It was not difficult to win the Mark Twain Museum's annual mustache contest on Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Museum Gallery – the contestants had no competition. The contest was judged by Hannibal's current Toms and Beckys.
Dave Schlembach of Quincy, Ill., won the "Mark Twain contest," with a mustache he has worn since 1968.
Schlembach was proud of the T-shirt he wore, with a Mark Twain photo, explaining the same design is on a cigar box on exhibit at the museum. His daughter found the shirt on Amazon.
Fred Still of Jacksonville, Ill., with a mustache he has had since 1964, won the "Dapper" contest. He was joined by a young Tom (Michael Hark) with his pipe cleaner mustache.
Still was pleased to be accompanied by his daughter, Julie Hooper of Hannibal, a teacher at Hannibal Middle School.
Hooper, who was wearing a neck brace from an accident and not currently teaching, explained she teaches eighth grade literature and formerly taught seventh grade literature. Seventh grade is the year teens in Hannibal learn about Mark Twain and compete in the Tom and Becky contest, she added, so "I was glad to be with them in seventh grade." She enjoyed meeting her former students who are now Toms and Beckys.
The third event, the "Manliest" mustache, had no contestants.
Melissa Cummins, coordinator the Mark Twain Museum's Tom and Becky Program, reported that earlier Saturday the Toms and Beckys had hosted a Mark Twain's birthday party for children at the Museum, leading them in games and serving cake.
Cummins said several families whose children attended the birthday party also toured the Museum.
She noted that the Museum now has a box for letters to Santa, whose new little house is nearby on North Main Street.
Another Dec. 1 event was a mask contest, with the paper mache masks displayed at the museum gallery. The winning mask, a bright blue mask decorated with tiny stars, won both the Judges' Choice and People's Choice.
For more pictures of the mustache contest, see photo gallery.