|Tom Muzzio, president|
Territorial Enterprise Foundation
IN THE SPIRIT OF MARK TWAIN
VIRGINIA CITY, NEVADA--When Tom Muzzio first came to town in the 1980s looking for a home to call his own, the realtor asked him if he'd like to buy the local paper. It was a perfectly logical question as Muzzio had spent time in Europe and Vietnam as a military illustrator and photographer. He would soon find out how important this "local paper" was to the history of the West and American literature.
Muzzio had to put all his skills to work ~journalistic and otherwise. He sold ads, designed the newspaper, wrote stories and took photographs. All the while, he was learning about his neighbors ~ the few that had hung on to their place plus all the new people who had come in to make the town a tourist spot. He found some quite friendly while others were resistant to change, new people and new ideas. But, Muzzio had an edge. He was now the editor and publisher of the newspaper where the moniker, Mark Twain, was born.
Never one to give up easily, Muzzio continues with his efforts to keep the Territorial Enterprise alive in the minds of those who treasure the past. Feeling that the TE is a National Treasure and something to be carried on into the future ~ Muzzio began to work through the paperwork necessary to create a foundation ~ the Territorial Enterprise Historical and Educational Foundation was born!
The TE has other great journalists to be proud of. Mark Twain is not the only great writer who worked for the Territorial Enterprise during the hey-day of silver mining in Nevada. At the Historical Gazette we found that the stories that Dan DeQuille told of the mining operations of the Comstock Lode were fascinating and portrays the mining days in a remarkable and believable fashion. Dan DeQuille and Mark Twain made a great team. And, Sam Clemens found that he was much better suited to the job of writing about his observations than he was to doing manual labor like digging holes for gold. Lucky for us, he turned out to be an excellent humorist and made good choices launching him into world renown.
While Twain studied people all over the world, Muzzio is an accomplished linquist of many languages. He remains sensitive to what is important to Americans as we enter into a new millenium. Once he learned about the internet he knew that the TE should be added to the growing bank of information available around the world. The fame of Mark Twain to all those who learn English as a second language took on a special meaning to him. His enthusasim for the medium of the internet would be hard to match. It is our pleasure to work with him to put the TE on the internet, which we did for him in late 1998. Even then he was hinting at this transistion and we kept the web site non-commercial on purpose.
Now we are working on the continuation of that launch into the global medium which demands us all to learn English. And, what other American literature author and his works are better known around the world than Mark Twain? It is a logical progression. The past is a way that we can measure our future ~ viewing the boom and bust in society ~ with thoughts that stimulate a better picture of the world that we will leave our descendants.
~Bridget E. Smith, editor/publisher, Historical Gazette