
Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America Tom and Huck Dont Live Here Anymore: Childhood and Murder in the Heart of America

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