Destrehan High School‘s NEHS chapter drew inspiration from Mark Twain’s memoir Life on the Mississippi for several reasons in choosing “Write on the Mississippi” as their chapter name.
First, the town of Destrehan is located about fifteen miles upriver of New Orleans, and about a quarter-mile away from the Mississippi River. As a riverboat pilot, Twain would have traveled past Destrehan on a regular basis. Did he have an inkling then of his literary legacy? If so, would he have imagined that the plantations along the river would give way to towns and schools that would hope to honor that legacy?
Second, Destrehan High School, is located less than a quarter of a mile from the Mississippi River. One might say that we’re right on the Mississippi (this Advisor is fond of puns). In any case, the River is omnipresent in our lives. We run and bicycle along its levee. River Road matches its bends and curves and is one of the primary thoroughfares in the town and throughout St. Charles Parish.
Finally, as our members come together to share their voices, they will do so in writing. Whether they write at home or in school, they will never be very far from the River. Therefore, even if we do not actually write on the Mississippi itself, we will at the very least be writing very near it. Perhaps our students will be as inspired by its strength and mystery as Mark Twain was.
Does your chapter have a fun, creative, and meaningful name? Share your chapter name’s story with us to be featured in our What’s in a Name series on NEHS Museletter! Please email Dave Wendelin to share your story.