HANNIBAL | The 10 Toms and Beckys serving as 2019-2020 Hannibal goodwill ambassadors have had a busy year, despite the coronavirus complications.
Making individual video appearances is one of their final performances before the new Toms and Beckys begin their year on the Fourth of July.
Each of them is being videoed for the Laconia Reads program, according to Melissa Cummins, coordinator of the Tom and Becky Program, which is sponsored by the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum.
“With the current situation, the kids have not had appearances for a couple months,” Cummins said. “It's given them something to do.”
The current Toms and Beckys are Preston Danner and Lanie Privett, the official couple, along with alternate Toms: Josiah Campbell, Cameron Cox, Tristen Essig and Jack Myers; and alternate Beckys: Jocelyn Dorsey, Courtney Locke, Annabelle Peck and Tallin Sims.
“The Tom and Becky program was asked by Laconia, New Hampshire, to participate in their Laconia Reads program,” Cummins said. “Laconia Reads is a community reading program to promote literacy and appreciation for books.
“The reason we are tied in is, they are doing 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,'” she continued, explaining the sponsors have assigned people to each read a chapter of the book.
Hannibal's Toms and Beckys were invited to participate by reading a chapter or making an individual video of a local place related to the book, Cummins explained. “They thought it would be wonderful to include videos of Hannibal that show actual places Mark Twain writes about in his book. … Some are acting out scenes from the book, such as the cave scene, which was done by Preston Danner and Jocelyn Dorsey.”
The videos are being posted on Laconia Reads on Facebook, Cummins said, noting the sponsors are loading new videos several days a week.
Also, the website Laconia Reads: Week 1 reports “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain was introduced May 1 by Cindy Lovell, nationally recognized Mark Twain scholar.
The website states that beginning May 1 chapters of the book will be posted on Facebook for 13 weeks.
Until the Fourth of July, the current Toms and Beckys also will continue their weekend strolling - while observing social distancing - in the Historic District, Cummins said. They also will introduce the musicians at each Thursday evening Music Under the Stars concert, with the new Toms and Beckys taking over after July 4.