As an introduction to our Humans of Hannibal posts we decided to start close to home with a face from the Mark Twain Dinette. You may have seen Joyce Bowen at the Dinette before. She knows far more about the Dinette than me and has worked here for longer than I have been alive - about 45 years.

If you have seen Humans of New York before, this is where we got our inspiration from. Brandon Stanton started it as a photography project in 2010 to catalogue the faces and stories of New Yorkers on the street. The posts feature a picture and a brief insight to their lives. There are so many characters and faces of Hannibal - both locals and tourists. And every story is so unique. We hope to share a glimpse of the faces and stories Hannibal here. 


"My goal - and I'll prepare you for it. I want Jimmy O'donnell to come done to the prep table and pick me up some day. I'll do it on a day your dad is here. I can't think of a nicer place or a better way to go. Doing what you love to do. A place that has the biggest part of your life - supported me and helped me raise three kids with the income I made from here, you know. And where would be a better place to just be doing what you was doing and just sit down and not get up. Jimmy laughed at me the other day. He said, 'I can do that.' And I told my boys who fussed at me for coming back to work. I said, 'Now listen, let me tell you. When people ask you why you let her die at work, you tell them she did it her way.' 

My dad was fortunate to go just real quick. You know just walked in and sat down in the bathroom and never got up again. But everybody is not that fortunate. And you're never ready to give them up regardless. And we were gone. My sister was having surgery. The woman he was living with called my daughter, Judith, and said your grandpa just died on the toilet stool. She wasn't out of school yet, probably 15 or 16, old enough to be left at home alone. And we drove in on Sunday morning. And there was a barrel burning in the back yard - that was back when you could burn. I said, 'Oh, there's something wrong. Judith is burning trash.' She had jumped in and cleaned house for me, you know. Walked in the door and the tears just rolled. We picked up the pieces and took care of what had to be done. But, looking back at what some people go through. That's a good way to go.

Maybe I'll get lucky. But I'll try to do it on a day that you're not here."